Review: Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer

Series: Trust Me #1

trust me, im lying -mary elizabeth summerFans of Ally Carter, especially her Heist Society readers, will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.

Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.

3 Drink Me Potions

I had been anxiously waiting a long time to get my hands on this book. The synopsis made it sound really suspenseful and good. But what I ended up reading was something on borderline mediocre.

Trust Me, I’m Lying started off strong. There was a conspiracy/mystery afoot! Somebody’s kidnapped Julep’s dad! *gasp* (By the way, Julep is an amazing false-name to give a child). There were interestingly strange clues left behind for her to solve and, fingers crossed, hopefully help her find her father. I absolutely love a good quest for cryptic clues. Amongst plot twists here and there, the ending didn’t satisfy as much, what with the build up in the beginning.

The plot twists had a few unexpected moments, and some that were WAY too obvious. For someone who doesn’t let people in very easily, Julep trusted others….well, rather easily. That’s all I’m going to say for that, and hopefully you’d understand why some things were seen a mile away.

As for romance and the “love triangle”….what love triangle?? There was obviously one guy she fell for, and another guy who was pining for her that she never let herself see that (no duh, since she doesn’t have many friends). Plus, I couldn’t see any chemistry building between Julep and either boys. Yes, attraction was definitely warranted for one of the potential suitors, but it wasn’t done well!!. Urgh, and that frustrates me. Just because he has a PRETTY FACE doesn’t mean there’s anything beyond mutual attraction. Which brings me to wonder, why did this hot guy fall for HER? Summer NEVER really mentioned why he cared about her in the end.

Oh. Hold on. You think I was annoyed in my above comments? Let’s see…how about we talk of that ENDING? With many mixed emotions currently running through my head, I’m thinking of settling on angry, WTF, confused, sad, and semi-satisfied. Too many? OK. Let’s sum it up to BITTERSWEET . I’m not sure what the sequel, Trust Me, I’m Trouble, will be about yet but since I wasn’t TOO too attached to anyone, I guess I shall give it a shot.

Although there wasn’t too much love coming from me, Trust Me, I’m Lying still earned a 3 star rating. It had its moments that surprised/jolted me awake. Julep was the only character that felt any bit real to me. Mary Elizabeth Summer put a lot of effort researching into “grifting” and how to con others. Yes, some tips were quite interesting (ie. innocent people always look a little bit guilty). But she lacked very heavily in the character building category.

With that said, I shall end off this rant–*cough* review with possibly the most-touching line in the whole book that actually made me feel something.

“Don’t worry,” I say. “I’ll watch the world while you sleep.”

Overall Recommendations:
Trust Me, I’m Lying has definitely done its research into conning others and learning how to wear different layers depending on the mark you’re dealing with. However, where its plot twists were somewhat mystifying and its scavenger hunt for clues were intriguing, it lacked HEAVILY in characterization (beyond building Julep’s character) and the chemistry between the protagonist and her 2 male suitors (erm, friends).
Oh, and its ending may be somewhat astonishing to those who were actually drawn into Julep’s story and life. Whatever feelings you may have, bittersweet would be my conclusion.