The Rumor Game (Paperback)

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The Rumor Game By Dhonielle Clayton, Sona Charaipotra Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

At exclusive Foxham Prep, a rumor starts at a party and spreads like wildfire. Told in multiple POV with texts, social media posts and news stories, this incredibly real and utterly horrifying thriller reminds the reader of the incredible damage gossip can cause. For grades 9 and up.

— Cathy


“A juicy, elegant, absolutely flawless thriller with a twist. It's the diverse Gossip Girl we’ve been waiting for!” —Tiffany D. Jackson, New York Times best-selling author of Grown and White Smoke

“Explosive.” —Entertainment Weekly

All it takes is one spark to start a blaze.

At Foxham Prep, a posh private school for the children of DC’s elite, a single rumor has the power to ruin a life.

Nobody knows that better than Bryn. She used to have it all—the perfect boyfriend, a bright future in politics, and even popularity thanks to her best friend, cheer captain Cora. Then one mistake sparked a scandal that burned it all to the ground.

Now it's the start of a new school year and the spotlight has shifted: It’s geeky Georgie, newly hot after a summer makeover, whose name is on everyone's lips. When a rumor ignites, Georgie rockets up the school's social hierarchy, pitting her and Cora against each other. It grants her Foxham stardom . . . but it also makes her a target.

As the rumors grow and morph, blazing like wildfire through the school’s social media, all three girls’ lives begin to unravel. But one person close to the drama has the power to stop the gossip in its tracks. The question is—do they even want to?

From Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra, authors of the Tiny Pretty Things duology (now a Netflix series), comes another edge-of-your-seat social thriller perfect for fans of We Were Liars and Cruel Summer.

About the Author

Dhonielle Clayton is the New York Times best-selling author of the Belles series, The Mirror: Shattered Midnight, and the coauthor of Blackout and the Tiny Pretty Things duology, now a Netflix original series. She hails from the Washington, DC, suburbs on the Maryland side. She taught secondary school for several years, and is a former elementary and middle school librarian. She is COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books, and president of Cake Creative, an IP story kitchen dedicated to diverse representation. She’s an avid traveler, and always on the hunt for magic and mischief. Up next: The Marvellers, her middle grade fantasy debut. You can find her on social media @brownbookworm.

Sona Charaipotra is the author of Symptoms of a Heartbreak and How Maya Got Fierce, and coauthor of the Tiny Pretty Things duology, now a Netflix original series. She earned her master’s in screenwriting from NYU and an MFA in creative writing from the New School. A working journalist, Sona has held editorial roles at People, TeenPeople,, MSN, and most recently, the Barnes & Noble Teen Blog (RIP), and contributed to publications from the New York Times to TeenVogue. She is a former We Need Diverse Books board member, and co-founder of CAKE Literary, a boutique book packager focused on high-concept diverse titles. Find her on the web ( or @Sona_C on Twitter) talking about books, Bollywood movies, and chai.

Praise For…

"A juicy, elegant, absolutely flawless thriller with a twist. It's the diverse Gossip Girl we've been waiting for!"—Tiffany D. Jackson, New York Times best-selling author of Grown and White Smoke


"The Belles is full of political drama, palace intrigue, complex and corrupt characters, and deadly betrayals—what better tale for our modern day? Get wrapped up and swept away in this wild and unpredictable new world of fashion, magic, and murder."
Daniel Jose Older, New York Times best-selling author of The Shadowshaper Cypher


"The Belles is a voluptuous, dazzling fairy tale of desire, ambition, and unrelenting beauty."—Holly Black, cocreator of New York Times best-selling series The Spiderwick Chronicles and author o


"The Belles is absolutely enthralling. Rich with detail and fascinating characters, this book shows us a masterfully crafted world that is both desirable and frightening. I flew through the pages and loved everything they had to offer: an intelligent and talented heroine, mysterious romance, and enduring friendships."—Marie Rutkoski, New York Times best-selling author of The Winner's Trilogy


"A lush and intoxicating world where beauty equals power and darkness lurks in every glittering shadow."—Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Creatures and author of The Lovely Re


"Clayton conjures a world both breathtakingly beautiful and deeply unsettling, populated by characters full of strengths and complexities. This is a thought-provoking story that lingers."
Marie Lu, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Young Elites


"Clayton dances between the fine lines of glittering, glamorous, and gruesome. The Belles is a dazzling exploration of body power and identity, and a must-read for anyone looking for a lot more bite when it comes to beauty."
Roshani Chokshi, New York Times best-selling author of The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes


"From the first page, this book completely mesmerized me. Dhonielle Clayton has written a lush, immersive tale about a world where nothing is as it seems. Where beauty and the magic behind it are painted in sinisterly sexy tones. Her characters are complex, yet relatable. This is a book where you will savor every word."—Renée Ahdieh, New York Times best-selling author of The Wrath and the Dawn, The Rose and the Dagger,


"I fell head-over-heels with the darkly lush world of The Belles. A book to read when you want to be transported somewhere dangerous and beautiful, where nothing is as it seems, and secrets abound."
Megan Shepherd, New York Times bestselling author of The Madman's Daughter series, The Cage series,


*"A refreshingly original concept, this substantial fantasy, the first in a duology, is an undeniable page-turner."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review


*"Clayton impressively offers up a series starter that, despite its broad commercial appeal, doesn't shy away from facing uncomfortable truths in our own society.... The action never slows, and the rich, rotting world never wavers."—Booklist, starred review



YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults List
2018 Goodreads Choice Awards: Young Adult, Nominee
2019 Carnegie Medal, Nominee
The Boston Globe: The Best Children's Books of 2018, selection
Teenreads: Teen Choice Book Award 2019, Nominee


"The Belles is a powerful discussion about the cost of beauty and what we are willing to do for it. Dhonielle Clayton creates a world both lush and dark, with prose so delectable you will savor every word."—Zoraida Cordova, author of Labyrinth Lost, The Circle Unbroken, and The Vicious Deep series


*"Freezes blood and steals breath... Narrative craft that can hold the tension of the implicit (and sorely lacking) value of black and brown features as beautiful as it intertwines with incisive commentary on the overall commodification of beauty is no small feat, and Clayton manages thrills of action, magic, romance, and revolution as well."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review


*"Staggering... A world that is breathtaking and crushing, beautiful and vile, and whimsical and terrifying. [Clayton] poignantly uses a harrowing, fantastical tale to illuminate the very real horrors of unattainable beauty standards and the enslavement of marginalized bodies. As relevant as it is exquisite."—Booklist, starred review

Product Details
ISBN: 9781368023764
ISBN-10: 1368023762
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: February 16th, 2027
Pages: 480
Language: English