Genuine Fraud

Genuine Fraud

by E. Lockhart


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"A brilliant, twisty thriller—I loved it!" KAREN M. MCMANUS, bestselling author of One of Us is Lying

From the author of We Were Liars, which John Green called "utterly unforgettable," comes a mind-bending, New York Times bestselling thriller told in reverse.

"Compulsively readable." —Entertainment Weekly

"An addictive and shocking feminist thriller." —Lena Dunham

Imogen lives at the Playa Grande Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. She spends her days working out in the hotel gym and telling other guests how she was forced out of Stanford.

But Imogen isn't really Imogen. She's Jule. And she's on the run from something. Or someone. Which means . . . where is the real Imogen?

Rewind: Jule and Imogen are the closest of friends. Obsessed with each other, even. Imogen is an orphan, an heiress; she and Jule spend a summer together in a house on Martha's Vineyard, sharing secrets they'd never reveal to another soul.

But that was months ago. Where is Immie now? And why is Jule using her name?
"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.”  —
“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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385744782
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 7,891
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.12(h) x 0.57(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

E. Lockhart wrote the New York Times bestseller We Were Liars, which is also available in a deluxe edition. Her other books include Fly on the Wall, Dramarama, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and the Ruby Oliver Quartet, which includes The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Boys, and Real Live Boyfriends. Visit her online at, and follow @elockhart on Twitter.

Read an Excerpt

Begin here:
Third week in June, 2017
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
It was a bloody great hotel.
The minibar in Jule’s room stocked potato chips and four different chocolate bars. The bathtub had bubble jets. There was an endless supply of fat towels and liquid gardenia soap. In the lobby, an elderly gentleman played Gershwin on a grand piano at four each afternoon. You could get hot clay skin treatments, if you didn’t mind strangers touching you. Jule’s skin smelled like chlorine all day.
The Playa Grande Resort in Baja had white curtains, white tile, white carpets, and explosions of lush white flowers. The staff members were nurselike in their white cotton garments. Jule had been alone at the hotel for nearly four weeks now. She was eighteen years old.
This morning, she was running in the Playa Grande gym. She wore custom sea-green shoes with navy laces. She ran without music. She had been doing intervals for nearly an hour when a woman stepped onto the treadmill next to her.
This woman was younger than thirty. Her black hair was in a tight ponytail, slicked with hair spray. She had big arms and a solid torso, light brown skin, and a dusting of powdery blush on her cheeks. Her shoes were down at the heels and spattered with old mud.
No one else was in the gym.
Jule slowed to a walk, figuring to leave in a minute. She liked privacy, and she was pretty much done, anyway.
“You training?” the woman asked. She gestured at Jule’s digital readout. “Like, for a marathon or something?” The accent was Mexican American. She was probably a New Yorker raised in a Spanish-speaking neighborhood.
“I ran track in secondary school. That’s all.” Jule’s own speech was clipped, what the British call BBC English.
The woman gave her a penetrating look. “I like your accent,” she said. “Where you from?”
“London. St. John’s Wood.”
“New York.” The woman pointed to herself.
Jule stepped off the treadmill to stretch her quads.
“I’m here alone,” the woman confided after a moment. “Got in last night. I booked this hotel at the last minute. You been here long?”
“It’s never long enough,” said Jule, “at a place like this.”
“So what do you recommend? At the Playa Grande?”
Jule didn’t often talk to other hotel guests, but she saw no harm in answering. “Go on the snorkel tour,” she said. “I saw a bloody huge moray eel.”
“No kidding. An eel?”
“The guide tempted it with fish guts he had in a plastic milk jug. The eel swam out from the rocks. It must have been eight feet long. Bright green.”
The woman shivered. “I don’t like eels.”
“You could skip it. If you scare easy.”
The woman laughed. “How’s the food? I didn’t eat yet.”
“Get the chocolate cake.”
“For breakfast?”
“Oh, yeah. They’ll bring it to you special, if you ask.”
“Good to know. You traveling alone?”
“Listen, I’m gonna jet,” said Jule, feeling the conversation had turned personal. “Cheerio.” She headed for the door.
“My dad’s crazy sick,” the woman said, talking to Jule’s back. “I’ve been looking after him for a long time.”
A stab of sympathy. Jule stopped and turned.
“Every morning and every night after work, I’m with him,” the woman went on. “Now he’s finally stable, and I wanted to get away so badly I didn’t think about the price tag. I’m blowing a lot of cash here I shouldn’t blow.”
“What’s your father got?”
“MS,” said the woman. “Multiple sclerosis? And dementia. He used to be the head of our family. Very macho. Strong in all his opinions. Now he’s a twisted body in a bed. He doesn’t even know where he is half the time. He’s, like, asking me if I’m the waitress.”
“I’m scared I’m gonna lose him and I hate being with him, both at the same time. And when he’s dead and I’m an orphan, I know I’m going to be sorry I took this trip away from him, d’you know?” The woman stopped running and put her feet on either side of the treadmill. She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. “Sorry. Too much information.”
“You go on. Go shower or whatever. Maybe I’ll see you around later.”
The woman pushed up the arms of her long-sleeved shirt and turned to the digital readout of her treadmill. A scar wound down her right forearm, jagged, like from a knife, not clean like from an operation. There was a story there.
“Listen, do you like to play trivia?” Jule asked, against her better judgment.
A smile. White but crooked teeth. “I’m excellent at trivia, actually.”
“They run it every other night in the lounge downstairs,” said Jule. “It’s pretty much rubbish. You wanna go?”
“What kind of rubbish?”
“Good rubbish. Silly and loud.”
“Okay. Yeah, all right.”
“Good,” said Jule. “We’ll kill it. You’ll be glad you took a vacation. I’m strong on superheroes, spy movies, YouTubers, fitness, money, makeup, and Victorian writers. What about you?”
“Victorian writers? Like Dickens?”
“Yeah, whatever.” Jule felt her face flush. It suddenly seemed an odd set of things to be interested in.
“I love Dickens.”
“Get out.”
“I do.” The woman smiled again. “I’m good on Dickens, cooking, current events, politics . . . let’s see, oh, and cats.”
“All right, then,” said Jule. “It starts at eight o’clock in that lounge off the main lobby. The bar with sofas.”
“Eight o’clock. You’re on.” The woman walked over and extended her hand. “What’s your name again? I’m Noa.”
Jule shook it. “I didn’t tell you my name,” she said. “But it’s Imogen.”

Customer Reviews

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Genuine Fraud 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
AReadingRedSox More than 1 year ago
I liked this one a lot. It was strange and mind-bending and thoroughly engaging. I love stories told backwards, and GENUINE FRAUD really made the most of the timeline. I was racing to the end, and it definitely didn’t disappoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Genuine Fraud was a little hard to follow. With the timeline skewing all over the place, I found myself confused a few times. Although, once I understood what was happening, it made the experience a bit easier to follow. Definitely lost stars for having a cliffhanger ending on a stand alone novel..!! Absolutely hate that in a book.
WorldReader1111 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this one, mostly. Right off the bat, I was enamored with the writing style, which is tight and clever, yet functional and descriptive; generally, 'Fraud' strikes that rare balance of being equally impressive and easy-to-read (to my tastes, at least). Likewise, the story is, on the whole, satisfying, with sound, well-crafted characters, an engaging plot, and an arc that manages to be both concise and complete. Another plus: the author demonstrates a perceptive intellect and some sly wit, resulting in a pleasingly smart texture. On the other hand, I felt that some parts read awkwardly, and the ending came off as somewhat murky (or so I read it, anyhow; to be fair, I might've just missed something earlier on). Thus, I can't say that the book rocked my world; nonetheless, it was certainly worthwhile, and of above-average quality in all the ways that really matter in a novel. One thing that I liked especially, and which really upgraded the book for me, was the profound psychological subtext inhabiting the text. Namely, the story presents an object lesson in compartmentalized, double-minded thinking, and the many human questions that arise from such analysis. Through the conflicted central character and her behavior, the reader is treated to a vivid depiction of this mentality, in nuanced, realistic detail, as to dissect the condition and the complexities which govern it. Ultimately, 'Fraud's' character study is, in my view, highly relevant, regardless of its fictional nature (some of life's biggest mysteries are best captured in fiction, and this is one of them). And, considering the proliferation of such confused thinking in much of the modern world (and the often-dire consequences thereof), 'Fraud' is doubly important. As it were, we could all learn a thing or two from the book's two-faced anti-heroine. My sincere thanks goes out to the author and her publisher. I am grateful for, and have benefited from, your work. * * * Some notable quotes from 'Genuine Fraud': “'I make you drinks because it's my job. I pretend to like talking to you, because that's my job, too. You think I don't see how you look down at me? […] We're not friends, Ms. Williams. You're lying to me half the time, and I'm lying to you all the time.'” – p.18-19 “Jule was sure Imogen couldn't really love or want Forrest. He was only an idea of a boyfriend: a placeholder. Though he didn't know it, he was a temporary person, like the college kids and art students who came over for dinner and were never seen again.” – p.211
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the story, it kept my interest and I read it fast because I needed to know how it would end. The ending was a little abrupt though.
Shawscribbles More than 1 year ago
This book will keep you guessing right to the end. The protagonist is not a lovable character. And what you might think is happening, may not be. Or it might. It’s hard to tell. This was a mystery, suspense that had so many twists and turns it was impossible to guess what would happen next. And it all revolved around Imogen and Jules. When the truth is exposed, it will blow your mind. A very different book. Definitely worth the read!
Aditi-ATWAMB More than 1 year ago
“She became the kind of woman it would be a great mistake to underestimate.” I LOVED E. Lockart’s We Were Liars. It’s been FIVE YEARS since I read the book and I AM STILL SHOCKED about the ending because it was twenty different kinds of insane and I LOVED IT. Which is why I was SO excited to see Genuine Fraud sitting in some surprise bookmail from Bloomsbury India – it sounded (from all the raving reviews I’d read) that this was another masterpiece and I dove in as soon as I could. Let’s break it down: WRITING: E. Lockhart’s writing has only IMPROVED since when she wrote We Were Liars with every word and chapter dripping in suspense. The short, disjointed sentences give you a little information and make twenty other questions pop up in your head, which is exactly the intended effect. E. Lockhart and Genuine Fraud really manage to pull you in and leave you SO DESPERATE for answers that your only solution is to binge the whole thing. (P.S: I took all of a DAY to read this book.) IDEA AND STRUCTURE: Genuine Fraud IS TOLD IN REVERSE. It was a disorienting experience that somehow managed to work PERFECTLY for this book, keeping the mystery alive and keeping the reader guessing. It pieced things together in REVERSE, talking about a murder (or two) and a social chameleon. I loved seeing the unravelling of Jule and Imogen and the STRUCTURE WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF THIS BOOK. PLOT: I loved the plot of this book. I probably wouldn’t have loved it as much if it wasn’t structured the way it was, but everything managed to work in the most unconventional way possible. I loved trying to understand Jule and predicting her next move (and failing.) I did spend most of this book ANTICIPATING a jaw dropping end like We Were Liars had, because this is one of the books that NEEDS one of those endings. And yet, the unfinished, vague and NORMAL note on which this book ended was the ONE thing I didn’t like about it all. I guess I WAS hoping for a deeper motivation / reason for everything happening but after over 250 pages of sitting at the edge of my seat, unsure of what came next (or before, depending on how you look at it) the actual ending was SUCH A LET DOWN. CHARACTERS: The more I found out about the characters, as I went back in time with E. Lockhart piecing this book together in reverse, I STILL feel like I don’t know either of the two main characters. I didn’t fall in love with either of them, but I do like them. I admire them, but I don’t know them. Thinking about Jule, Imogen (or even Forrest, Brooke and Patti) leave me very confused. CONCLUSION: This book is definitely one of the better mysteries I’ve read in a while and you should DEFINITELY pick it up. Genuine Fraud is about an heiress and a social chameleon told in REVERSE and there is murder and romance and WHAT MORE ARE YOU LOOKING FOR, REALLY? I only wished the ending was done better. 4 stars.
lakraft More than 1 year ago
This book was great from start to finish. It flows great and really holds your interest. Jules is a well written character and she's full of surprises, a little crazy and carefree I guess you would say. To me this was a total flip from We Were Liars which was amazing but way different. I love both and look forward to whatever comes next. This does leave you hanging so maybe a continuation novel is in store?? That would be great!!
KarenfromDothan More than 1 year ago
Genuine Fraud by e. Lockhart, is a psychological thriller filled with treachery and murder. It has some interesting characters, especially the main protagonist, Jule. She has so many great qualities that she seems almost perfect, that is until you realize that something is off. She’s physically fit, has a prodigious memory, is intellectually sharp, and a master of disguise. She’s also a psychopath. It’s a chilling, unsettling and suspenseful story, and if you liked Patricia Highsmith’s, The Talented Mr. Ripley, then you’re sure to like this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I honestly brought this simply because it was on sale; i'd seen it around a lot and couldn't decide whether I actually wanted to read it or not - I'm pretty glad I decided to in the end! This book is pretty different from the usual YA that I pick up and I think that's partly why it was so refreshing to read - because it was so different, and the plot was definitely nothing I had ever come across before which was nice. It's pretty obvious from the description and the start of the book that *spoiler* somebody dies somewhere within this book; it's just a case of who, when and where? Although this book is full of mystery and adventure, as well as death, it is also a lot of 'what ifs?' and 'could have beens'. But none-the-less, I was hooked! I always forget how much I love a mystery/adventure/thriller book until I pick one up again and completely indulge - despite not being totally into the idea of reading this book before I picked it up, surprisingly I finished in within a day - I liked it that much. This book is easy to follow, with a lot of movie references (obviously good if you're a movie fanatic - if not, it's not totally necessary that you're aware of the references as all are explained relevant to context). Overall, I'm not really sure how to 'review' this book as I can't really put my thoughts into words. It's just a really good book. Shocking and different, with relevant themes presented. You should definitely, definitely go and read!!!
VHoffman More than 1 year ago
E. Lockhart’s newest novel, Genuine Fraud, is every bit as engaging as her bestseller We Were Liars. It’s a novel told in reverse, as each chapter takes the reader a step back into Julie’s story. Julie is on the run. Does her relationship with Imogen, her wealthy friend, have a connection to what she’s running from? Julie is tough, streetsmart, and a master of disguises. But who is Julie? We never really know until we reach the end of the novel. One thing we are sure of is that Julie is a survivor and that she will go to great lengths to stay that way. The plot is fast-paced, taking the reader along to various locales, including Martha’s Vineyard, London, and Mexico, and offering up new plot twists along the way. This is a book to pick up for readers who don’t mind a dark story and enjoy a plot that will keep them guessing right until the end. Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
KivoxEnder More than 1 year ago
I was pretty excited to read this book due to all the hype surrounding her book We Were Liars. I have not yet read We Were Liars and I probably still will despite my not-love of this book. That being said…unfortunately this book just did not do it for me. I ended up giving it a 2 out of 5 stars due to being interested enough in the book to finish it but that’s about it. This story is told backwards. You start with the second to last chapter and go down to the first chapter…then the very last chapter you read is the conclusion. Due to this, I feel like I was able to predict too much in the story so that nothing was really shocking by the time I got to it. The characters, in my opinion, were just boring. There was so much detail surrounding these characters that I just didn’t care about. Even the main character had a lackluster personality that honestly just got annoying after a while. The writing itself wasn’t anything special as well. Then, after all of this buildup I feel that the ending was very disappointing and unsatisfying.
TheKnightsWhoSayBook More than 1 year ago
(More of a 3.5 rating) This is definitely an interesting book, and I wasn’t sure if I liked it at first. Plus the unusual structure — jumping further back in time with each chapter to reveal another layer of the mystery — worried me. But in the end, I found it was pretty easy to keep the timeline straight in my head, and I got really invested in finding the truth of who Jules is. The important thing to know before reading this book is that it’s not a “who did the murder?” mystery. It’s a “why is the main character like this?” mystery, a “what improbable chain of events could possibly lead to this?” mystery. And yeah, sort of a “do you as the reader care enough about those things to keep reading?” mystery. Well, obviously I did care enough. I loved the lies and truths that were intertwined by the way the story was narrated, the twisted ways we see the main character navigate the world to pull herself up in it (even if it wouldn’t work in real life! There’s a reason I usually favor fantasy books. I almost prefer things that wouldn’t work in real life. To me, improbability isn’t always a con). So if you want something improbable and complex and muddy, Genuine Fraud is one of the most unique books I’ve read this year. A short but not simple read for fans of the Cormoran Strike books and The Kitchen comics.
SmithFamilyInEngland More than 1 year ago
Having read some early mixed reviews for "Genuine Fraud" I decided to go into the book with an open mind. The story is written backwards in time starting at chapter eighteen through to chapter one and then ending at nineteen. Although I didn't initially have a problem with this after you stop the book and then pick it up again, it can become slightly confusing especially since the story evolves around two characters that from the start, you realise one is pretending to be the other. I don't know if I would like to read a reverse timeline again but I did enjoy the plot and found myself wanting to continue to see the outcome. The characters aren't particularly endearing or even likeable but I think that's the way they are supposed to be portrayed, however the author E. Lockhart has written a very ingenious story that keeps your attention. This may not have the punch and killer twists that some psychological/crime novels do but nonetheless it's a decent and quite a quick read. "Genuine Fraud" is my first book by E. Lockhart and certainly won't be my last, I'd happily recommend this book to fellow readers as long as you're aware of how the book is styled and that it has been partially based on an inspiration from another famous book. 3.5 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago