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Genuine Fraud Hardcover – September 5, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Jule West Williams is at a fancy resort in Mexico. Someone is looking for her, but she can do a pretty stellar job of taking care of herself, paying a bartender to smuggle her out in his car, then fighting back when he tries to extort more money. That's where Lockhart's latest novel begins. Jule was recently in London. Her best friend, Imogen Sokoloff, is dead. There's a guy Jule likes but can't have. Jule steals wallets in Las Vegas, NV. The teen likes how strong she feels when she defends herself. Jule was in San Francisco. She has had just about enough of Immie's friends from Vassar. Jule was in Puerto Rico. The protagonist has a prodigious talent for memorization. Jule was staying at Immie's house in Martha's Vineyard. She was in New York. Jule is, above all else, a survivor. The narrative moves backward in time, constantly forcing readers to adjust their opinions of the characters and events and realign them in light of new information. While those familiar with The Talented Mr. Ripley may have a good idea of Lockhart's ultimate destination, they'll still enjoy the trip. The book rewards rereading, as initially inconsequential details shine brightly when you can see the whole picture. VERDICT An excellent choice recommended for teens and adults who love twisty mysteries, stories about class conflict, and tough-as-nails teen girls.—Stephanie Klose, School Library Journal
More Praise for E. Lockhart’s Genuine Fraud:
5 STARRED REVIEWS!
“A bracing pace, a slew of far-flung locations, and a storyline that runs mostly in reverse will keep readers on their toes, never entirely sure of what these girls are responsible for or capable of.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Captivating . . . bewitching.” —Booklist, Starred Review
“An excellent choice recommended for teens and adults who love twisty mysteries, stories about class conflict, and tough-as-nails teen girls.” —SLJ, Starred Review
“This thriller from the author of We Were Liars will challenge preconceptions about identity and keep readers guessing.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"Intoxicating." —The Horn Book, Starred Review
Praise for E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars:
New York Times bestseller
“Haunting, sophisticated. . . . Twisty and well-told.” —The Wall Street Journal
“[It] will leave you dying to talk about the book with a pal or ten.” —Parade.com
“You’re going to want to remember the title. Liars details the summers of a girl who harbors a dark secret, and delivers a satisfying but shocking twist ending.” —Entertainment Weekly
“An ambitious novel with an engaging voice, a clever plot and some terrific writing.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Thrilling, beautiful, and blisteringly smart, We Were Liars is utterly unforgettable.” —John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars
Top customer reviews
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Right off the bat, I was enamored with the writing style, which is tight and clever, yet functional and descriptive; generally, 'Fraud' strikes that rare balance of being equally impressive and easy-to-read (to my tastes, at least). Likewise, the story is, on the whole, satisfying, with sound, well-crafted characters, an engaging plot, and an arc that manages to be both concise and complete. Another plus: the author demonstrates a perceptive intellect and some sly wit, resulting in a pleasingly smart texture. On the other hand, I felt that some parts read awkwardly, and the ending came off as somewhat murky (or so I read it, anyhow; to be fair, I might've just missed something earlier on). Thus, I can't say that the book rocked my world; nonetheless, it was certainly worthwhile, and of above-average quality in all the ways that really matter in a novel.
One thing that I liked especially, and which really upgraded the book for me, was the profound psychological subtext inhabiting the text. Namely, the story presents an object lesson in compartmentalized, double-minded thinking, and the many human questions that arise from such analysis. Through the conflicted central character and her behavior, the reader is treated to a vivid depiction of this mentality, in nuanced, realistic detail, as to dissect the condition and the complexities which govern it. Ultimately, 'Fraud's' character study is, in my view, highly relevant, regardless of its fictional nature (some of life's biggest mysteries are best captured in fiction, and this is one of them). And, considering the proliferation of such confused thinking in much of the modern world (and the often-dire consequences thereof), 'Fraud' is doubly important. As it were, we could all learn a thing or two from the book's two-faced anti-heroine.
My sincere thanks goes out to the author and her publisher. I am grateful for, and have benefited from, your work.
* * *
Some notable quotes from 'Genuine Fraud':
“'I make you drinks because it's my job. I pretend to like talking to you, because that's my job, too. You think I don't see how you look down at me? […] We're not friends, Ms. Williams. You're lying to me half the time, and I'm lying to you all the time.'” – p.18-19
“Jule was sure Imogen couldn't really love or want Forrest. He was only an idea of a boyfriend: a placeholder. Though he didn't know it, he was a temporary person, like the college kids and art students who came over for dinner and were never seen again.” – p.211
This book is told backwards and for that, I give a good applause, because maybe if it hadnt been told like this I wouldnt have liked it at all. The twists and my interest to get to the bottom of all this made me want to finish this so bad and that is per-se a characteristic of a good book, regardless of its quality.
The plot is interesting and the characters, even when undeveloped, are interesting enough to be credible. This is a good example of unreliable, unlikeable characters and if you love those, this book is right for you. Besides that, I think even when clever in its telling, the book is not that good.
So, if we find two books with practically the same story but one of them is told in such a way that it makes it hard to forget, is that enough to call that book good? I wonder