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This Gorgeous Game Hardcover – May 25, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 920L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374314721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374314729
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,567,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—Seventeen-year-old Olivia wins a prestigious award that includes the opportunity to attend a writing workshop at the local Catholic university taught by a successful novelist whom she idolizes. Olivia is thrilled: her dreams of being a writer are becoming a reality. While basking in Father Mark's attention, she becomes uneasy as his actions become more pervasive and possessive. Caught by her awe of him both as an author and a priest, she questions her own discomfort as the emails, texts, and requests for her time and attention leave her confused, secretive, and defensive. Hiding this predicament from her family and friends is further complicated by her attraction to a fellow student. Throughout Olivia's story, Freitas alludes to actual events in 1966 when Catholic priest Thomas Merton fell in love with a student nurse assigned to his care. Freitas has skillfully woven Merton's reflections of his historically documented "gorgeous game" into her fictitious exploration of the effect of stalking, as told through a series of Olivia's writing exercises. A nun helps her realize that she can't and shouldn't have to face this problem alone. With the support of close friends and Sister June, Olivia is able to confront the situation. This novel will resonate with teens who struggle with what appear to be impossible situations and come to terms with the desire to receive attention however unwanted it may be. The message that stalking is not the fault of the victim is especially important.—Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Seventeen-year-old Olivia is a writer so good she is chosen by popular priest and best-selling author Father Mark to be the recipient of the Emerging Writers High School Fiction prize. In addition to $10,000 and being published, the accolade means she will also have a spot in his university summer fiction seminar. Olivia is elated, and when Father Mark shows real interest in her writing, she feels chosen in all sorts of ways. But having Father Mark’s attention is a mixed blessing. Meetings, calls, and text messages begin to take over her life. Olivia doesn’t know how to extricate herself or even if she should. Perhaps because there are relatively few scenes between the two, Father Mark sometimes seems more like a caricature than a character. However, Freitas, author of the successful debut The Possibilities of Sainthood (2009), deftly catches the claustrophobia, uncertainty, and self-doubt that come with an obsessive relationship. The interwoven comparisons to Thomas Merton’s affair with a young woman add heft to this fast, chilling read. Grades 9-12. --Ilene Cooper

More About the Author

Donna Freitas is the author of both fiction and nonfiction. Over the years she has written for national newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street Journal,The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and Newsweek. Donna has been a professor at Boston University in the Department of Religion and also at Hofstra University in their Honors College. She writes children's novels for Scholastic, Harper Collins, and FSG, and she loves it very much! Donna splits her time between Brooklyn, NY and Barcelona, Spain.

Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/donnafreitas
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/donnafreitasofficial

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down.
Deborah
That will never change unless we chose to understand it and take action.
Carolyn Ruch
The ending of this book left too many questions in its wake.
Ashleigh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Reeves VINE VOICE on November 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
3.5 Stars - From the beginning of This Gorgeous Game right through to the end, it had creepy written all over it. It's a story about our main character, Olivia and the horrible events she faces at the hands of someone she trusts - a famous writer who just happens to be Priest. I was extremely thankful that Freitas didn't write a graphic story of abuse; however she was able to get across to me as a reader just how horrible things were between this teenage girl and her mentor.

The story is written well in the fact that it shows how Olivia works her way through the various emotions of shock, disbelief, depression, isolation and anger as she tried to figure out just what was wrong. It was at times hard to read because as a person viewing it from the outside in I could see things going wrong rather quickly and found myself frustrated with Olivia's actions. However frustrating it might be, it was written pretty accurately, especially when it comes to the shock and confusion that Olivia went though.

Don't let the content of this book detour you from reading. As powerful as it is with the events that happen, the overall outcome and how Olivia fights back is well worth the emotional ride you have to first take to get there. Freitas has taken such a controversial subject, especially when writing about abuse at the hands of a Priest, and written a story that'll stick with you after reading. I'll be on the look out for books from Donna Freitas in the future.

For more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - [...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joanne on September 14, 2013
Vowing to fulfill a new years resolution to try new genres and to try electronic media, I randomly picked The Gorgeous Game. I was surprised how quickly I became absorbed into the story. The narration was so realistic that I forgot at times that this was a piece of literature and not a person talking to me face to face. I was so impressed with this book and the narrator that I will certainly try more. I am glad I fulfilled this resolution this year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kate B. VINE VOICE on August 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This Gorgeous Game is a chilling look at a serious situation, stalking. Olivia Peters lives, breathes, and eats writing. She loves it to her core. So when she has the opportunity to work with her literary idol, Father Mark, she is beyond ecstatic. But what Olivia thinks is a dream opportunity slowly turns into a living nightmare.

This Gorgeous Game was a novel that is full of potential. Freitas does a marvelous job at creating a likable character and a horrible villain. And when I say horrible... I really want to put that into capital letters. He is one of those kinda guys that just makes you feel grossed out. One of those that if you touch his hand, you have to wash it right after. At first, I was unsure how to proceed with a novel that made me feel so strongly about its villain. But after finishing the novel, I have to say that it is a nice touch. It really makes you connect more with Olivia, and have strong emotional reaction to the novel.

While the novel was definitely eye-opening, I did have a slight issue with the depth of the novel. There is plenty of suspense and action, but the novel never really goes deeper than that. It is almost like everything was surface level. And it might sound strange seeing that I absolutely despised Father Mark, but I wanted, in a weird way, to know more about him. His thought process. Why he is doing what he is doing. Simple little questions that would have not necessarily humanized him, but made it easier to understand.

All in all, This Gorgeous Game is a thought provoking novel. One that really opened my eyes to the process of stalking and the emotional effects that it can have on the victims. Very intriguing novel. But also one that left me a little wanting in the answers department.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By brandileigh2003 on November 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a very emotional story, and I really felt for Olivia. I really appreciate what the author was trying to do, but I think that it could have been executed better. I feel like it was dragging some and Olivia's thoughts were become repetitive in the middle.
This Gorgeous Game has a very compelling premise, it makes you want to know how something like this can escalate, and how you can find yourself in this situation. The answer little by little, and looking over things that you should not have. Olivia got herself in deep by inching forward and didn't realize when the bottom dropped out on her. She was afraid to get help for obvious reasons, but luckily she finally did.
The supporting cast is good, I liked Jamie and her friends, but I think they could have been a bit more developed.
I feel like I am nit picking though. This really was a great story, and I would recommend it if you like dark and edgy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Deborah VINE VOICE on September 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Wow. Seriously, this story was just...wow. Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down. I was reading this book while eating at a restaurant by myself and I ate my food slowly because I didn't want to get up and interrupt my reading. I don't think I've ever read a book like this before. It's an uncomfortable read. You are not going to walk away from this book feeling happy go lucky. But you will be moved.

Olivia is a high school student who's just won a prestigious writing award and will get to study with a famous author mentor. She's very excited about this and is the envy of everyone else. However after a few meetings with Father Mark, her attitude begins to change. Unfortunately she can't confide in anyone else. That was the scary part for me. To think that she felt so helpless and no one could understand or believe what she was going through. It's scary to think that an adult in a position like Father Mark uses his power to act this way. While this book does make one uncomfortable, there are never any graphic scenes in the book. Sometimes, just power and mind tricks can be more scarier than physical acts. The story is written extremely well and is from Olivia's point of view so the reader experiences everything, every emotion, every feeling directly from her.

The only qualm I had was that we're never really clear as to what happens to out Father Mark. The reader is never told exactly what Olivia did in revealing the truth to the authorities. Of course we can speculate and it is obvious that she did tell. I personally would have liked him to have died a horrible, painful death for all the trauma that he has inflicted on Olivia. The scary part is that she was probably not the first one who had to go through this and will probably not be the last one.
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