Book Review: Lies I Told by Michelle Zink

Posted April 3, 2015 by Stormy in Books / 1 Comment

Lies I Told

by Michelle Zink

Lies I Told

Expected Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Length: 352 pages
Obtained Via: I was given an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my final opinion of the work.
Publisher: HarperTeen

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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.

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Lies I Told is an entertaining book, but it’s not one I’m going to remember reading at the end of the year–or most likely, the end of this week. Lies I Told starts with Grace and her conman family. As a product of the system, Grace’s adoptive parents have given her the only family she’s ever known–including the family trade of running cons. Grace is a pro. She knows how to easily adapt to situations, how to change her identity, how to blend in when needed and also how to stand out. Along with her adopted brother, Parker, her family sends her on a mission to get close to their new target in a wealthy California locale.

But this isn’t just any job for Grace–it’s the biggest one they’ve ever tried to pull off, has the highest stakes, and even though Grace originally got close to Logan, one of the marks, as part of the con, she’s beginning to develop real feelings for him–and he has feelings for her as well.

The highlight of the book is Grace’s personal struggle between the job she’s always done and the boy she’s getting close to. While this type of conflict is nothing new in YA, Lies I Told uses it to explore Grace’s morality. She’s been in the family so long that it’s hard for Grace to get a real sense of right and wrong, and it’s only when she starts to get close to Logan that she really begins to humanize her past targets. Parker also acts a second voice to Grace’s new doubts.

The romance between Grace and Logan is sweet and realistic, if a little two-dimensional. They become sanctuaries for each other, and that alone made me root for their romance even though I found Logan’s characterization a little lacking on the side of him being a little too much of the perfect YA romantic interest.

However, I found my interest in Lies I Told waxing and waning. The beginning was great, the last few chapters were fast-paced and thrilling, but the middle got incredibly muddled at times. There were several chapters of Grace doing very little other than having internal freak-outs and that got tiring. Other than her relationship with Logan, there wasn’t much to read for in those chapters.

And the ending, while finally picking the thrill factor back up, was incredibly weird. Either the version I read(the ARC)didn’t have a complete ending, OR it appears there may be a sequel, though it hasn’t been announced yet(I wrote this review several months ago. (I’ve learned since that there will be a sequel, but I still think this book feels pretty unfinished even with that information). The final chapter felt like the set-up for a sequel and not a proper ending in its own right. Mostly, I felt this book was pretty up and down. It was a fun read, but nothing spectacular.

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Lies I Told was a pleasant enough way to spend a few hours, but by no means a book that will stick with me. There were a few parts I really liked–the romance, some of the mysteries, but also some I was more iffy on–Logan’s characterization and the pacing. 3/5 cupcakes.

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3 Stars

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