More Teen Books Turned into TV Shows

December 4th, 2011 Posted in Book adaptation, Fiction, Kelly, TV v. Book, Young Adult

When I read a New York Times article about Leslie Morgenstein and Alloy Entertainment’s packaged book series being turned into TV shows, I decided to pick up two books mentioned in the article: The first book in the Lying Game series and the Nine Lives of Chloe King. Earlier, we reviewed the Secret Circle on this blog, as the dormant title was recently adapted into a TV show starring Britt Robertson.


The Lying Game

The Lying Game the novel starts with a teenage girl, Emma. Abandoned by her mother, Emma now lives in a decent foster home and she’s focused working her part-time job and doing well in school. Her foster brother undermines her, and ends up showing her a snuff-like video featuring whom he assumes is Emma.

It’s not.

Emma does research and discovers the actual star of the video: Sutton Mercer. They look exactly alike and have the same birthday. She contacts Sutton, and gets a reply inviting her to Tuscan.

When Emma shows up, excited to meet her twin, she’s manipulated into playing Sutton. The real Sutton has been murdered, and no one believes Emma when she tells the truth. Now Emma’s life is at stake as she has to pretend to be her sister while staying ahead of the unknown person who murdered her sister and won’t hesitate to kill again.

Oh, and the novel is partially narrated by Sutton from beyond the grave.

The Lying Game is a fun read, both entertaining and compelling. It’s easy to fly through the pages, seeing what’s going to happen to Emma next. As a character, Emma is easy to like because she’s essentially a nice person. Her twin, Sutton, is an interesting contrast because she’s clearly troubled despite her affluent childhood with loving adoptive parents.

The novel is clearly part of a series, and leaves a lot of plot points hanging so the reader will want to read the next in the four-book series.


The Nine Lives of Chloe King

The Nine Lives of Chloe King is a trilogy of three novels. Teenage Chloe lives with her mother in San Francisco. She’s carved out a high school niche for herself as a good student with two close friends. She’s not popular, but she’s not an outcast. She works in a vintage clothing store, gets along decently with her adopted mother, and all-in-all, she lives a normal existence… until she develops cat-like superpowers. Now she’s thrust into the middle of a conflict between humans who want Chloe’s race, the Mai, eliminated, and her own people.

When I picked up The Nine Lives of Chloe King, I didn’t realize I’d picked up a compilation of all three novels in the trilogy and so I read the entire series. Chloe is a likable character, and the book relies enough on Egyptian mythology to craft a strong premise without going overboard. Like the Lying Game, this was a fun, easy read and Chloe’s personal journey and sacrifices are well done. The values behind the series are strong. Chloe is honest and while she isn’t perfect and makes a few bad decisions, she also learns from her mistakes. She learns to value her adoptive mother and isn’t afraid to stand up for what’s right.

TV Shows

I can see why both shows were made into TV shows. (Note: I haven’t watched either.) The Lying Game makes good frothy TV for teens although I know the premise was changed because the creators weren’t sure a dead teen narrator would be acceptable to most TV watchers. This definitely changes the story line, since a big part of the first novel is Emma’s fumbling journey as Sutton, made especially hard by Sutton’s mean-girl lifestyle.

The Nine Lives of Chloe King ticks the currently popular paranormal box, and it has a mix of forbidden romance, teen discovering she has super powers and is destined to save her people, and a sense of humor. The TV show didn’t it make it past one season, and I could see the three novels making a decent movie or mini-series.




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