Friday, October 17, 2014

Novel Review: This Gorgeous Game by Donna Freitas

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Genre: YA Contemporary/Realistic
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Release Date: 2010
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Olivia Peters is absolutely over the moon when her literary idol, the celebrated novelist and much-adored local priest Mark D. Brendan, selects her from hundreds of other applicants as the winner of his writing contest. Not only is she invited to take his class at the local university; she also gets one-on-one sessions with him to polish her story and prepare it for publication. But the writing sessions escalate into emails, and texts, and IMs, and gifts, and social events. What was once a delightful opportunity has become a dreadful burden. What kind of game is Father Mark playing? And how on earth can she get out of it?

The Cover:

I really like this cover. I think it's pretty, and that it represents the book really well. It gives the right feel with what Olivia goes through.


  • "'Never forgo an opportunity to get to know someone who intrigues you.’” (Hardback, pg. 43)
  • "Faith is letting yourself fall and believing, knowing that someone, something, this big being we call God is waiting there to catch us in a big, soft, God-sized baseball mitt.” (Pg. 202)


I was actually expecting this to be a darker story, or a more gritty one. So I was surprised, but I still think it was a very good story, with a just as worthy message.
Olivia gets into a highly wanted and hard to get into college class by writing a story. This leads to her forming an oddly close relationship with the teacher and Father. She’s excited by this, but then things take a turn.
The way that Olivia’s feelings start to change, how she realizes what’s going on with the Father, was done really well. How she feels about it and doesn’t know what to do about it were really understandable. It was portrayed really well.
I was expecting rape and manipulation, and while there was some manipulation, there was more stalking. It was a direction that I wasn’t expecting, but I think it was done really well, and that the topic is also one worth thinking about. It was definitely creepy, and bad.
I was surprised by this book, but it was really good. It was well done, and I liked how it worked out in the end.

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