THE RUMOR GAME, by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra, Disney-Hyperion, March 1, 2022, Hardcover, $18.99 (young adult, ages 14 and up)
Lives are turned upside down at a school where rumors run rampant in The Rumor Game, by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra.
At Foxham Prep, a posh private school for the children of DC’s elite, a single rumor has the power to ruin a life.
Nobody knows that better than Bryn. She used to have it all ― the perfect boyfriend, a bright future in politics, and even popularity thanks to her best friend, cheer captain Cora. Then one mistake sparked a scandal that burned it all to the ground.
Now it’s the start of a new school year and the spotlight has shifted: It’s geeky Georgie, newly hot after a summer makeover, whose name is on everyone’s lips. When a rumor ignites, Georgie rockets up the school’s social hierarchy, pitting her and Cora against each other. It grants her Foxham stardom . . . but it also makes her a target.
As the rumors grow and morph, blazing like wildfire through the school’s social media, all three girls’ lives begin to unravel. But one person close to the drama has the power to stop the gossip in its tracks. The question is ― do they even want to? —Synopsis provided by Disney-Hyperion
The Rumor Game scared the crap out of me. As a parent, it makes me never, ever want to give my kid a phone and to ban all social media. It also made me extremely grateful I attended high school before social media was a thing.
High school is a place of social status, rumors and bullying. It has been for years. But it feels like technology has amped it all up. The Rumor Game shows step-by-step how it goes down at Foxham Prep. You see how messages morph and rumors beget rumors.
The three main characters — Bryn, Georgie and Cora — all feel a bit shallow, at least initially. Though not particularly likeable, there’s something to each one that makes you want to know what makes them tick.
In addition to bullying and shaming, drinking and partying are prevalent throughout The Rumor Game. And though not graphic, there are instances of nudity and allusions to sexual abuse. It is not appropriate for younger readers.
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