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The Believing Gameby Eireann Corrigan
Synopses & Reviews
A private academy. A cult leader. A girl caught in the middle.
After Greer Cannon discovers that shoplifting can be a sport and sex can be a superpower, her parents pack her up and send her off to McCracken Hill-a cloistered academy for troubled teens. At McCracken, Greer chafes under the elaborate systems and self-help lingo of therapeutic education. Then Greer meets Addison Bradley. A handsome, charismatic local, Addison seems almost as devoted to Greer as he is to the 12 steps. When he introduces Greer to his mentor Joshua, she finds herself captivated by the older man's calm wisdom. Finally, Greer feels understood.
But Greer starts to question: Where has Joshua come from? What does he want in return for his guidance? The more she digs, the more his lies are exposed. When Joshua's influence over Addison edges them all closer to danger, Greer decides to confront them both. Suddenly, she finds herself on the outside of Joshua's circle. And swiftly, she discovers it's not safe there.
"Corrigan (Accomplice) tackles cult thinking, dysfunction, and addiction as a charismatic and manipulative man works his way into the lives of troubled teenagers. When caught shoplifting for the third time, high school junior Greer is sent by her parents to McCracken Hill, a boarding school for addicts and wealthy juvenile offenders. When Greer becomes involved with magnetically popular Addison, a recovering alcoholic, she also gets swept up in the machinations of his mentor, Joshua, an older counselor and savvy puppeteer who cons the vulnerable group of friends into following his often bizarre and exploitative credos. Though the eclectic cast is a strong point, some exposition about cults, addiction, eating disorders, and shoplifting crosses into didactic territory. Much of the psychology rests on the appeal of Joshua, yet his menacing and unsavory nature may not persuade all readers that he could attract these acolytes in the first place. Regardless, Corrigan again presents darkly disturbing insight into the teenage psyche, while exploring how entering relationships without a sense of self-worth can lead to destruction. Ages 13 — 18. (Dec.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Eireann Corrigan is the author of the poetry memoir You Remind Me of You, and the novels Splintering, Ordinary Ghosts, and Accomplice, which Publishers Weekly called "haunting and provocative" in a starred review. She lives in New Jersey.
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