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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Book Review: This Gorgeous Game by Donna Freitas

This Gorgeous Game by Donna Freitas
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Release Date: May 25, 2010
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pages: 224
Source: Received from publisher for honest review

Summary: Olivia Peters is over the moon when her literary idol, the celebrated novelist and muchadored local priest Mark D. Brendan, offers to become her personal writing mentor. But when Father Mark’s enthusiasm for Olivia’s prose develops into something more, Olivia’s emotions quickly shift from wonder to confusion to despair. Exactly what game is Father Mark playing, and how on earth can she get out of it? This remarkable novel about overcoming the isolation that stems from victimization is powerful, luminous, and impossible to put down.

My Review: I was so excited to read This Gorgeous Game because its summary was chilling and potentially controversial. Sadly, it did not meet my expectations. Parts of the plot could of been more powerful if the author pushed the envelope a little bit. Everything seemed to stay on the surface and I never truly got to experience the dangerous game between victim and priest. Olivia, the main character was an innocent, simplistic and gifted seventeen year old girl. She was a stand up student with a natural ability for writing. Family values, religion and her best friends were very important to her. Since her father wasn't around, priests seemed to take the place of father figures.

Olivia's talent in writing won her a contest hosted by the honorable and famous local novelist, Father Mark. At first, he showed great interested in helping Olivia with editing her story. But, as time went on he started acting creepy and showed signs of obsession. The most annoying thing about Olivia is her lack of common sense. I immediately picked up on his inappropriate behavior and hoped she would stop making excuses for him. I never thought the priest was led on however, she didn't voice her concerns either. Donna did a great job capturing the priest's unhealthy behavior through Olivia's narration. I just wish she would of digged more into his thought process. It would of definitely made it a little more interesting to see his inner struggles. Overall, the concept was there. It just lacked the controversial and thrilling manner I was expecting. But, it was a light read that held my attention throughout the book.

My Rating: (3.5)
Author's Info:

Donna Freitas is a Visiting Scholar of Religion at Boston University. She received her Ph.D. from Catholic University in 2002 and her B.A. in philosophy. She writes fiction, nonfiction, and articles that appear in newspapers, magazines, and on blogs. Born in Rhode Island, Donna now splits her time between New York City and Boston.

For more info on Donna, visit her site(s):


More books by Donna:
The Possibilities of Sainthood

(Go here for further books)


KM said...

I hate when a book is disappointing. Better luck on the next one!

blueicegal said...

aww it seemed like a interesting one, thanks for the honest review though Eleni :)

Mary not so Contrary said...

That stinks that it didn't live up. Thats to bad that she didn't get more into it. Espically with whats going on right now, it could have been a big book to get. Thanks for the honest good review!

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