Publication: April 7, 2015, by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery
What if, after spending a lifetime deceiving everyone around you, you discovered the biggest lies were the ones you've told yourself?
Grace Fontaine has everything: beauty, money, confidence, and the perfect family.
But it’s all a lie.
Grace has been adopted into a family of thieves who con affluent people out of money, jewelry, art, and anything else of value. Grace has never had any difficulty pulling off a job, but when things start to go wrong on the Fontaines' biggest heist yet, Grace finds herself breaking more and more of the rules designed to keep her from getting caught...including the most important one of all: never fall for your mark.
Perfect for fans of Ally Carter, Cecily von Ziegesar, and Gail Carriger, this thrilling, high-stakes novel deftly explores the roles of identity and loyalty while offering a window into the world of the rich and fabulous.
Never in a million years would I actually expect myself to read a Michelle Zink book ever again... or even expect to actually enjoy it. But hey, a psychological thriller read is waaay more different than a paranormal-angel read. Way back in '10 where my career of reading young adult novels had just begun, I went off with reading Zink's angelic trilogy, Prophecy of the Sisters, and really enjoyed it. But the sequel was so gross that I just couldn't go for it or anything else by this author for this sake. The cover of Lies I Told superbly intrigued me and I knew I wanted to indulge it all and fall in love.
I do have to tell you that I'm pretty sure that I've just fell in love with this duology. I first expected it to be horrible and boring, and that's what it began readers off with. It had a horrible impression, and I was pretty sure that I was going to put it down midway. But that might have been the cause because of my illness at the time of reading this and being unable to concentrate with a thriller read. But in an overall hand, this all became perfect and enjoyable by the end. We'll get to more of the plot later, but it's one of the things that left me so surprised by the end.
"Now I started to feel the truth of it. Of me. Not the part I played in this job or in the last one, but who I really was. Like acknowledging things about myself out loud somehow made them—and me–more real. It was exhilarating, confirmation that there was something underneath the Grace who lied and stole. But it was terrifying, too. What if the real Grace didn't want to stay undercover anymore?"
And that regretting Grace was our sassy protagonist here. I'll tell you now, beforehand, that her life was always horrible. It's true. She's been heading to foster homes for the majority of her life, and she was now adopted into a family of thieves who perform heists and hunt down for richness. It may seem like the best possible situation for her and to be happy, but it truly isn't. They now move into a small town in California where they're about to perform their biggest heist yet, stealing gold bars from a rich family's home. And it's Grace's job to get close with the family and try to figure out clues.
The majority of the novel is a transformation, really. It's Grace's character development, and because of her having a tough life from the start, it's easy to see that it's not her fault that she's become involved with all of the cruelty that the Fontaines perform to others. And this is why I wanted to get to the point about her character, first. Initially, I hated her guts. She seemed whiny and all desperate for love and romance, but once I broke out of my angsty-stage of living and saw the real thing behind the lines, she needed help and a good role model. Thankfully, her foster brother and new friends helped guiding her in the right direction. I grew to seek a reader-to-character relationship with this coolest chick around.
Aside from the obvious themes and concepts present: stealing, forbidden romance and family, Zink actually had a depressive story that was hidden from readers' view. This isn't your average mystery-thriller, since I actually found that I haven't read any book about thieves or stealing as a crime, so to read this as a first is very impressive. And of course, I adored the setting as well. WHO DOESN'T WANT TO LIVE IN CALIFORNIA? I KNOW I DO!
"But Playa Hermosa was different. It was like another world. One where the old rules didn't apply. Like the exotic birds on the peninsula, we were suddenly all on our own. Except it didn't feel like that right away. In the beginning, it was business as usual. Plot the con, get into character, work our way in, stick together."
From page one, I was... unhappy. I actually made a prediction that I would put this book down by a hundred pages. And by that time, I was actually ready to. Sometimes I find that I force myself through the novel and reading it although I may not be enjoying it to the fullest extent that it could've been from the start. But hey, I took the chance, kept reading, and voila. Michelle Zink's writing then captivated me. I adored the second half of the book, packed with action scenes that I will never forget about, ever. And in the end after realizing that a sequel will be coming around at the end of the year? I found it perfect. DUOLOGIES RULE.
You may think that this is a Romeo and Juliet situation where Grace and her forbidden love interest... *forgets name* LOGAN are forced with insta-love, but I have to note to you that this wasn't the case here. I mean, some may see it as the love-at-first-sight thing after Grace dropped her schedule and everything, but I found it adorable, real, and not the biggest part of the book. But I'm such a sucker for romance, so I guess that it was a truly huge and positive part of my 4 star rating for me! Just to note another character-relationship, Parker and Grace, brother and sister, were adorable as well. YOU NEED SOMEONE IN YOUR LIFE WHO'LL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR YOU, and that's Parker for Grace. R-I-S-K-T-A-K-E-R!
After reading this spectacular read, I guess I feel that I'm more easy with picking and choosing books to read. Beforehand, I probably wouldn't have chosen to read this and pick it up at my library if it didn't have a nice cover. I guess now I see beyond my surroundings and would go for a book even if I didn't enjoy some other book by an author. Excluding the troubles of the slow plot in the beginning and Grace's character at first, it was practically a 5 star read. I absolutely recommend this for all lovers of psychological thrillers and mysteries, Michelle Zink will surely please you with Grace's lies she told!