Book: Trust Me, I’m Lying
Author: Mary Elizabeth Summers
Fans of Ally Carter, especially her Heist Society readers, will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.
Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.
But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal..
I haven’t read many debut books lately, or realistic fiction either for that matter. And I’ve actually been feeling guilty about it. So I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone by reading ‘Trust Me I’m Lying.’ This books been hovering around on my to-read list but I had put it aside because lately I haven’t really been in the mood for chick-lit.
If I have to be honest, what attracted me to this book was the paradox of a title. I mean, if someone says you should trust them and that they are lying, wouldn’t you trust them as liars and therefore distrust them?… That sounded a lot more coherent in my head. If it helps, it’s pretty much like Pinocchio’s conundrum : If Pinocchio said he was lying, would his nose grow or not?
You can work yourself into a headache later. Right now, let me tell you about the characters of the book.
Julep (its not her real name and the story behind how she got it is absolutely hilarious) is a talented grifter or con-woman- whatever you want to call it. Using her skills she helps people at school by doing stuff like convincing their parents they got accepted into prestigious colleges or by subtle means ensuring someone gets a favourable reply when they ask the most popular girl in school out- all for a price, of course. A self-confessed liar, she has a heart of gold and good reasons for doing what she does. I think she’s one of my favourite characters this year.
The secondary characters in these books aren’t half bad either. We don’t really see much of her dad, but we get a clear picture of him thanks to the narrators fond memories and casual remarks. Mike, Heather, etc- they’re all pretty brilliant characters. They don’t play big roles in the book, but they they are invaluable. The thing to remember in this book is that everyone has a secret. Some people have secrets bigger (and more unbelievable) than the others but everyone in this book has a double motive and you can’t trust everything they say on face value.
The romance in this book doesn’t play that much of a role either. There were a few moments where I thought the romance would overshadow the plot of finding out what happened to Julep’s dad but Julep’s pretty determined and focused. She has her head in the game all them time, and never lets a couple of kisses come in the way of finding who is most important to her: her Dad.
While we’re still talking about romance, be warned that it’s a love triangle. One of the guys is scarily perfect and the other is her best friend. I just want to take a minute to thank whatever gods that may be up there for ensuring the romance never took up too much of the fore-view.
Moving on to plotholes, I was really annoyed with how fast Julep decided to trust Tyler. Within a few days,she’s telling him stuff that she hasn’t told most people all her life and he just seemed a little too motivated and interested in ‘helping’ her. If I was a con-man (or con-woman, whatever) I wouldn’t give up my life-story easily to a guy I just met, no matter how cute he was or how deep his brown eyes were. Sure, Julep made a couple of token remarks like ‘What am I doing, telling this guy a barely know, the story of my life’ but she shows less resistance than I would have expected from her.
The ending was just perfect. I could actually see it working out this way in real-life. In terms of books, it left just enough questions in my mind to justify wanting a sequel while perfectly wrapping up one arc of the story line.
There’s on obvious plothole. One. But if you can ignore it , then you’re going to have an amazing couple of hours as you read this book. It’s humorous, it’s light and I guarantee you won’t be able to put it down until you get to the last page.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Would I read another book by the author: Definitely. Yes!
Books like this: Heist Society,How to Lead a Life of Crime, Curseworkers