cover image The Rumor Game

The Rumor Game

Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra. Disney-Hyperion, $18.99 (480p) ISBN 978-1-368-01414-4

Once-popular Bryn Colburn’s start to her senior year of high school has been the opposite of stellar after a bad breakup over the summer led to a car accident. Now viewed as a “trashy white girl,” she stands to lose her student body president status at Washington, D.C.’s Foxham Preparatory Academy as well as her Black best friend, vice president and cheer captain Cora Davidson, whose boyfriend was injured in the accident. Bryn’s Desi neighbor Jashan “Georgie” Khalra’s start isn’t any less difficult: after being forced to spend the summer at a weight loss camp, Georgie is determined to start over as a new person. When Bryn suggests that she and Georgie attend Cora’s first party, Georgie is excited—a feeling that’s shattered when someone later circulates an image of Georgie and Cora’s boyfriend heading upstairs at the party, and a series of vicious rumors begins to snowball way past anyone’s control. Trickery and pettiness abound in this gripping, Gossip Girl–leaning novel told in the three teens’ alternating voices. Evaluating the role social media can play in conflict, this page-turner by previous collaborators Clayton and Charaipotra (the Tiny Pretty Things series) keenly addresses the ways that damaging information can affect individuals based on intersections of beauty, gender, race, and other factors of privilege. Ages 14–up. Agent (for Clayton and Charaipotra): Victoria Marini, Irene Goodman. (Mar.)