By Mary Elizabeth Summer
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: October 14th, 2014
The first book in the Trust Me series…
Fans of Ally Carter, especially her Heist Society readers, will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.
Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.
But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.
To describe Trust Me, I’m Lying in a sentence, it was fun, gritty, and had an underlying dark sense of humor that cropped up now and then. Especially when discussion of “faulty minions” occurred. The book is more or less a scavenger hunt, but it has a deeper feel to it with a stakes that are much higher than your normal YA fare. We have Julep, not her real name, whose father is missing and it definitely has something to do with the fact that he is a grifter. No fear, though, because Julep is a rather capable grifter herself and along with her trusty sidekick, Sam, she is off following the clues her dad has left behind.
I loved the fast pace of the novel with Julep figuring out complex solutions to problems in a way that saved her ass but not in an overstated or unbelievable way. She meticulously planned and when her plan didn’t work, she had a backup one. When she had to figure her way out of a delicate situation on the go, let’s just say that it was great to get to see inside her brain. The scavenger hunt she starts on has an interesting conclusion and the plot extended far beyond where I thought it would end up with much farther reaching consequences.
The love triangle that pops up is a fairly simple one on paper, girl has long time best guy friend, Sam, who is in love with her unbeknownst to the girl and then there is hot new guy who she quickly connects with and opens up to, Tyler. However the way it plays out is interesting, with each corner of the triangle holding their own secrets and messing with the plot in their own way. The resolution was interesting as well, with Julep not ending up with either guy, but for two vastly different reasons.
With a plot that has plenty of twists and turns and clever characters, Trust Me, I’m Lying was a quick read with enough of a mystery still hanging on at the ending to warrant my full interest in a sequel. Its resolution came with enough ramifications for past actions to be believable, costing the main characters not only loved ones, but made them face criminal charges for their actions. Hardly anyone in the book got away scot-free. With Julep’s life turned so on its head by the end of this book, I can’t wait to see how Mary navigates the sequel with the same tension and high stakes with so many characters having to step up their roles and Julep in such a different situation than we saw her at the beginning of the book.
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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us.