“From the author of the unforgettable bestseller WE WERE LIARS comes a suspenseful new psychological thriller – 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.”
I confess. I’m one of those people. I judge a book by it’s cover. Well, in a good way of course! If the cover appeals to me then I will read the blurb and see if the story appeals as well. That was the case with Genuine Fraud. That cover is so eye-catching that I secretly hoped the blurb would be ‘my kind of thing’.
As you’re reading my review of Genuine Fraud I think it’s safe to say it ticked the right boxes! And what a wonderfully fun read it was. Yes…it’s a little dark, a little murderous but you can’t help but immerse yourself in this fast-paced, thrilling tale.
The first thing to say is that the story is told in reverse. The reader starts at the beginning of the book with chapter 18. Towards the end of the novel, you find a chapter 19 which fills in a few of the blanks. I don’t think I have read a book presented in this format before and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was exciting and different, each chapter revealing a little more of what actually happened to the characters. I was questioning everything. I believed no one. Wonderfully compulsive.
I’ve seen a number of mixed reviews for this book. Many of the readers have previously read one or more of the author’s novels. I don’t fall into that category and E. Lockhart was a brand new author to me. From what I’ve seen, Genuine Fraud is quite different to the author’s other works and maybe that’s the problem? Starting Genuine Fraud with no previous experience may have helped me. I’ve also seen many comparisons to The Talented Mr. Ripley. Well, here’s a bombshell for you, I’ve neither read the book nor seen the film! I will be totally honest with you now and confess to absolutely no knowledge of the plot. None. Nada. Zilch. Maybe that helped me enjoy this book a little more than others, maybe I missed a number of subtle nuances others got.
Would I recommend this book? I would. I managed to read Genuine Fraud in a day. It would have been fairly easy to read it in less time than that had I not had a family to feed and care for. I enjoyed my first experience of E. Lockhart’s writing and I’m looking forward to adding We Were Liars to the TBR in the future. It’s a gripping, multilayered read which I found compulsive and thrilling.
Four out of five stars.
I chose to read and review a copy of Genuine Fraud. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
I am the author of We Were Liars, Fly on the Wall, Dramarama, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and the Ruby Oliver quartet: The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Boys, and Real Live Boyfriends. How to Be Bad was co-written with Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski.
Disreputable History was a Printz Award honor book, a finalist for the National Book Award, and recipient of the Cybils Award for best young adult novel. We Were Liars is a New York Times bestseller. It won the Goodreads Choice Award and was Amazon’s #1 YA novel of 2014.
I have a doctorate in English literature from Columbia University. My field was 19th-century British novel. In 2013 I chaired the committee on Young People’s Literature for the National Book Awards. I currently teach creative writing at Hamline University’s low-residency MFA program in Writing for Children.