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Game (Jasper Dent, #2)

Game  - Barry Lyga Upon finishing GAME the first thing that popped into my mind was “do I really have to write a review for this? I don’t want to!” The novel is chalk full of twists and turns and you are never sure who you can trust. Like its predecessor, GAME has a much more adult feel with its intensely gory scenes and the players who take the stage. But thrown in the middle is our core group of teens, Jazz, Connie & Howie, so YA it is. One of my favorite things about this series (besides the awesome gore) is the relationships between the three teens. Jazz and Connie are still together and as their relationship becomes much more serious they are struggling with just how far they should take things. There is a darkness inside Jazz and he thinks that since he is the son of the worlds most notorious and feared serial killer the act of sex with spark something in him and he will become like his father. Needless to say this leads to quite a bit of angst between the two of them and I love how Connie handles it all. I actually love how Connie handles everything, she is a no nonsense, straight up girl and she calls Jazz on his bullshit at every turn. I love how strong she is, I mean you would have to be to get yourself mixed up with the Dent’s, right? We also have good old Howie along for the ride here and he adds some much needed comic relief to the novel. He is freaking hilarious! Every scene that he is in leads to at least a chuckle and now that he and Connie are closer we even get some witty banter between the two of them. What tops my list of favorite things with these novels though is the gore-filled twists and turns that lie within. GAME takes us to New York where the Hat-Dog Killer is on the loose. After his success taking down The Impressionist the NYPD wants Jazz on the scene so they can use him to get into the mind of the serial killer and catch him quickly. There were points in the novel where I felt like I had to stretch my imagination a bit to believe that the NYPD had really called in a teenaged boy and were showing him crime scene photos, suspect files, and taking him on a tour of crime scenes. I do think that Lyga did the best that he could to make it as believable as possible, but there was always that seed of doubt in the back of my mind scoffing at some of the stuff Jazz had access to. I think that I didn’t have the same problem with I Hunt Killers because it all took place in the small town of Lobo’s Nod and Jazz’s father was at the center of everything so the sheriff’s office going to him didn’t seem too out there in the setting. So stretch my my mind I did and getting lost in the story proved to be a lot of fun. I remember reading reviews of I Hunt Killers and them mentioning how gory it was, yet while I was reading it it didn’t feel overly so. I am a big horror movie/crime TV show fan so I think I kind of glaze over the gory details sometimes because I am just so used to them. But in this one I felt like the icky details were definitely amped up and it was more than welcome. There were a few times that I caught myself actually saying “ewwwww” out loud and re-reading the scene to take it all in. Definitely bring a strong stomach to the playing field with this one folks! With a cliffhanger that will have you wanting to throw your book out of anger this is a worthy followup in what is proving to be a fantastic series. I haven’t read anything quite like this within the YA genre and Barry Lyga is the sole author giving me hope for murder mysteries in this age group. He pushes the limits and has created some wonderfully twisted characters while at the same time ones who get you laughing at every turn. If you are a fan of whodunit stories this is a series that you definitely need to get going on because you don't want anything spoiled for you!An Advanced Reader's Copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.--You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.