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Cons & Mystery | Book Review: Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer

Trust Me I’m Lying made me realize I’m on a serious downward reading spiral that needs to stop soon.

Book Review: Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer

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trust me i'm lying mary elizabeth summer book review

Title & Author: Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer

Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary, Mystery

Release Date: October 14, 2014

Series: Trust Me #1

Publisher: Delacorte Press

How I Got the Book: Bought – Book Club


“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. ”

No, Trust Me Instead

Trust Me I’m Lying tried to con its readers. The book is very much like its main character Julep; it looks well-put together and presents a confident front, but ultimately it falls through when pressure is applied.

This is a YA contemporary mystery, and it reminded me a lot of Veronica Mars, if Veronica and Keith were con men, i.e. grifters.

Julep has learned everything she can from her father about conning, disguises and the art of getting away. Except Julep’s nearing the end of her high school career and has set her sights on Yale and the straight and narrow.

While I really enjoyed the scavenger hunt-like mystery and served as the spine of the book, I think there were a few inconsistencies that kept me from giving Trust Me I’m Lying top notches.

For one, Julep claims she’s an ace at grifting – she does tons of side jobs for fellow classmates – and yet she has the wool pulled over her eyes more than once. And, it’s done is some pretty obvious ways, too, I might add.

Trust Me I’m Lying offers a first-person present perspective, and yet there are these strange asides to readers that really jarred me out of the story. For example, Julep is talking about a situation or person and then all of a sudden an addition of “Well, don’t judge me for that” type of aside.

Because a diary-entry narrative is never laid out, I was frustrated with the inclusion of these random remarks.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t a huge fan of the romance either. It was fast and furious and should have made zero logical sense to Julep, et all.

On a more positive note: I loved Sam, Julep’s best friend. He was the reigning savior of this story in so many ways.

Writing this review has been tough because I didn’t hate this book, and I didn’t love it. I enjoyed the mystery and the complex nature of Julep’s life – how she balances being a teenager and a grifter. I think there was a lot of potential here, but the issues I mentioned above kept me from wanting to read more from this series.


Despite an initial similarity to Veronica Mars, this book could not live up to the iconic TV show characters and story. The mystery kept me motivated to read, along with the lovable Sam, but ultimately I was distracted by the writing style and character inconsistencies. Read Trust Me I’m Lying with caution.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.