Genuine Fraud

"This isn't a movie about a girl who breaks up with her undermining boyfriend... It's not about some great white hetero hero who loves a woman he needs to save or teams up with a lesser-powered woman in a skintight suit. I am the center of the story now, Jule said to herself.... I am the center."

Jule West Williams believes in being hard physically and emotionally. She has several origin stories, but the one she prefers "to any other story she might tell about herself" paints her as the child of murdered secret agents, a skilled agent herself.

Jule tells herself she's powerful and safe, hiding under bravado and secret identities how small and scared she really is. She finds herself drawn to another orphan, the beautiful, wealthy and mercurial Imogen (Immie). Told in two timelines (one linear over the course of a few days, the other in backwards skips and hops over several months), it is clear from the first chapter that something is not quite right with the protagonist, and there's something amiss with the way the girls interact, with how Jule has braided their lives together. But the broken up and ever-rewinding timeline paired with Jule's own unreliable narration makes her difficult to decode.

E. Lockhart's (We Were Liars) Genuine Fraud is a young adult thriller with nods to The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Man in the Rockefeller Suit and Great Expectations. Readers will be engrossed as they wind their way through Jule's gnarled narration eventually to find the truth. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

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