This review is going to be shorter than a lot of others that I write, but it’s not because I didn’t like the book – in fact, because I loved it so much, I’m not going to spoil anything, so it’s as much of a surprise for you when you read it as it was for me.
When I first started reading Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart, I wasn’t really sure that I was going to be able to get into the book – mostly because I didn’t have as great of a relationship with We Were Liars as so many others, and partly because I thought the way that it went backwards in the book’s timeline instead of forward was kind of weird. But once I started reading, I found myself completely engrossed in the story and desperate to find out what happened next (or before, I guess is more accurate?).
Genuine Fraud starts at chapter 18 and works its way backwards to chapter 1. That might sound kind of weird, and at first I thought it was too, but in the first chapter (or chapter 18 in this case), we are first introduced to the main character of the book, Jule. Jule is clearly on the run from something for some reason, but we don’t know why, and it isn’t revealed until later in the book. Instead of going forwards from the beginning of the story and allowing everything to unfold, the book goes backwards from the end of June in 2017 all the way to the first week of June in 2016. At the very end, we get chapter 19 – back to the present day. This idea is pretty cool because we get to see the story unfold from the ending back to the beginning instead of in the typical fashion that books are written in. Like I said, I didn’t expect to like the format, but I found myself loving it.
“You are the center of the story. You and no one else. You’ve got that interesting origin tale, that unusual education. Now you’re ruthless, you’re brilliant, you’re practically fearless. There’s a body count behind you, because you do whatever required to stay alive – but it’s a day’s work, that’s all.”
Genuine Fraud, like We Were Liars, is a book that does best to tell itself without too much explanation from outside sources. Part of the fun of the book was going through every twist and turn and discovering all the secrets for yourself, so I’m going to be pretty vague in my review. I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone – you’ll definitely thank me for it later.
Jule is a girl who knows how to take care of herself. She’s a fighter – she’s rough, she doesn’t take any nonsense, and she’s out for her own well being. She’ll do whatever she can to keep herself safe. When she becomes friends with Imogen, however, she finds herself jealous of the way that Imogen can easily fit in, wear what she wants, escape reality into her own London flat – and the fact that she is a millionaire heiress doesn’t hurt. Their friendship is intense and almost kind of obsessive at points, but from the beginning of the book, Jule is very adamant that she and Imogen were the best of friends.
However, like many friendships, things can fall apart or take some unhappy turns, and such is the case with Jule and Imogen. However, nothing can prepare you for the journey that Jule takes us on to get what she wants – and she is willing to stop at absolutely nothing.
“To be a physically powerful woman – it was something. You could go anywhere, do anything, if you were difficult to hurt.”
I LOVED Jule’s character. She is badass and goes after what she wants – she lies, cheats, steals, and does what she needs to do to survive. Let’s face it – sometimes we get tired of the goody-two-shoes type main characters who do nothing wrong the entire book, right? Well if you’re like me and sometimes just love a character who is out for herself, you’ll like Jule. Is she nice? No. Does she care what anyone thinks about her? No. But I loved every second of that attitude.
The twists in this book weren’t what I was expecting, and they they really made the book easy to love. The writing style and the way that the characters are written make this book so easy to get into and stay interested in. In fact, as things began to get a bit more tense as the book went on (and we got more and more of the bigger picture), it became even more gripping and exciting.
The only thing I had about this book was the fact that it was so short. When I finished reading, I found myself longing for more, wishing that there was another hundred pages. There were also times that I wish some of the chapters were longer or were more in depth – but the fact that it was kind of vague at times really added to the mystery, so I’m not going to fuss over it too much.
Whether or not you loved We Were Liars, this book is its very own kind of awesome. It isn’t that often that I feel the need to run out and buy a hardcover of a book that I read (and the audiobook version) but in this case, I definitely will be. This is everything that I look for in a thriller/mystery. It’s fun, the characters are well written and fleshed out, and the plot twists completely throw you off from what you thought was going to happen. E. Lockhart has created a masterpiece with this book!