"The first book in the Trust Me series...And this is probably the beginning of Sophie Devereaux from Leverage. Yes, I'm talking about the Sophie who is a skilled grifter in lying, conning, and scheming. Whose name we don't even know.
Fans 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."
Trust Me, I'm Lying is YA Mystery/Thriller with a touch of espionage. Not a lot, but there is a great feel of intrigue involving Julep's father's disappearance. I would definitely recommend this to readers who always feel like there aren't enough espionage books out there. (And I'm definitely one of them. I swear that I have read most of them. Left to right.)
Julep Dupree sells her shady services to the rich kids at St. Agatha High. She doesn't just brush with the dark law. She absolutely breaks them and crosses the line so far that I believe most people can't even see her from the line. Still, she proves herself to be resourceful and worthy of being a grifter (and a detective) as she searches for clues leading to an important discovery. Sophie Devereaux, indeed.
She has found her Hardison in her best friend, Sam. Sam isn't a very deep character, but he does have a lot of potential. I just wish that he is more defined than just by Julep. Yes, he is loyal to her. Yes, he loves her very much, in more ways than one. But what is he without Julep? How is he as a hacker? He may be brilliant, but he only shows up when Julep really needs him. Not when Julep wants to hang out simply as friends.
Tyler Richland is a decent love interest. I'm a bit skeptical over how quick Julep is to trust him (but then again, she is a grifter in training). Still, similar with Sam, I wish for more character development. He does, however, have a bit more than Sam.
The plot is perhaps one of the strongest parts of the book. It is full of action, and twists are practically everywhere. Julep has no idea who she should trust (but she very unwisely trusts nearly everyone in the book, to my disappointment). The mystery presses on, and her father's life is at stake. It's an entertaining tale that is strong in action, not as strong in characterization.
The villain is a bit bland, and like the rest of the characters, he could use some work. But he does prove to be quite a handful for Julep. Most of the spotlight is on Julep, however.
Overall, Trust Me, I'm Lying is for fans of The Gallagher Girl and other espionage books. It has a twisty plot and a grifter who is trying out her wings... against the shadiest people possible.
Rating: Three out of Five