Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Release Date: May 25, 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?I cannot begin to describe the powerful emotion that this book holds. Between that and the beautiful, almost poetic way that Freitas writes, This Gorgeous Game left me completely stunned.
Father Mark Brendan, Olivia’s favorite author and literary hero whom had picked her as the winning entry for a high school fiction contest, is one of the most scariest villains I’ve ever read; partly because he’s not really a villain. He’s terrifying because he’s real. His actions and emotions are real, and while it’s clear that his focus is not to harm Olivia, we’re sent on an intense thrill-ride as she unravels a slightly darker side to a man who has always been so bright.
The book has quite a few references to religion, but it didn’t make me squirm like it usually does. Religion plays an important part in this story; how a man of faith, put up on such a high pedestal of morals, is capable of stirring up such fear makes him all the more scary.
While I think the ending was a bit dull for the dramatic build of the rest of the novel, I absolutely loved This Gorgeous Game. Olivia’s story conveys that monsters and murderers and nightmares aren’t the only things capable of getting under your skin; sometimes that kind of fear can be closer than you think. I definitely recommend this to everyone interested in an intense read!