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cmh Cross My Heart, Hope to Die (TLG #5) by Sara Shepard | Rating: ★★★★★

“The best you can do is be honest with the people you love and hope that they’ll care enough about you to listen.”

I’ve been sitting here for a while trying to figure out how I want to start my review for Cross My Heart, Hope to Die. I’m still horribly intrigued and HEARTBROKEN. Sara Shepard, how could you do this to me? Better yet, how can I continue to let her plots fuck me up?

If anyone knows the answer, let me know. I guess I just like the pain, he-he. Anyhow, we are nearing the end of The Lying Game series and I’m going to be so sad to say goodbye to the characters. I’m nowhere near ready, yet incredibly ready at the same time. I need answers!

Emma Paxton has transformed herself into a grand impersonator of her long lost and tragically dead twin sister, Sutton Mercer, and has been walking in the girls luxurious shoes for months. So far, she has convinced her sisters friends and family that she is Sutton; but things are growing more and more tricky.

Emma’s gig is almost up and her life is thrown in jeopardy once more–you can feel her getting closer to solving Sutton’s murder and know that things will be heating up fast. And now, a new girl at school somehow is able to see right through who she is.

Or can she?

Emma learns more and more about Sutton’s life, finds herself questioning new suspects and discovering some more information on her mother, Becky. She grows closer to Nisha; Sutton’s one-time enemy and with the girls of The Lying Game, they pull an unforgettable prank on the new girl.

We see her exploring her family history as she attempts to figure out what’s wrong, exactly, with Becky and–oh my–the possibility that someone else is lying to her in her life. She can’t help but to wonder if Sutton, perhaps, knew too much and was killed because of it.

When a death shakes Emma’s life once more, she can’t help but wonder if the killer is far more out of control than she thought. Nisha is found dead one morning, a heartbreaking blow to both Emma and Laurel, and foul play is suspected–and in the hours leading up to her death, Nisha had something she needed to tell Emma.

But what? It’s obvious that Nisha stole a file from her fathers office and paid the price–was it about Becky, the Mercers, the killer or someone else entirely? Her death haunts Emma and causes her to be more determined to bring the killer to justice–first Sutton and now Nisha.

I’m very, very bummed that Nisha had to die. It’s one of the most heartbreaking moments of the story; aside from the main mystery of Sutton’s murder. I’m still tearing up a little bit at her death.

And worst of all…

Emma could very well be next. Especially if her cover is blown. She feels the pressure as questions arise and everything seems to eat her alive. Emma feels grateful, however, that she at least has Ethan in her life–the one person, besides the killer, who knows she isn’t Sutton.


Sara Shepard reveals quite a lot, including pieces of Sutton’s memories, at a slow but satisfying pace as we can’t help but to continue and wonder: who killed Sutton? It’s an extremely light but suspenseful read and we are able to check off suspects within the final pages.

My favorite parts? Thayer. God, I love Thayer. Truly, I do. Aside from Emma and Laurel, I think Thayer is definitely my favorite character. Then again, I love all the girls too: the Twitter Twins, Mads, Char and Nisha. Sara brings to life a great batch of characters that just mix perfectly with each other and seem so, so alive.

And I really, really enjoyed the scene where the girls pull their pranks; as usual it adds a light and teasing tone to the story. I was thrilled to see Nisha included in this and how easily she meshed with the other girls. I only wish we had more Mads and Char in this one–or maybe a spin-off.

Coughs. That's a hint, Sara.

Anyways, The Lying Game series is reminiscent of a soap opera–good old shallow mysteries. Lois Duncan meets Zoey Dean and Cecily von Ziegesar. The stage is set for what’s to come in the promised action-packed finale; time is running out and the stakes are higher than ever.

We’re near the end.

Will Emma solve the mystery or pay the price?

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