Contemporary, Young Adult

[Review] Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart


Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
Publisher: Hot Key Books (Sept 7, 2017)


The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

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.

I’d like to thank Pansing Malaysia for sending me a copy of Genuine Fraud for review.

Rating: 2/5


Having only read half of E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars—mainly because I lost interest as the writing was awfully dull and I made the decision to DNF it—I wasn’t really excited to read Genuine Fraud.

However, I was determined to at least give it a try because the premise of E. Lockhart’s latest did sound a tad interesting.

The thing is, the blurb of Genuine Fraud did pull me in, but the thing is, I felt like the storyline wasn’t that original when I finished reading it.

Here’s the DL. Genuine Fraud is a story of identity theft and deceit.

Before I knew that the protagonist stole her best friend’s identity, I thought she had some weird affliction with disguising herself as someone else.

As the story progresses, it becomes clear that Jule has pulled a chameleon and is living life as Imogen, her best friend.

I really don’t want to spoil things for you, if you’re planning on reading Genuine Fraud, that is. The book is told in reverse, so everything that happens will be backtracked in the coming chapters. I found it unique, that way of storytelling, since I would consider Genuine Fraud as a psychological thriller.

However, did I enjoy it? I can’t say it’s a huge yes, because the intrigue and suspense behind Jule’s actions did compel me to continue reading. But other aspects of the book did deter me from loving it.

In the end, was underlying suspense enough to make me love the book? A resounding “no” is my answer.

I felt like Genuine Fraud lacked in a lot of areas of the book. The plot was practically nonexistent. Well, inconsistent at best, with really choppy writing, which really infuriated me. It’s definitely me, because I had the same problem with We Were Liars and I just couldn’t connect with the characters.

Even though there were moments in the book where I found Jule interesting but overall, her characterisation wasn’t well-written enough and at times, she was quite one-dimensional, in my opinion.

Her motives for doing what she did wasn’t quite fleshed out and I found it difficult to understand her. The other characters were, unfortunately, forgettable, mainly because the book was told in a way that made it seem like they were being mentioned in passing instead of having a role in the plot.

Even though Genuine Fraud was a quick read for me, I felt like it took forever for the plot to progress. It started off quite well, but I began losing interest halfway through. Granted, there were some twisty bits but I had a very strong feeling about how the book would go since.. The next paragraph would sum up my reason why.

Another issue I had with this book is that it is heavily inspired by The Talented Mr Ripley and I do use that term lightly. But hey, who am I to judge when the author herself acknowledged it as one of her inspirations?

All in all, I have come to a conclusion that I am definitely not a fan of E. Lockhart’s books. I didn’t like the writing in We Were Liars and I found that I had the same issue in Genuine Fraud as well. This is definitely a case of “it’s not you, it’s me” because I just couldn’t deal with the fact that the plot was nowhere near original. At all.


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