Trust Me, I'm Lying is a young adult, mystery thriller by Mary Elizabeth Summer. It is told from the point of view of teenage grifter, Julep Dupree (not her real name). She was taught by the best, her father. At the fancy private school she attends, Julep is known as a fixer. She has a way of conning, scamming, and well fixing problems for her fellow classmates, many of whom are happy to use their seemingly bottomless bank accounts to pay for Julep's help. Julep doesn't always want to be grifter. She has dreams of attending Yale, hence the fancy private school that she and her father can barely afford. All is going well until Julep comes home to an empty apartment. As a grifter, Julep knows that sometimes the con goes wrong and the mark gets angry, but with her apartment ransacked and her father missing, Julep knows this was no ordinary con and no ordinary mark. Her father is in trouble and it's up to Julep to get him out of it.
Trust Me, I'm Lying was such a treat! There were a lot of things I liked about this book. For starters, Julep Dupree is a whip smart, resourceful, self-sufficient heroine. She reminded me a lot of the name sake from Veronica Mars, one of my favorite shows. She's strong and vulnerable. She's a criminal with a strong sense of right and wrong. In other words, she's a richly drawn character with all kinds of complications.
Another thing going for this book is the fact that there is diversity. Julep's best friend and co-conspirator is an African-American young man and his story is not all about being Black. If this were Veronica Mars, he would be the equivalent of Veronica's hacker friend Mac. I also appreciated that there were consequences. Often in stories like this there is more or less a happy ending where all the good guys win and the bad guys lose, and the good guys suffer few lasting consequences even though they may have done some bad things on the way to getting the happy ending. That isn't the case here. Good and bad guys alike suffer the consequences for their actions.
Another thing I appreciated was that the romance plot point was the side story. Julep is a fifteen-year-old girl in high school. Yes, there is a school dance and Julep was happy to make the acquaintance of a certain boy, but getting a date to the big dance was neither the main goal nor the highlight of her life.
I really enjoyed this book. It is the first in a new series and I can hardly wait until the next book comes out. Unfortunately, it won't be published until Fall 2015.