Summer, Mary Elizabeth. Trust Me, I’m Lying. New York: Delacorte Press, 2014. 978-0-385-74406-5. 328 p. $17.99. Gr. 8+.
Julep Dupree is a small-time con artist and a master of disguise who learned her trade from the best: her dad, Joe. She’s known around St. Agatha’s Prep School as a fixer: for a respectable fee, she can make other people’s problems go away, but now she has a problem of her own. The seedy apartment she shares with her father has been trashed, and he is missing, leaving nothing but a series of puzzling clues behind. With help from her best friend Sam, a cute senior named Tyler, and barista-in-training / private eye Mike, Julep juggles a booming ID forging business, staying off the dean’s radar, and getting to the bottom of what her dad had on the bad guys, even as she reluctantly concedes that the odds are stacked against finding him alive. This enjoyable but somewhat farfetched novel careens from madcap chases to real menace (encounters with the Ukrainian crime syndicate and human trafficking, to name a few). The characters are extremely likable and the fast-paced, exciting plot will appeal to strong and reluctant readers alike.
Realistic Fiction (Suspense) Amy V. Pickett, Ridley High School
I enjoy recommending “read-alikes” to my students, and Trust Me, I’m Lying would be a great choice for fans of Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber (Houghton Mifflin, 2011) or Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff (Little, Brown, 2013). The publisher also compares the novel to Heist Society by Ally Carter (Hyperion, 2010). I’d love to know what other books librarians might recommend to reader’s of Summer’s debut!