Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

geniune fraud ** Spoilers **

So I was all in this novel until the ending. I feel like it left things too wide open and was a bit rushed.  The story is told in reverse chronological order as we piece together what happened with Jule and Imogen.  Jule is a strong smart girl with the big ambitions and the ability to blend in anywhere.  Imogen is a runaway heiress with the need to live life to the fullest.  They form a close friendship but like things that burn to bright they tend to fade out too quickly too.  When we meet Jule, she is clearly hiding out in Mexico from something or someone from Mexico, we go to London, San Francisco, Puerto Rico, Martha’s Vineyard to New York.  As the story unfolds, one can not help but be impressed with how Jule was able to insinuate herself in this world of wealth and privilege with such ease.  They don’t even question her story and just assume that she is exactly who she is until late in the game and even then, they never accuse her of being an outright fraud but something a little less genuine.  She is able to pull off the greatest con with very little resistance. Jule is able to convince Imogen that she was childhood friends thanks to their connection as orphans.  Jule reinvents herself with a superhero background that makes her more heroic then she actually is.  Imogen is spoiled and see herself as a free spirit looking to live her life to the fullest.  Renting a house in Martha’s Vineyard and sharing it with her boyfriend and friends.  She is the kind of person that makes you feel like you are special, until she loses interest and moves on to the next person.  She and Jule have an instant connection that borders on obsessive and can only end in one way.  It becomes pretty clear what happened between Imogen and Jule that it doesn’t seem all that shocking when it finally happens.  To me again it was the ease of how Jule is able to get in her good graces in the first place.  When the novel finally circles back to where we began the story that’s where things get confusing.  Again real big spoilers after the cut.

Throughout the novel, Jule pretends to be Imogen and after she kills Imogen she takes over Imogen’s life.  She has Imogen’s passport and license.  She changed Imogen’s will so Jule is the sole heir.  So when a detective shows up and thinks that Jule is Imogen because she was traveling under Jule’s passport and staying in a hotel under Jule’s name.  It is assumed that Imogen asked Jule to help her fake her death and after she did, Imogen then got rid of Jule.  Unlike the truth that in a fit of rage, Jule killed Imogen.  So was it Imogen the whole time pretending to be Jule or is this a case of people unwilling to think that Imogen died and left Jule all her money.  I know this was done on purpose but it’s kind of a game changer that to me came out of nowhere that needs more exploring and explanation.  I just feel there is more here to explore. I do however I think it’s pretty cool that she gets away with it because like I said earlier, Jule is pretty impressive.  I just don’t know about the ending.  It felt rushed.

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