Genuine Fraud

5 stars

Reviewed by Lara

Official Synopsis:
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.

E. Lockhart has once again delivered a captivating novel, utilising her one-of-a-kind writing style and bold character choices. When We Were Liars was released, it seemed to take everyone by surprise. Genuine Fraud showcases the talent we were blown away with in We Were Liars, while still maintaining its own strong and independent voice; not to be mistaken for a duplicate tale.

It’s safe to say the strong point of E. Lockhart’s writing centers around her style in itself. The bold and unique flow seems to encapsulate the entire story, leaving plot and characters as a secondary weapon. This is not to say those other factors are lacking; E. Lockhart’s characters were once again intriguing, multi-faceted and full of interesting commentary.

Combining a non-linear timeline with a very unreliable narrator was what kept most of my attention throughout the novel. The reader is made to explore different possibilities before being drawn into the final conclusion, making the pace was a little less intense, though not lacking action. This did leave the reader expecting a major twist, akin to We Were Liars, and when there was none I can see how some were left disappointed. Although Genuine Fraud had strong themes of mystery and danger, It leads more towards a traditional psychological thriller in contrast to the obscurity in We Were Liars. Personally, I found the book as a whole held suspense with ease and utilised smaller twists and turns - creating a gradual but stunning crescendo right up until the final line. It’s safe to say that you shouldn’t read too much up on Genuine Fraud before jumping in (this review itself will maintain very bare-bones because of that.) What I will say is that E. Lockhart’s utilisation of stylistic difference between Genuine Fraud and her previous work removed the risk of replicating We Were Liars - a book that I believe was so outstanding it does not need a counterpart or similar tale. E Lockhart stayed true to her writing style and air of mystery while maintaining Genuine Fraud as it’s own story.

In terms of characters themselves, there was so much going on. For such a small cast, the characters seemed to jump out of the page and perform each motion themselves. Jule, our unreliable narrator is established from the get-go as ‘off’ (that is literally the best word to describe her.) We don’t know if she’s in danger, or if she’s the danger itself. Imogen takes a back seat in comparison to the wildly unpredictable Jule, however, her voice is as distinct and outstanding. Neither of the two main girls gets lost within the rich and elaborate tale. I do think that the story could have benefited from a little bit more length. I would have liked to see more from the characters and the lead up to the main events, however, the overarching well thought out tale that E. Lockhart has spun pulled through where character details otherwise fell slightly short.

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart was another fresh face on the YA scene, with beautiful language, a masterfully captured non-linear storyline, and characterisation that filled the page. With another solid testament to her unabashed writing style, E. Lockhart is safely on my auto-buy list and I cannot wait to see what she brings to the table next.

This novel was graciously sent to be in exchange for an honest review by Allen and Unwin.

For more information, visit the Goodreads page and authors website

YA novel: this guy was the most badass guy you’ve ever seen. he could kick anybody’s ass. he was the leader of his own gang of misfits that nobody dared cross. he wore a lot of leather. he had a scar somewhere that looked really cool. he had this super deep sexy raspy voice no one could resist. he stood at a towering height of 6ft5 and was built af. everybody feared him.

me: alright

YA novel: and he was 16 years old

me: excuse me

My focus half remained on the High Lord whose hands and mouth and body had suddenly made me feel awake – burning. It just made me… alive. Made me feel as if I’d been asleep for a year, slumbering inside a glass coffin, and he had just shattered through it and shaken me to consciousness.

- Chapter 42, A Court of Mist and Fury

Finally finished! A project between commissions :) I even did a speed painting of this, so go check it out :) In the beginning youll see how I set up the scene. Its from a program called Daz Studio and I am absolutely obsessed with it. Expect more dynamic paintings in the future :) (once I finish this list of commissions).

Based off of course, the best Feyre and Rhysand out there, Barbara Palvin and Toni Mahfud.

Prints here!

Speedpaint! - PARTIAL (bullshit) NUDITY. Dont flag me please =-= i wasnt blurring out my painting for a pair of fucking nipples. 

***please dont repost on instagram until I have posted it already. 

How to Tell People About Your Book

1. Infer a Pitch Close to their Heart

When it comes to communicating your best story, you need the potential reader to feel something deep within that is relatable. Every one of us stands by a belief system when it comes to morals and sympathy. There’s also another great thing we all carry, and that’s nostalgia. These are significant factors to attribute to your pitch when people ask, “What’s your story about?” Before you begin going onto step 3. of this list, make sure to note that relevant and relatable first before the theme. “You know that uncertainty we all felt in high school?… Well…” and then continue with the rest of the pitch.

2. Short and Sweet

I have a sibling who loves to tell the story scene by scene, and she’ll speak of it for nearly twenty minutes. Longer the pitch, the sooner the potential reader will lose focus on the story. Combine the best parts and verbalize a cinematic trailer. Use sensory terms so the reader will know what to expect.

3. Tell the Theme not the Story

Whether it is politics or a memoir, a theme is a great way to generalize the story without giving away too much information. I don’t tell the title of the story because it’s an exclusive title we writers want to keep for the grand finale when the writing and binding are complete. Speak on subjects that the reader will know about and keep it in a time frame where the reader can also have time to consider why this theme is important to him or her.

4. Speak Your Inspiration

If you want to lose all tabs on the fictionalized characters and even the more delicate details, talk about your inspiration. Where were you?, what made you want to write this story?, How long did it take you to come to write this story? Answer those questions to the reader and let them know where it all began because that is a VIP backstage access to work they’ll want to have access to in the future. Hence, making the reader prone to reading your story.

TO WHATEVER END | Rowan & Aelin

Prints will be available for a limited time here:



Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

“I remember exactly how it felt to see that first message from him in my in-box. It was a little bit surreal. He wanted to know about me. For the next few days at school after that, it felt like I was a character in a movie. I could almost imagine a close-up of my face, projected wide-screen.

It’s strange, because in reality, I’m not the leading guy. Maybe I’m the best friend.

I guess I didn’t reall think of myself as interesting until I was interesting to Blue.”