I cannot believe it took me this long to get around to reviewing this book. I mean, Michelle Zink visited our library more than a month ago and I finished the book not too long after… but, summer reading has been stripping my brain of functionality and I pretty much consider myself lucky to still be coherent at this point! Michelle and I actually met back when my 5 1/2 year old daughter was only a baby, and we have stayed in touch ever since. I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately since she just kicked off her new series of adult romance novels, writing as Michelle St. James. (Ruthless is actually ranked #41 in romance right now on Amazon. Go Michelle!) Who knows? Maybe I will even buy/read a book for “grown-ups” to find out what the big deal is?!? But, I digress. I haven’t read Ruthless — thinking about it just reminded me that I need to get my act together and review Lies I Told! 😉
First off, I think it’s only fair to “warn” readers that this book isn’t a Gothic fantasy like the Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy. (If you’re looking for more Gothic fantasy, you should probably check out the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray.) If you’re into contemporary fiction, though, you will be pleased to see that Michelle Zink has made a seamless transition to that genre. Grace Fontaine is a teenage girl with pretty much everything she could want: money, beauty, and a perfect family. It’s just too bad that it’s all a lie. The truth is that she and her brother have been adopted by con artists and trained to play their own parts in their parents’ cons. Every time they move to a new town, they have to develop new identities and help their parents get close to the marks (aka victims). For a long time, Grace convinced herself that she was OK with the arrangement. She “knew” that her parents loved her and that the people from whom they were stealing were so rich they could afford to be conned. When she starts to fall for one of her marks, though, she begins questioning everything about her life. Though the plot isn’t *quite* the same, I recommend this book to fans of Sarah Dessen’s What Happened to Goodbye (which tells the story of a girl who takes on a new persona every time she moves to a new town).