December 26, 2012

Review of The Believing Game by Eireann Corrigan


A private academy. A cult leader. A girl caught in the middle.

After Greer Cannon discovers that shoplifting can be a sport and sex can be a superpower, her parents pack her up and send her off to McCracken Hill-a cloistered academy for troubled teens. At McCracken, Greer chafes under the elaborate systems and self-help lingo of therapeutic education. Then Greer meets Addison Bradley. A handsome, charismatic local, Addison seems almost as devoted to Greer as he is to the 12 steps. When he introduces Greer to his mentor Joshua, she finds herself captivated by the older man’s calm wisdom. Finally, Greer feels understood.

But Greer starts to question: Where has Joshua come from? What does he want in return for his guidance? The more she digs, the more his lies are exposed. When Joshua’s influence over Addison edges them all closer to danger, Greer decides to confront them both. Suddenly, she finds herself on the outside of Joshua’s circle. And swiftly, she discovers it’s not safe there.

add to goodreadsThe Believing Game by Eireann Corrigan
Publication Date:  December 4, 2012
Publisher:  Scholastic

Available for Purchase:
amazon / B&N / TBD / indiebound

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MaryAnn NewThe Believing Game takes place in a rehab facility for youth.  Within these walls, we are introduced to a group of characters who stand apart from each other.  All have been given life with their own personalities and quirks.  And all of them are equally unforgettable in this story.  We are driven deep in to the mind of these youngsters, and are given a glimpse of the actions it took for them to get to where they are now.

Enter the vulture…Joshua.  With the help of a fellow resident, Addison, he starts to build up his own little cult following, convincing these kids that the words he preaches speak the truth and that only he will be their salvation.  What a load of crap!  But to some of these kids, it’s Joshua’s words and gestures that give them something to hope for.

After a weekend “retreat”, Joshua unveils his evil master plan to his little band of followers, and the beginnings of doubt start to leak through in this group.  It’ll take more than just a few words to convince Addison that the person that he holds so high up on a pedestal is not whom he thinks he is.  And inorder to save him and their other friends, Greer and Sophia have taken it upon themselves to find the truth about Joshua before someone gets really hurt, or takes the road from which there is no return.

I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I started reading The Believing Game by Eireann Corrigan.  And to be perfectly honest, 100 pages into it, I still didn’t know how I felt about it!  There was so much preaching and biblical references in it that it was making my head spin, and quite frankly, was annoying me terribly.

But then…beyond all of that…I watched this story unfold.  This story that I didn’t think that I would even be able to finish.  For me, reading The Believing Game was like driving past a car accident…you just can’t help but look.  After all the moments that had me shaking my head, and wanting to pull out my hair with the actions that these characters were taking I became engrossed in the story.  I needed to find out how the heck this group of teens were going to dig themselves out of this hole that they’ve dug themselves into.

It had me really questioning how Greer, Addison, Sophia, Jared, and Wes were going to untangle themselves from this wicked web that has been weaved by the extremely convincing but very disturbed Joshua.  And then it had me step back and look at all the real life cults that exist and have existed in the reality, and how these madmen preyed on the weak and vulnerable.  And it also showed me how impressionable young minds can be.  Not only young minds, but minds of those who are at a vulnerable time in their life, and are easily swayed.

Strewn with sexual topics and other addictions, I wouldn’t recommend The Believing Game to younger readers.  As more of an older YA read, the topics discussed in the book are dark and very real.  With an ending that came out of nowhere, readers who are very much into psychological reads will come to enjoy The Believing Game by Eireann Corrigan, or for those who are curious to see how the beginnings of a cult could manifest.

About the Author:


Eireann Corrigan was born in 1977. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and New York University. She currently lives in New Jersey with her kitten Sumo. When she grows up, she hopes to marry Bob Dylan.



  1. Cassie @ Knows Prose

    I’m a fan of stories with a strong psychology behind them, so I think I’ll have to check this one out. Would you call it a horror though? The cover screams horror to me, which makes me hesitate…

  2. Chapter by Chapter

    Definitely not horror =)

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