A Mind Twisting Book Told In REVERSE
“She became the kind of woman it would be a great mistake to underestimate.”
I LOVED E. Lockart’s We Were Liars. It’s been FIVE YEARS since I read the book and I AM STILL SHOCKED about the ending because it was twenty different kinds of insane and I LOVED IT.
Which is why I was SO excited to see Genuine Fraud sitting in some surprise bookmail from Bloomsbury India – it sounded (from all the raving reviews I’d read) that this was another masterpiece and I dove in as soon as I could.
Let’s break it down:
E. Lockhart’s writing has only IMPROVED since when she wrote We Were Liars with every word and chapter dripping in suspense. The short, disjointed sentences give you a little information and make twenty other questions pop up in your head, which is exactly the intended effect. E. Lockhart and Genuine Fraud really manage to pull you in and leave you SO DESPERATE for answers that your only solution is to binge the whole thing. (P.S: I took all of a DAY to read this book.)
IDEA AND STRUCTURE:
Genuine Fraud IS TOLD IN REVERSE. It was a disorienting experience that somehow managed to work PERFECTLY for this book, keeping the mystery alive and keeping the reader guessing. It pieced things together in REVERSE, talking about a murder (or two) and a social chameleon. I loved seeing the unravelling of Jule and Imogen and the STRUCTURE WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF THIS BOOK.
I loved the plot of this book. I probably wouldn’t have loved it as much if it wasn’t structured the way it was, but everything managed to work in the most unconventional way possible. I loved trying to understand Jule and predicting her next move (and failing.) I did spend most of this book ANTICIPATING a jaw dropping end like We Were Liars had, because this is one of the books that NEEDS one of those endings.
And yet, the unfinished, vague and NORMAL note on which this book ended was the ONE thing I didn’t like about it all. I guess I WAS hoping for a deeper motivation / reason for everything happening but after over 250 pages of sitting at the edge of my seat, unsure of what came next (or before, depending on how you look at it) the actual ending was SUCH A LET DOWN.
The more I found out about the characters, as I went back in time with E. Lockhart piecing this book together in reverse, I STILL feel like I don’t know either of the two main characters. I didn’t fall in love with either of them, but I do like them. I admire them, but I don’t know them.
Thinking about Jule, Imogen (or even Forrest, Brooke and Patti) leave me very confused.
This book is definitely one of the better mysteries I’ve read in a while and you should DEFINITELY pick it up. Genuine Fraud is about an heiress and a social chameleon told in REVERSE and there is murder and romance and WHAT MORE ARE YOU LOOKING FOR, REALLY? I only wished the ending was done better. 4 stars.