cover image This Gorgeous Game

This Gorgeous Game

Donna Freitas, FSG/Foster, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-374-31472-9

Can gratitude become a form of entrapment? At what point does affection become obsession? Can a highly respected adult always be trusted? These are some of the weighty questions addressed in PW contributor Freitas's (The Possibilities of Sainthood) emotionally taut second young adult novel, which traces a Catholic teenager's loss of innocence. Olivia is ecstatic when she wins a writing contest sponsored by Fr. Mark Brendan, a renowned novelist. She basks in the attention and compliments the priest lavishes on her, until his demands to meet with him, attend functions, and read his new story become unreasonable, consuming her time and thoughts and tearing her from her friends and family. Her victimization is chillingly evoked through an intimate first-person narrative that expresses her feelings of suffocation ("I am locked in the center of a Father Mark triangle, walls all around me, and him everywhere I turn"). Young women who have found themselves the object of obsession will relate to the protagonist's ordeal and be inspired by her decision to speak out no matter the consequences. Ages 12–up. (June)