The Game: Haunting Teen Fiction by Teresa TotenThe Game: Haunting Teen Fiction by Teresa Toten

The Game: Haunting Teen Fiction

byTeresa Toten

Paperback | January 8, 2003

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Dani Webster had played The Game with her sister, Kelly, for as long as she could remember. It was a secret quest to vanquish evil. The Game is now a hazy memory as Dani looks up from the floor of the isolation room at Riverwood Clinic. God, how did she get here? She remembers the vodka and pills.

Slowly Dani emerges from the painful effects of substance abuse, and begins to adapt to life at Riverwood, a psychiatric treatment facility for "teens with problems."

As she recovers from her physical trauma, Dani must confront a deeper emotional trauma, which at the moment she can neither explain nor recognize. There's the cool aloofness of her mother. Her father's abusive perfectionism. Kelly's refusal to answer her letters. Fragmented memories of the last Game. She can't fit all the pieces together.

The Game is an extraordinary story of betrayal, anger, guilt, confusion and dread, and their brutal effects on the mind. It also a tribute to the healing effects of compassion and friendship, and to the strength we can summon, even in our weakest moments.

Teresa Toten is the author of the acclaimed Blondes series, as well as The Game, The Onlyhouse and The Taming (with Eric Walters). Teresa won the Governor General's Literary Award for The Unlikely Hero of Room 13b. For more information, visit Teresa's web site at
Title:The Game: Haunting Teen FictionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:160 pages, 8 × 5 × 1 inPublished:January 8, 2003Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889952329

ISBN - 13:9780889952324

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17


Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Game - Teresa Toten The Game is the captivating story of how a teenage girl deals with the dysfunctions and consequences of living with an abusive father, a mother who doesn't want to face reality and a little sister she has vowed to protect. For as long as Dani can remember, she has felt extreme pressure to live up to the unreachable standards of her father. Her life has been dedicated to trying to achieve just a nod of recognition from him, but more often than not, what she receives instead is condemnation and punishment. For Dani, these are just the facts of life and she readily accepts them, what she is not willing to accept is the possibility of her little sister Kelly living this way also. In order to protect and shield Kelly from the horrors of their home, Dani creates a role playing game that quickly evolves into a alternate world for the sisters. When things get too tough for them, they escape to a neighbourhood ravine to do battle with an evil being bent on destroying all that is good. However as Dani grows older The Game is no longer enough to distract her and she turns to drugs as a new escape, while still trying to hold The Game together for Kelly. But somewhere along the way things went wrong. Kelly realizes this when she wakes up in Riverwood Clinic with her memories scrambled and her body falling apart due to the effects of alcohol and drugs. Worried about Kelly being alone at home, Dani concludes that she must get out of Riverwood and back home as quickly as possible. Through her journey Dani gathers around her a tribe of friends who will ultimately help her on her way to becoming whole again. The Game is both heart-warming and heart-breaking in equal doses, as Dani's emotions are so vividly narrated throughout. This is a novel that showcases the true strength of adolescence in overcoming the obstacles of pain, loss and addiction. Dani is a heroine worthy applause for her self-redemption and renewal. Beautifully but simply written, The Game speaks to the reader and tells a story that cannot fail to spark a flame of hope into a roaring fire of encouragement.
Date published: 2008-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book. I had to choose a book for school. I decided to read this book, I read it and I thought it was one of the greatest books. I would read it over and over if I had the chance. I think that this is a great book for teens who are always drinking and such to teach them the things that may happen if you drink too much. Very sad ending but i love it.
Date published: 2007-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome book This is an awesome book. It takes you through what it is like to have an obsessive, controlling father and what the consequences can have on the family. Very real.
Date published: 2006-06-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Masterpeice The Game was without a doubt one of the greatest books I have ever read. It grabs the reader from the begining, and doesnt let go untill the end. Teresa Toten's amazing writing style and heart felt explanation is great. I would without a doubt recomend this book to everyone and anyone.
Date published: 2003-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking The Game is a heartbreaking book about drugs and love. It captured me the instant I opened it. It was so well written. I cried. You're missing a great book if you have never read it.
Date published: 2002-06-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great pre-teen/teen read This book was an excellent book. When I first picked it up to read it I found that it was not what I expected. Despite this I sill enjoyed the book.
Date published: 2002-04-15

Editorial Reviews

"A riveting read." -[This Morning][ITALICS], CBC Radio Book Panel

" A new and highly engaging story-a very impressive accomplishment"-Canadian Materials

"With intelligent writing that talks directly to teens, [The Game][ITALICS] is challenging fiction that holds plenty of positives about compassion and friendship."-Canadian Bookseller