‘The Rumor Game’ deserves a TV adaptation immediately


Photo courtesy of Goodreads

“The Rumor Game” by Dhionelle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra was released in March 2022.

Book 38 for the year was a good one to say the least. “The Rumor Game”— by Dhionelle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra — is a Young Adult (YA) thriller novel written from the points of view (POV) of three different characters. As this book just came out, this will be a non-spoiler review.

The book is promoted as a “diverse Gossip Girl” and it definitely lives up to that. The plot follows the three main characters, Bryn, Georgie and Cora as they try to figure out who is making up rumors about them — trying to ruin their senior year of high school. The plot has many layers to it as we learn so much about the world and other characters the further we read from each character. 

This book is packed with many diverse characters — main and supporting. Georgie is an Indian girl, and Cora is a Black girl. Both characters shed light on dealing with racism in this environment. We see racial diversity, body diversity and different sexualities in this book. 

Complex. Characters. I don’t know how else to describe our main trio. They’re not necessarily likable or unlikeable in my mind, and I think that was intentional. Each character has things that I can relate to, but also say and do things that I hope I never do. Each character has a different background that leads them all into the path that this story takes, and it’s too addicting to put down. 

My favorite character has to be Georgie. There’s something about the way she was written that makes her feel authentic. She has her ups and downs, like any teenager — that struggle to be perfect, but also wanting to be seen. I feel like that’s something a lot of people can relate to. I loved reading her POV because she felt so real. 

This book tackles many serious topics, such as self harm, racism, sexual abuse and fatphobia. These are handled in a way that doesn’t feel cheesy or over the top, but realistic and informative. I learned so much from this book. The way Cora talks about herself and her experience of being the Black girl in high school was so relatable. Getting to that part in Georgie’s story almost made me cry when I read it. 

The one thing that all of the main trio has in common is the struggle of being the perfect daughter. As they each belong to rich DC families, as well as different cultural backgrounds, we see each of the three struggle with trying to be “perfect.” 

Georgie’s main arc revolved around trying to be enough for her parents. Cora struggles with her parents favoring her twin sister, Millie. Bryn struggles with trying to get her reputation back after it is tarnished by the incident of the previous summer. This incident was the main driving force of the story, and made reading Bryn’s POV very interesting. 

The plot twist! I’m mad at myself for not catching onto it earlier. This book takes a huge dive with a plot twist that made me stop so I could process it. 

One thing I really enjoyed about this book was that it realistically captures the struggles of high school — especially as a girl — in the age of social media. There’s something for everyone to relate to in this book. I mainly identified with Cora. It felt like she was mirroring parts of my high school experience, even though I was nowhere near popular. If anything I was the Bryn of my high school in terms of social order. 

This was an addicting read from start to finish, and perfect for those who like drama and mystery. It’s something I would love to be turned into a TV series. I desperately need to see these characters brought to life on screen. 

Rating: 5/5 stars