Book Review: Genuine Fraud

4D5A81DF-071A-4C42-9B9E-AAEC2533CAACTitle: Genuine Fraud
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

From Delacorte: 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.

Thank you to PRHC for sending me this finished copy in exchange for my own review.

My Review: GENUINE FRAUD is an engrossing story told in reverse chronological order about a bizarre friendship of two orphans gone wrong. Immie was adopted by a wealthy couple, a globetrotter worth millions she cycles thru relationships. Jule, raised by her aunt, barely scrapes by and is a mastermind proud of her physical strength and street smarts.

Opening up at Chapter 18 Jule West Williams is living a first class lifestyle in a posh Cabo San Lucas hotel pretending to be her best friend Imogen Sokoloff.  A cop catches up with her and Jule pays the bartender to help her leave town. Outside of the confines of the hotel the bartender extorts more money from her and Jule physically assaults him and runs. From here the story is told in flashbacks spanning the past year of Jule and Immie’s friendship jetsetting across Martha’s Vineyard, Puerto Rico, New York, London, California and Mexico.

I can’t tell you anymore without spoiling the plot but I can tell you this book is twisty, gripping and a total thriller! I was left wide-eyed wondering ‘wtf’ just happened?!

What I Liked:

  • Twisted plot
  • Murder. And more murder.
  • Strong women.
  • World travel.
  • Living the high life and not having to work!

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The reverse chronological order was confusing at times.
  • This read more like new adult rather than YA.
  • Unlikeable characters – all of them.
  • Dim-witted cops – if I ever go missing I hope the intelligent ones are assigned my case!

Overall: GENUINE FRAUD is unique and really well written. Lockhart spares no detail in her richly developed characters and plot that packs a punch!


Book Review: Every Last Word

Title: Every Last Word
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Publisher: Hyperion Teens
Publication Date: June 16, 2015
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

From Hyperion: If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling. Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off. Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist. Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

My Review: When I finished EVERY LAST WORD I immediately thought about how hard it is to attain and maintain friendships during the difficult teenaged years, especially with superficial types like the Eights, but moreover when you throw a disorder like OCD into the mix. I applaud Sam on so many fronts; holding herself together so her friends perceive her as ‘normal’, her devotion to the swim team, her love for Poet’s Corner, her relationship with A.J. and just being real even when it’s not cool – I loved everything about Sam!

And as much as I admired Sam I also empathized with her. When she opens up to her friends, the Eights about her disorder and faces the reality that she’s not getting better my heart ached for her. She is so likeable – compassionate and caring and I completely and utterly adored her relationship with A.J., who was an oddball by her friends’ standards, but her love for him is too strong to let the Eights come between them. I felt a range of emotions with this one – happiness, heartbreak, acceptance, courage.

I listened to the audiobook version and did not relate at all to the narrator. This book is for teens and the narrators voice is sultry, which I found wholly inappropriate for this book.