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Promises I Made (Lies I Told) Hardcover – November 24, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In Lies I Told (HarperCollins, 2015), Zink created a perfectly sympathetic character and perfectly paced conflict: Grace Fontaine has been directed by her adoptive parents to get close enough to Logan Fairchild to figure out where his mentally ill father has hidden a stash of gold bars. As Grace falls more and more in love with Logan, the conflict grows, as do the stakes if she is caught. Unfortunately, this sequel does not live up to the promise of the first novel. The pace is much slower, as Grace steals a hefty amount of Cormac's (her adoptive father) money and sets off back to Playa Hermosa in the attempt to free her brother, Parker. She is aided by Detective Castillo, and a bit player, Marcus, from the first novel who plays a much more significant role in this one. With Marcus's help, Grace is able to facilitate Cormac's arrest and extradition in exchange for reduced sentences for herself and Parker. This work is riddled with implausible plot points and serrated ends that are tied a little too tidily for it to be a satisfying conclusion. VERDICT Die-hard fans will want to read this sequel but may mourn the tale that could have been.—Jodeana Kruse, R. A. Long High School, Longview, WA
From the Back Cover
Grace Fontaine was trained to carry out perfect crimes.
But when a mistake was made the night her family tried to execute their biggest heist yet, her world fell apart. Now her brother is in jail, her mother has disappeared with the entire stolen fortune, and her father is determined to find a new mark, no matter the cost.
Haunted by the way she betrayed her friends—and Logan, the only boy she's ever loved—as well as the role she played in her brother's arrest, Grace decides she must return to the place every thief knows you should avoid: the scene of the crime.
Returning to Playa Hermosa as a wanted criminal is dangerous. But Grace has only one chance to make things right. To do it, she has to use everything she's been taught about the art of the con to hunt down the very people who trained her: the only family she's ever known.
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Top Customer Reviews
Quick & Dirty: An amazing second installment with a lush setting and complex characters.
Opening Sentence: When I think about what happened in Playa Hermosa, its not the gold that gets to me.
Spoilers for Lies I Told ahead… Grace has changed. She is no longer naive. She will not be used again. She takes Cormac’s money and runs, with only one intention in mind: free Parker from jail, however long that takes. This isn’t going to be easy, and she doesn’t have the resources to stage a breakout, so she’ll need allies. But how can she trust anyone after what she went through?
I read Lies I Told last year, and I thought it was a decent book. I had a couple problems with the main character and the love story, but it was well written with a unique premise and a lush setting. Going into Promises I Made, I knew it was going to be a completely different storyline than the first novel, but I was unsure how that would affect how much I enjoyed it.
The problems I had with Grace in the last book were gone by the end of the first chapter. In the previous installment, I thought that she was naive. Yes, she was young, and these people were her only family, but really? She was being so obviously used by Cormac and Renee but she couldn’t seem to figure that out, even when her brother was so adamant about his very true opinions.
At the beginning of this second book, she had seen the light. The last shred of her innocence had been destroyed the night they stole the Fairchild’s gold and Parker was found by the police. Now, her only goal is to get Parker out of jail, no matter what it takes, and that gives her the strength to push through some unfortunate situations. This also makes her less trustworthy of everyone, and I liked the character development she underwent over the story, much more than the first.
The other problem with the last story was the romance. Her relationship with Logan hit the ground running, and was basically insta-love, which anyone whose read my reviews knows that I usually despise. That story was no exception. Luckily, there was much less focus in the relationship this time around, other than apologies and redemption and that sort of stuff.
Altogether, I found this novel a magnificent end to the series. There was more suspense, more emotion, and more development in book two. I enjoyed the main characters much more, and it went in a very different direction than I was expecting – ultimately, that was a success. The setting was lush and gorgeous, and the writing style nicely done. I would definitely recommend this!
Cormac had used more than his share of money to rebound. Parker had gone to jail for it. I’d use every cent of what was left to get him out of trouble if I could, and I wouldn’t waste any more time feeling bad for Cormac.
He was on his own now.
We all were.
FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Promises I MAde. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
After the disastrous events of Lies I Told, life is more than different. Her mother, Renee, has left them, her brother Parker is in jail and her father, Cormac, is already on to the next con. And Grace? Grace is tired.
She is having serious doubts about her ability to carry on with the current con and watch another person’s life be ruined by Cormac’s actions...and hers. Grace is still reeling from the Playa Hermosa con that left an entire family in ruins. She can’t stop thinking about Logan and her part in hurting him.
With Parker in jail, convicted of a shooting he had no part in, she has lost her only confidante, her only piece of sanity in the life that she leads. Cormac keeps saying that they will go after him and get him out, but it’s been months and Cormac hasn’t done a thing.
So while Cormac is out with his newest con, Grace makes a decision: she will get Parker out of jail herself. Taking all of the money that they have left, Grace decides to go back to Playa Hermosa and set things right.
Only thing is, she has no idea how to do this. She wants to put things right, to make up for the choices she made, but undoing a con is impossible and doing the right thing is even more difficult.
She does the only thing she can think of: contact the detective in charge of Parkers case to work out some kind of deal. When she was with Cormac and Renee, contacting the police would have been a stupid move. However, now her choices are her own. Will she turn herself in or break Parker out of jail?
She will have to decide soon. Time is running out...
Zink continues to outdo herself. I loved this book. While Lies I Told had an urgent feel while I read it, Promises I Made is its twin in that it has that same urgent feel with something different. How does Grace undo what she’s done? How can she come to terms with her actions but still call herself a good person?
I also loved the isolation in Promises I Made. In Lies I Told, Grace has a family and is part of a family unit, such as it is. In Promises I Made, she is alone and Zink writes this so well that midway through the book you are aching for Grace and hoping for her.
I loved the character development in this book. Grace has to make some difficult decisions and come to terms with a lot of heavy stuff: what makes a family, can she live with the choices she made, can she be responsible for terrible decision but still consider herself a good person? Grace grew more as a person trying to live beyond the con and form a life for herself, on her terms.
We spend a lot of time alone with Grace and we really get to know her better. This would not have worked in the hands of a lesser writer, but Zink pulls it off with aplomb. I thought I knew what Grace was capable of after reading Lies I Told, but in Promises I Made, you learn the true strength of her spirit as she comes to grips with the decisions she has made and chooses to make new ones instead.
This book moved me, incredibly so. We’ve all struggled with finding our place in life, with choices we’ve made, with being told what we must do but rebelling against it. Watching Grace struggle, survive and grow on this journey was a privilege and a joy.
You don’t merely read Promises I Made. You live it.
Grace narrates a story that is a heartbreaker at its core, and a thriller that keeps you hooked until the end. The ending is not your run of the mill happily ever after, but in a story where happy isn't an emotion often felt by the main character, it provides a sense of justice and hope for the future.
I would definitely recommend this series!