Book Review → Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Friday, September 22, 2017


Young Adult Fiction // Categories: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Penguin Random House)
Format: ARC • 262 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars

Links: Purchase from The Book Depository or AmazonAdd to Goodreads
Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat. Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. A bad romance, or maybe three. Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her. A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.
E. Lockhart is an author I've read from before I even started blogging. I'm fairly certain that one of her earlier novels released in 2006, Fly on the Wall, was one of the first YA novels I've ever read—before I even learned what YA is—but I can't remember a single thing about that book now.

I decided to pick up Genuine Fraud because I read We Were Liars back in 2014 and loved it. It got a lot of hype, and I remember it was either well-loved or really hated. I haven't come across anyone who has nothing to say about it.

In the same vein as We Were Liars, you want to go into Genuine Fraud with as little information and influence as possible. So I won't give any clues as to what this book is about, but I will tell you that it's a story told from present to past. The first couple of chapters may feel a little disorienting, just trying to figure out what's going on, but I think it's worth the wait.

"Jule believed that the more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle." (5)

Lockhart is an incredible writer—the way she structures her sentences, the way she tells her stories, the way her stories flow. She really knows how to capture readers and maintain the right amount of mystery. But I have to admit I didn't really like the story itself. Almost every character is unlikeable—which, normally, doesn't matter too much to me—but because their lives are driving the plot, I wasn't invested and I didn't really feel sympathy for their misfortunes 😔

Wanting to figure out the HOW and WHY is what kept me reading. I needed to find out how it all plays out! Lockhart is also very strategic in unraveling her stories slowly, at the perfect pace, leaving you with some sort of reaction after every chapter.

Although I love the way Lockhart writes, I didn't like the actual story. Genuine Fraud was good, but it's no We Were Liars.

  • Would I re-read this? // Unlikely, but I won't say no! I was reading other reviews and some theories got me thinkin' ... what did you guys think of the ending?
  • Can I read this in one sitting? // Yes! And you should, if you can. It's a fairly fast-paced book, one you can definitely finish in a day.
  • Are there any diverse characters? // I think just one. He is described as "Some white and some Asian heritage, Jule guessed." (221)
  • Trigger warnings? // Suicide, some detailed violence.

Other reviews from bloggers I follow: The Book Addict's GuideBooks & Cleverness

Thank you to Delacorte Press and Penguin Random House for allowing me to read and review an early copy!


Have you come across any books or movies where you've disliked the story but loved the writing? I felt this way toward La La Land ... I LOVED the music and the production, but not the story :(


  1. I'm reading this right now, and I can definitely see where you're coming from. :) It's always hard when you enjoy one part of a book but dislike another part of it. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    P.S. I love how you add links to other reviews for the book at the end of your post - that's super helpful. xD

  2. Sorry to hear that you didn't love this one, but glad that you enjoyed Lockhart's way of writing the story! I can totally relate that you kept reading to learn the how and the why -- while I didn't like the characters I was so interested in the story. Thanks so much for linking to my review!! :)

  3. Thank you, Zoe! I wanted to include additional reviews because I myself like to read many in one sitting, hehe. Glad you enjoyed, that makes my day! :)

  4. Yeah, I'm still deciding how I feel about this one ... I just finished THE DINNER by Herman Koch and my thoughts are similar — I hate the story but I can't deny how good the writing is. I AM SO TORN.

    I'm happy to add your review, it's been nice to see you back to blogging this summer :)