Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
To be published September 5, 2017, by Delacorte Press.
YA > Contemporary, Mystery, 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.
Special thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC for review!
E. Lockhart’s books are best read with no prior knowledge about them in my opinion. So I went into Genuine Fraud almost completely blank, having only glanced at the extremely vague synopsis on the back cover. Yet, I wasn’t without expectations. I was expecting a similar disorienting and hazy writing style that made We Were Liars such an interesting read.
This book was quite different. We are given a story told in reverse chronological order. As the reader, we know the what and want to learn the why and how of the main character, Jule’s present situation. I loved the structure of the book. I had to continuously reevaluate past scenes in my mind, making sense of them in the new, growing amount of context about past events we get as we continue to read. This definitely isn’t an easy read. No sitting at the beach listening to the bustle of kids playing around you. No trying to tune out the TV or music in the background and read, at least for me. My brain had to focus 100% on reading and piecing together the backward pieces of this story. But definitely not a bad thing at all.
One prediction I had that proved true was that we have an unreliable narrator. I also loved how the further into the story I got, the less I liked Jule. This totally flips the idea that the more you get to know a character the more you relate and root for them.
Without going too much further into the details of the story I’ll say that Genuine Fraud is a psychological, dark and twisted book. The publisher calls it “unsettling” and I found that to be extremely true. E. Lockhart’s plotting is mastery and mind blowing. I would love to hear her writing process for tackling the organization and detail with which this book is written.