*Starred Review* It's difficult to describe Lockhart's latest psychological thriller without dipping into spoilers, but here are the pertinent details: Jule, a peripatetic, athletic, superhero-obsessed teen girl is best friends with rich, restless Imogen, who recently committed suicide. When readers meet Jule, she's lounging at a tony resort in Mexico, eating junk food, and enjoying the sun. It's clear she's on the run, though from whom or why isn't clear, and Lockhart strings readers along with a clever narrative gambit. In a clipped, detached tone, Lockhart tells Jule's story in reverse, and with each step backward, she peels away juicy layers of intrigue. As the relationship between Jule and Imogen comes into focus, Lockhart explores themes of jealousy, loyalty, privilege, and origins. Imogen, who was adopted, is fixated on the idea of feeling a strong sense of identity, while Jule constantly relies on an unlikely story to explain her childhood. But can they really know each other at all? It's a captivating, suspenseful story made all the more bewitching by Lockhart's twisty narrative, and she constantly keeps readers guessing with unpredictable turns and eye-opening reveals. This quietly unsettling, cinematic novel is deliciously suspenseful, and while it's slim, it packs a real punch. Teens who love to hate antiheroes will be enraptured. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Best-selling Lockhart's getting a top-shelf marketing campaign, so be prepared for an onslaught of fans eager to get their hands on her latest. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Lockhart blends the privileged glamour of We Were Liars with a twisty, backward-running plot that's slick with cinematic violence. Calling to mind her own The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, she offers a shrewd critique of the roles traditionally available to female characters in literature and film. This striking exploration of the nature of identity revolves around the relationship between Jule and Immie, two similar-looking orphans. Jule—a fierce physical fighter and self-taught expert at disguise—will do whatever it takes to escape her bleak past. Wealthy and charismatic Immie, by contrast, wafts pleasantly through life, living on Martha's Vineyard while taking time off from college. Pushed into Immie's privileged inner circle via a case of mistaken identity, Jule is swept into an intense friendship—and a series of events that play intentional tribute to Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley, among other literary precedents. A bracing pace, a slew of far-flung locations, and a storyline that runs mostly in reverse will keep readers on their toes, never entirely sure of what these girls are responsible for or capable of. Ages 12–up. Agent: Elizabeth Kaplan, Elizabeth Kaplan Agency. (Sept.)
Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.
School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 9 Up—Jule West Williams is at a fancy resort in Mexico. Someone is looking for her, but she can do a pretty stellar job of taking care of herself, paying a bartender to smuggle her out in his car, then fighting back when he tries to extort more money. That's where Lockhart's latest novel begins. Jule was recently in London. Her best friend, Imogen Sokoloff, is dead. There's a guy Jule likes but can't have. Jule steals wallets in Las Vegas, NV. The teen likes how strong she feels when she defends herself. Jule was in San Francisco. She has had just about enough of Immie's friends from Vassar. Jule was in Puerto Rico. The protagonist has a prodigious talent for memorization. Jule was staying at Immie's house in Martha's Vineyard. She was in New York. Jule is, above all else, a survivor. The narrative moves backward in time, constantly forcing readers to adjust their opinions of the characters and events and realign them in light of new information. While those familiar with The Talented Mr. Ripley may have a good idea of Lockhart's ultimate destination, they'll still enjoy the trip. The book rewards rereading, as initially inconsequential details shine brightly when you can see the whole picture. VERDICT An excellent choice recommended for teens and adults who love twisty mysteries, stories about class conflict, and tough-as-nails teen girls.—Stephanie Klose, School Library Journal
Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.
A novel of psychological suspense by the best-selling author of We Were Liars follows the experiences of a diabolically intelligent girl who repeatedly reinvents herself in an effort to secure a charmed existence. Simultaneous eBook. - (Baker & Taylor)
Told through flashbacks, best friends Jule and Imogen are orphaned outcasts who will do almost anything to attain a happy, wealthy life. - (Baker & Taylor)
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! LENA DUNHAM AND JENNI KONNER OF GIRLS TO PRODUCE MOVIE!
From the author of We Were Liars, which John Green called "utterly unforgettable," comes a unique novel that showcases E. Lockhart’s unmatched ability to play with style and deliver a perfectly plotted, well-written novel with a surprise twist.
Be among the first to meet Imogen and Jule!
"Compulsively readable." —Entertainment Weekly
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.
"You will devour it." —Gayle Forman, bestselling author of If I Stay
“Fans of E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars will love this . . . and definitely won’t see the ending coming.” —HelloGiggles.com
“Tangled secrets, diabolical lies and, ultimately, a mind-blowing outcome are crafted with the plotted precision we expect (and love!) from E. Lockhart.” —Justine Magazine
“Moves at a breakneck speed.” —Marie Claire
“As with E. Lockhart's previous novel, the best-selling "We Were Liars," [readers] will likely finish the last page and flip right back to the beginning to search for clues they missed.” —Chicago Tribune - (Random House, Inc.)