The Lying Game #3: Two Truths and a Lie

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My killer is out there.

And my sister might be next.

Two months before I died, my best friend’s brother disappeared. I have no idea where Thayer went or why he left, but I know it’s my fault. I did a lot of horrible things while I was alive, things that made people hate me, maybe even enough to kill me.

Desperate to solve my murder, my long-lost twin, Emma, is pretending to be me and unraveling the many mysteries I left behind—my cryptic journal, my tangled love life, the dangerous Lying Game pranks I played. She’s uncovered my friends’ darkest secrets, but she’s never had the chance to dig into Thayer’s past—until now.

Thayer’s back and Emma has to move fast to figure out if he’s after revenge . . . or if he’s already gotten it.

From Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars books, comes a riveting series about secrets, lies, and killer consequences.

Curriculet Details
55 Questions
58 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 9-10 grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining figurative language such as similes, characterization techniques and structural techniques such as flashbacks. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about the components of a mystery and videos that help readers contrast the book and the television show. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of character motivation, literary device identification, and analysis of textual evidence. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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Prologue: An Unwanted Visitor

As the narrator catches you up on the action, Sutton uses a wonderful simile to reveal to you that she is an unreliable witness to her own life. Don't know what similes are? Watch this video below for more details.  (This annotation contains a video)

1 She’s Seen Him

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What does the highlighted text reveal about Sutton as a narrator? 
If you haven't read any other books in this series, you should know that Madeline is Thayer's sister and one of Sutton's best friends. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What does the highlighted sentence reveal about Thayer and Sutton's past? 
The point of view in this novel is very interesting. We have Sutton's ghost, a first person narrator who can hear Emma's thoughts but is unreliable. Next, we have Emma, who narrates in third person limited style. Don't know much about point of view? Watch the video below for more details.  (This annotation contains a video)
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How does Laurel feel about Thayer, based on the highlighted text? 
Rather than spelling out everything that has happened in the last two books, the author is using the technique of flashback to let you know what has happened before.  

2 A Boy Named Trouble

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Explain who Garrett is, using at least two pieces of textual evidence. 
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up? 
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Which of the following is NOT a reason Mr. Mercer gives for forbidding Laurel and Emma to see Thayer? 
Like the previous books in the series, this book is a mystery. Watch the video to find out more about the mystery genre.  (This annotation contains a video)

3 Everyone Loves a Poet

Often, an author will ask readers to "read between the lines" and infer information, rather than spelling it out. See below for more information about inferences.  (This annotation contains a video)
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How does this chapter demonstrate the difference between Sutton and Emma? 
The author is using imagery to help you imagine this scene. See the video below to learn more about imagery.  (This annotation contains a video)

4 Homecoming Hangover

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Name two pieces of textual evidence that prove Emma's statement about the place looking "hungover." 
Here is more evidence that Emma and Sutton are very different. 
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Using what you can infer from evidence, how can you tell that Madeline is upset? 
All mysteries give you clues, some of which are important to the mystery, and others which are dead ends. Clues that are not helpful are called red herrings. See below for more information about this literary device. Much like the title, this book contains both truth and lies. It is up to you, the reader, to determine which "fact" is actually a lie.  (This annotation contains a video)

5 Game, Set, Outmatched

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Why is Nisha not a suspect in Sutton's murder? 
How will the students react if they find out Emma went to the police station? 
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How does this paragraph support the idea that Sutton is an unreliable narrator? 

6 Little Emma in the Big Woods

Again, the author uses a flashback to tell the reader what occurred in earlier novels. See below for more information on flashback.  (This annotation contains a video)
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Explain in your own words why the highlighted text is a good example of imagery. 
Could this be another red herring? 
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What evidence points to the fact that Thayer was with Sutton when she died? 
The chapter ending this way lets you know that the following chapter will be a flashback. 

7 Night Hiking

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What does the conversation between Sutton and Thayer reveal? Use evidence from the text to support your response. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
Which sentence is the best example of imagery? 
This simile should help you imagine how Thayer feels about Garrett. 
Did you know there's a show called The Lying Game? The plot and characters are typically very different from the book, but occasionally there are overlaps. Watch this scene between Thayer and Emma, and see if you can see any similarities between this Thayer and the one in book.  (This annotation contains a video)
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What is one similarity between the Thayer in the television show and the Thayer in the book? 

8 What Now?

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Why does Emma call Ethan? 
Never heard of the Ramones? Watch this video clip to hear some of their music.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
Look up the word "incredulous" using Curriculet's dictionary function. Which definition best matches its use in the sentence? 

9 Starstruck

Sutton has the latest and greatest everything. Below, you can see an image of this type of laptop.  (This annotation contains an image)
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What is one way that Emma and Sutton's lives are different, based on evidence from the text? 
Mrs. Mercer obviously cares about Sutton. Would she still care if she knew that Emma was impersonating her daughter? 
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Explain in your own words why Emma feels she cannot tell Mrs. Mercer about Sutton. 

10 Gonna Getcha

Do you think that Sutton would put up with students laughing at her? 
Details like this help you imagine the setting, in the Arizona desert. See below for a picture of desert flowers.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Which girl suggested pranking Ethan, and what was her motivation?  
Quiz 1 

11 Party of Four

Sometimes, the dictionary will not tell you the meaning of words. You must use context clues to determine what a word means if a dictionary won't help. See below to get help, so you can figure out what "bury the hatchet" means.  (This annotation contains a video)
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Use the dictionary function and write a sentence that demonstrates you understand the meaning of the word "trilled" as it is used in the sentence. 
Until she met Sutton's family, Emma had never visited fancy restaurants. See an image below for what this restaurant might look like. (This annotation contains an image)
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What does Mrs. Mercer's question reveal about Sutton? 

12 I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

In previous novels, it has been revealed that Sutton often abandoned Laurel. 
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To which famous piece of literature is the highlighted text referring? 
Like any mystery, the list of suspects can grow based on circumstantial evidence. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
Use textual evidence to describe Sutton's character. 
Part of what makes this series so interesting is the internal conflict Emma faces when she must pretend to be Sutton. Not sure what internal conflict is? See below for more information.  (This annotation contains a video)
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What evidence does Emma NOT use to determine that Thayer and Sutton had a secret relationship? 

13 Love, S.

Note the simile here and ask yourself: why is Laurel so angry with Emma? 
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Laurel asks Emma to get Thayer out of jail. How does Laurel most probably feel about Thayer, based on how she has acted so far? 
Ethan's room reflects nothing of the character he has shown Emma so far. What else might he be hiding? 
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What does Ethan say might be Thayer's motivation for killing Sutton? 
Depending on location, laws vary for including DNA in a database. See below for one variation of DNA sample collection.  (This annotation contains a video)

14 If the Key Fits

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Compare Sutton and Emma. What is one way in which they are similar? 
Here is another example of internal conflict. Emma has to decide if she will tell Alex the truth. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
Which literary device is evident in the highlighted text? 

15 Project: Run Away

Never seen a dress form? Check out the image below. (This annotation contains an image)
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What is the major difference between an investigative journalist and Emma's actual life, according to Emma? 
Because Thayer is in jail, his chances at a good future might be over. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.5
What details about the setting might cause Emma to feel anxious? 
See below for an idea of what a beehive hairdo looks like in an image of Nicki Minaj.  (This annotation contains an image)
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What type of conflict is revealed here? 

16 The Makeup

Imagery seems to ooze off the page here. Have you ever had a soft pretzel? See below for an image.  (This annotation contains an image)
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Which sentence adds an ominous note to this happy scene? (Don't forget, you can look up any word in our dictionary, including ones from the question)  
The author is always careful to contrast the difference between Emma and Sutton's upbringing.  
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What evidence does Emma use to decide that Laurel is still mad at her? 

17 The False Bottom

In this story thus far, just as in the previous stories, Nisha is a static character. See below for more details about static characters, as well as their opposing dynamic character types.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
Based on the highlighted text, what is one difference between Sutton and Emma? 
Remember that Emma is looking for a place that Sutton kept letters from Thayer. Could this be the place? 
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Who might Charlotte be talking about in the letter? Make a prediction, based on evidence from the text. Include at least one detail to support your response. 

18 Visitor for Vega

There are many ways that authors help you to decide what characters are like. Two types of characterization are indirect and direct. Watch this video to determine the difference, and decide for yourself what type of person Emma is and how you know.  (This annotation contains a video)
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Why is the highlighted text an example of flashback? 
Quite often authors end chapters with cliffhanging sentences or fragments, designed to ratchet up the tension and make you eager to read on. We know, based on clues, that what follows must be an example of flashback, too. 

19 Catch Me If You Can

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As Sutton runs from Thayer, she is given a clue that lets the reader know that Thayer may not be guilty of killing her. What is it? 

20 Blood Doesn’t Lie

Tucson gets an average of 11 inches of rain a year. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Which of the following is NOT a reason Emma uses to convince herself that Thayer is Sutton's killer? 
Notice the internal conflict here, as Emma questions her own motives in not stopping the prank. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.5
Which of the following conflicts is evident in the highlighted text? 
Quiz 2 

21 Mother Knows Best

This paragraph clarifies Emma's motivation. Through her thoughts and through indirect characterization, we know that Emma is tenacious.  
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Based on the exchange between Mrs. Mercer and Emma, what will Emma most likely do next? 

22 Seek and Ye Shall Find

As you read this story, see if you can decide who makes the better friend: Emma or Madeline. 
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What does this exchange reveal about Sutton? 
Wondering what Sutton's car might have looked like? Check out this video of a vintage Volvo, and imagine it is green.  (This annotation contains a video)
This paper is either a clue, or a red herring. We won't know till the end of the story which one it is. 

23 The Psychopath Test

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What evidence does Emma use to determine Sheldon Rose the paper might belong to? 
Emma may have changed, making her a dynamic character, but the reason for her change is benign. Emma is still trying to solve Sutton's murder. 

24 Who Do You Think You Are?

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The highlighted text is an example of which type of literary device? 
Use indirect characterization to determine what the author is not directly saying about Ethan's feelings for Sutton. 
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Using the dictionary definition function, which word is the best synonym for "incredulously," as it is used in the sentence? 

25 Sound the Alarm

Here is another example of how Sutton and Emma are different, for those who have read the previous books. Sutton frequently left Laurel without a ride, and felt no remorse. 
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Contrast Charlotte's home life to that of Emma's childhood, using at least two pieces of textual evidence. 
It seems even ghosts can be considered dynamic characters, as Sutton demonstrates here. 
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How does this chapter demonstrate that Emma is a dynamic character? 

26 Foreclosed but Not Forgotten

Do you find it strange that we have never met Ethan's mother? 
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Which of the following details does NOT add to the tension of this scene? 
At this point, the tension is huge. What is going to happen? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What is the actual prank? 

27 One Flew the Coop

Using indirect characterization, the author reminds us that Emma is a rule follower. How difficult it must be to pretend to be Sutton, the ultimate rule breaker. 
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What type of characterization is evidenced in the highlighted text? 
Because the next scene is obviously going to be a flashback to Sutton's life, it will also most probably provide a great example of dramatic irony. See below for more details and be prepared to look for the irony.  (This annotation contains a video)

28 We All Fall Down

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Explain in your own words why this scene is a great example of dramatic irony. 
Even though in the last book it was revealed that Laurel had an alibi on the night of Sutton's death, she was obviously not at the party all night. 

29 Like Poison

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Which of the following is NOT something Laurel thinks is Emma's fault? 
As Laurel fills in the blanks about that night, Emma realizes she has to begin again. Who could have possibly killed Sutton, if not Thayer? 

30 Cheese, Milk, and Ex-Cons

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What does the shopping list reveal about Grandma Mercer? 
In addition to paper notes, Sutton and Thayer had secret email correspondence. It's sad that Emma can't tell him the truth about Sutton's death. What will he think, when he finds out? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What does Thayer say about where he was last year? 

31 Meet the Mercers

Here, Emma demonstrates again how she is different from Sutton, as she tells her family about her "secret" boyfriend. 
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What type of characterization is evidenced by the highlighted text? 
Laurel was certainly angry at Sutton, for ruining Thayer's chances at a future. But if she killed Sutton, Laurel would know who Emma really was.  

Epilogue

Quiz 3