Just Finished Reading: Lies I Told by Michelle Zink

Lies I Told
by Michelle Zink
To be published on April 7, 2015
by Harper Teen.

Source: eARC from the publisher for review

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
My take: Overall, I enjoyed this. I will say that the biggest issue I had was that I went in expecting a standalone and got ... not just a cliffhanger ending, but a sort of falling-off-a-cliff, are-pages-missing-from-this-ARC kind of ending. **See note about this at the end of my review.

First I'll discuss what I considered the book's good parts. I thought the set-up of this book presented a lot of interesting possibilities. Grace and her teenage brother Parker are both foster kids who've been adopted by a couple of grifters. They and their adoptive parents enter a new community, pose as the perfect suburban family, then proceed to pull a con on one of their neighbors.

As the book starts, Grace is (sort-of) okay with this, but Parker is clearly having doubts. Grace and Parker are the first interesting thing I wanted to discuss. They're not biologically related and they've only been living together as siblings for the past four years, so I kept wondering if something romantic was going to happen, weird as that might sound. (I'd prefer it didn't, because I liked them better as siblings/partners in crime/friends,  but I wondered.)

Their latest con targets a rich, eccentric guy in Southern California, a guy with secret stash of gold and a teenage son who's just Grace's age. Parker needs to befriend Logan, and Grace needs to romance him -- do whatever it takes to find out where the gold is hidden. And of course, Grace starts to fall for Logan. Or so she says. To me, this relationship felt pretty bit insta-lovey, and given Grace's history as a con artist, I can't say I was feeling this romance 100%. Grace seemed to have a better connection with Parker, except for that pesky kinda-sibling thing. But this didn't feel like a triangle, so if that's an issue for you, don't worry. At least not in this installment...

I did like the overall sense of intrigue the story creates. First off, the Queen Bee of the local high school is suspicious of Grace and her motives and starts snooping around and Grace has to figure out how to thwart her. Then Grace and her family have a mysterious neighbor, someone who didn't really enter the plot in this installment, but -- since I know this book must have a sequel -- will probably turn out to be an FBI agent on their trail or something. Finally, Grace begins to have doubts about what she and her family are doing, and about whether or not she is or can ever be a good person.

So all in all, a very solid YA thriller, albeit one with no ending.

** One of my Goodreads friends posted that the ARC ending had been changed in the finished copy. My bookstore had out hardcovers a couple days early, and yesterday I compared the ARC ending to the finished copy. Very slight differences (different phrasings, etc.) in the last three paragraphs. If you're interested, email me and I will give you the details.


  1. This is one of my most anticipated April release! I've only read one Michelle Zink book many years ago and liked it. I love heist books so I'm really excited about this one. Great review!

  2. Not for me lol Not because of the plot so much as it isn't a stand alone and seems like it's going to get into messy (annoy me) territory.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  3. I'm glad I read this, because I would've gone into it with a set of high expectations that should obviously be kept in check. That pesky kinda-siblings thing got my attention, though I haven't decided how I feel yet. I guess the important thing is the connection and if the relationship between Grace and Logan feels insta-lovey... As for the lack of an ending, I don't know what to say. Mostly they don't bother me IF they make sense - that is if I get the sense that the author did it because he/she considered that I (the reader) am capable to imagine the rest. But if it's an abrupt thing that doesn't make sense, I get irritated. In any case, thanks for the warning. I'll adjust my expectations accordingly :) Another really good review.

  4. I haven't heard much about this, but I have less and and less patience for cliffhangers so I might wait a bit before giving it a read.

  5. Aw the ending sounds really disappointing

  6. I was excited until you mentioned the ending. I don't want another series right now. Does the one at the book store have a better ending?

  7. I heard about the different ending too and wonder if they turned it into a series because of that. Books like this are my weakness, I'm excited for it!

  8. this one has been on my radar for a while. i am glad its coming out soon or is it out today. yes yes it is. i am glad you liked it. I hate cliffhangers though! so the question lies read now or wait til the next book is out. hmmm decisions decisions.

  9. Yes I enjoyed this book too and emailing about that ending. I loved this con per say and all the characters. I enjoyed Parker too :)

  10. I didn't expect this to be the start of a series either, I noticed today that the sequel is listed on goodreads now though, it has a cover and everything so maybe we'll get some answers from that book! Great review Jen :)

  11. This is a series now? I try to stay away from those, I rather read standalone novels <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

  12. Interesting to see how it's been changed a little now! I might stay away from this, if only because I would like it more if it was standalone!

  13. Oooh, love the concept of this story. Nice review.


Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you will share your thoughts on this post!