I’d been meaning to read Genuine Fraud ever since it came out last year. I loved We Were Liars, and I was hoping it would have a similar vibe and writing style. For me, it did not disappoint.
Genuine Fraud is a psychological suspense novel about a girl called Jule and her friend Imogen. From a few pages in, I got the overwhelming sense that I couldn’t trust the narration, that I should take everything I was being told with a pinch of salt. It kept me on my toes and I absolutely loved it. I was constantly trying to guess whether what I was hearing was true and to figure out what was really going on.
The story is told in reverse chronology. We’re dropped in right at the end of Jule’s story in the present day, and we gradually work our way backwards, as we find out more bits of information.
A lot of people don’t like this style as it’s not exactly straightforward, but I loved it. The way it flicks backwards and forwards between time worked really well as I knew where it was leading, and was dying to know how the story was going to get there! However, I can also understand that this might be off putting and a bit confusing for some. To me, it felt like another piece of the puzzle.
I also really enjoyed that it’s very fast paced. As a reader, you’re constantly gathering more information about the truth, and it kept me turning the page as I wanted the full picture. I love that about an E.Lockhart novel, they’re always very ~unputdownable~.
The main character Jule is a complete mystery. At first she seems likeable, but then, as everything gets clearer and clearer, she becomes a lot more complex, troubled, and harder to like. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing!
Whilst Jule isn’t entirely relatable, her need to be wanted, noticed, recognised by Imogen, and by her peers is so evident. This book is such a good exploration of what people can drive and convince themselves to do, believing it’s the ‘correct’ thing.
The thing is, I feel like I usually wouldn’t like this book. Normally, I feel that need to really relate and connect with the characters. However, I was so entertained and intrigued by Jule and by the plot that this thought didn’t even pop into my head until writing this review. Reading Genuine Fraud was more like watching a twisted identity shit storm occur in front of me, and I LOVED every second of it.
Have you read Genuine Fraud or any book by E. Lockhart? What did you think? My best friend really doesn’t like her writing style so it’s always interesting to hear what others think!