My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

ARC Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Please Note:  I received an advanced reader's copy from the publisher's First In Line program in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.  Also, I have linked the book cover to Amazon.  If you buy the book with this link, I will get a small fee.

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

As a huge fan of the book, We Were Liars, I squealed in delight when I received E. Lockhart's newest novel, Genuine Fraud, in the mail from Random House's First In Line program.  Much of what I adored about her previous book was also present in this new novel.  I loved the unusual narrative style, the central mystery of who Jule was and what had she done, and the strong characters.  While it was hard for me to have empathy for a psychopath, reading this tale was thrilling.
What I Liked:
Narrative Style:
As the novel opens, the main character, Jule, is in Mexico being pursued by a mystery person.  Jule seems to know a lot about disguises, using fake I.D.s, and methods of evading others. The story is told in backwards order so we can see how Jule, has gotten into this predicament.  It took me a few chapters to realize this was the road map for the book, but once I got it, I was excited to see what happened before.

Central Mystery:
Why is Jule being pursued?  How is her story related to Imogen?  Was there a murder?  So many questions!  I don't know if others will have this reaction, but I loved being confused, I think because I knew that I would eventually understand everything by the end.

Strong Characters:
Jule is a very complicated person.  This is one book where one has to question reliability of Jule's narrative.  Her accounts of what happen are constantly changing to fit the image she wants to portray.  This made reading this book a challenge.  I had to go back in the text several times to re-read some of her childhood recollections.  But the disjointed memories fit with Jule's  fractured character.

Although it would seem she is just a spoiled rich girl, Imogen resents that people constantly demand things from her.  She rebels and refuses to let people use her.  But that often means she becomes the user in a relationship. 

What I Was Mixed About:

Although I could understand why Jule did what she did, there is no escaping that she is a psychopath!  I don't think there were any characters that very good people.  But Jule was a seriously damaged person.  Reading this was hard, at times, because I hated the choices she made.  As in the show, The Sopranos, I couldn't root for her to succeed. 
As much as I enjoyed the misdirection surrounding various events, I was surprised it wasn't more twisty.  I think this was due to my expectations of the author, E. Lockhart.  Her previous book did have a big surprise at the end, and I thought Genuine Fraud would also have a big twist.  I kept waiting for it, and it didn't happen.  

In retrospect, I am glad there wasn't a surprise ending.  I think if the author had done so, it would have been gimmicky, and she would have established that she was the author who always had a twist at the end. 



Release Date:  September 5th, 2017

Genre:  YA Contemporary Thriller

Publisher:  Random House (Delacorte Press)

Length:  272 pages

Source:  Random House First In Line program

Format:  ARC Paperback

Recommendation:  A thriller that will keep you guessing right up to the end.  I could not put this down!

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1 comment :

  1. This is an encouraging review. They have been so mixed, and I so love Lockhart. I think I am going to read this one.


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2019 Reading Challenge
MsArdychan has read 10 books toward her goal of 120 books.


80% 80% 100 Book Reviews 2016 NetGalley Challenge
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