I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.
From the author of the unforgettable New York Times bestseller We Were Liars comes a masterful new psychological suspense novel — 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, villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.
This was my first E. Lockhart book, but I am pretty sure it won’t be my last. Genuine Fraud was an intense read, and I whizzed through it as I just could not put it down. I had so many questions, and a burning curiosity to understand what was going on… and just who Jule and Imogen are. This is a book filled with twists and turns and surprises just around the corner: while definitely enjoyable, that makes it incredibly hard to review this book without spoilers, which is why this review will probably be much shorter than usual.
I deeply enjoyed reading this book: it was fast-paced and full of suspense, and even though I had suspected a few of the twists from fairly early on, it kept me guessing myself right up to the end. The narrator is deeply unreliable, and none of the characters can be trusted, which makes this read even more delicious to devour in few sittings if (like me) you like working your brain to understand twisted relationships.
I have to admit, none of the characters were particularly (read: at all) likable: most of them are spoilt rich kids who do little more than travel, shop and enjoy themselves, while complaining about how miserable they are. They were, however, extremely well drawn, and while I disliked them profoundly, I found them to be very believable. Most of the stuff that happened appeared to me fairly unrealistic anyway, but overall worked well within the novel, so that I almost never questioned how a particular thing could be happening.
One thing I wasn’t too convinced by was the way in which it was narrated. The story is told almost entirely backwards, starting with an event and working our way to how it all started. I thought this was a brilliant and very original way to tell a story, until I actually got into the book. While I liked the theory of it, I found reading backwards to be much too complicated for me, and I soon started feeling slightly confused and ended up losing track of some details. This was entirely me, though, and you might enjoy it greatly and not feel confused at all!
Overall, this was a very entertaining read, and would have been perfect if it hadn’t managed to thoroughly confuse me after a while.