Published by Farrar Straus & Giroux (BYR) on May 25th 2010
Olivia Peters is over the moon when her literary idol, the celebrated novelist and much adored 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.
This Gorgeous Game is a chilling look at a serious situation, stalking. Olivia Peters lives, breathes, and eats writing. She loves it to her core. So when she has the opportunity to work with her literary idol, Father Mark, she is beyond ecstatic. But what Olivia thinks is a dream opportunity slowly turns into a living nightmare.
This Gorgeous Game was a novel that is full of potential. Freitas does a marvelous job at creating a likable character and a horrible villain. And when I say horrible… I really want to put that into capital letters. He is one of those kinda guys that just makes you feel grossed out. One of those that if you touch his hand, you have to wash it right after. At first, I was unsure how to proceed with a novel that made me feel so strongly about its villain. But after finishing the novel, I have to say that it is a nice touch. It really makes you connect more with Olivia, and have strong emotional reaction to the novel.
While the novel was definitely eye-opening, I did have a slight issue with the depth of the novel. There is plenty of suspense and action, but the novel never really goes deeper than that. It is almost like everything was surface level. And it might sound strange seeing that I absolutely despised Father Mark, but I wanted, in a weird way, to know more about him. His thought process. Why he is doing what he is doing. Simple little questions that would have not necessarily humanized him, but made it easier to understand.
All in all, This Gorgeous Game is a thought provoking novel. One that really opened my eyes to the process of stalking and the emotional effects that it can have on the victims. Very intriguing novel. But also one that left me a little wanting in the answers department.