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Lies I Told

Lies I Told

4.6 5
by Michelle Zink

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Grace Fontaine has everything: beauty, money, confidence, and the perfect family. But it's all a lie.

Grace has been adopted into a family of thieves who con affluent people out of money, jewelry, art, and anything else of value. Grace has never had any difficulty pulling off a job, but when things start to go wrong on the Fontaines' biggest heist yet


Grace Fontaine has everything: beauty, money, confidence, and the perfect family. But it's all a lie.

Grace has been adopted into a family of thieves who con affluent people out of money, jewelry, art, and anything else of value. Grace has never had any difficulty pulling off a job, but when things start to go wrong on the Fontaines' biggest heist yet, Grace finds herself breaking more and more of the rules designed to keep her from getting caught . . . including the most important one of all: never fall for your mark.

Perfect for fans of Ally Carter and Robin Benway, this thrilling, high-stakes novel deftly explores the roles of identity and loyalty while offering a window into the world of the rich and fabulous.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Seventeen-year-old Grace endured the foster care system for years until a pair of thieves adopted her, employing Grace and her older brother, Parker, for their cons. Ever since, Grace has spent four months in one place, five months in another, changing her name, personality, and friends in service of her parents’ schemes. Now the family has landed in Playa Hermosa, Calif., gearing up for their greatest con yet—snagging $20 million in gold bars, hidden in the house of a local family. Grace’s job is to get close to handsome Logan Fairchild to find out where they keep the gold, and Zink (the Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy) builds significant tension as Grace begins to fall for her mark and make real friends, throwing her loyalties and decision-making into flux. It’s a gripping, edgy thriller that’s driven as much by the internal conflicts of its sympathetic heroine as by the threats that the con will come crashing down around Grace and her family. A dramatic 11th-hour twist will leave readers eager for more. Ages 13–up. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Apr.)
VOYA, February 2015 (Vol. 37, No. 6) - Rachel Wadham
Adopted by two con artists, Grace Fontaine moves with her family into a new city, where they case their mark, execute the job, and move on. Their newest job, to steal the gold stockpile of a mentally ill millionaire, is their biggest ever. Grace knows how to keep her heart out of the game, but when she begins making real friends and falls for the millionaire’s son, everything gets complicated. When a small slip puts the whole con at risk, she begins to question the realities of her life as never before. But the con has gone too far, and she has to see it through, which means losing the boy she loves and possibly her family. Zink has created a unique protagonist that allows her to explore a wide range of interesting problems. From the nature of true friendship to one’s family responsibilities, Grace delves into a lot of different emotions that will connect to many teens. The plot moves very slowly, however, retracing a lot of the same ground and resulting in a lack of tension and believability. Several plot elements, including a next-door neighbor and mean girl, come and go with little connection. In the end, too many things are left open for this to be anything but the first book in a series, even though there is no indication of more to come. It will certainly appeal to teens who enjoy characters placed in usual situations, but those looking for an action-packed thriller should look elsewhere. Reviewer: Rachel Wadham; Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Fans of romance and a good heist will fall in love with Lies I Told. Grace is a foster child who has been adopted by a pair of con artists, and they are the closest thing she has to a real family. Her brother, another adopted foster child, is finding the life of constant deception increasingly unsatisfactory. He's ready to get out, and he wants Grace to come with him. Parker's entreaties would be more successful if Grace wasn't falling irrevocably in love with their newest mark. Zink uses a fabulous vocabulary to build a tale of deception and mixed loyalties that effortlessly draws readers in and allows them to vicariously experience the tension of living a lie while trying to be completely transparent with a love interest. The victims of the graft are sympathetic characters, and Grace can be forgiven her deception since she must make an untenable choice between first love and familial abandonment or betrayal of a truly good person and an artificial family. Zink liberally includes the palpitating hearts and more mature, steamy love scenes that many young adult readers have come to expect in an action-packed tale, but leaves her readers dangling with an ending that will leave them demanding more.—Jodeana Kruse, R. A. Long High School, Longview,WA
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-12-10
A girl struggles to hold onto her own identity within her family of thieves. Grace disobeys her parents by keeping mementos from her family's previous criminal jobs. She hopes she hasn't completely become the deceptive creature her parents trained her to be from the time they adopted her as a young teen. Now 17, Grace has moved with her family to an affluent area as part of a plot to steal millions in gold from Warren Fairchild, a wildly wealthy but mentally unstable man. Her parents assign Grace to get close to Logan, Fairchild's son, a task she finds only too easy, as she and Logan truly fall for each other. Grace likes her new friends in Playa Hermosa, making one truly good friend for the first time in her life, her family having moved incessantly to keep up with jobs and ahead of the police. She lives with the realization that she must lie to these good people constantly, and she knows she must betray Logan, whom she loves. Zink deftly weaves the story together, employing foreshadowing and symbolism to support the plot. Although readers know from the prologue that things will turn out badly, suspense ripples throughout the story. Grace's character blooms as she balances between the good person she hopes to be and the bad one she's forced to be. Highly readable, gripping and touching. (Thriller. 12-18)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.00(d)
HL730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Michelle Zink lives in New York with her four children. Her first novel, Prophecy of the Sisters, was chosen as one of ALA Booklist's Top Ten Novels for Youth of 2009 and as one of the Chicago Public Library's Best Books for Young Readers. It has also been listed on the New York Public Library's Stuff for the Teen Age and the Lone Star Reading List.

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Lies I Told 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Rebekkah_Jane More than 1 year ago
All you have to do is read the back cover and you're hooked! Zink leaves every chapter set-up so that you just have to read another! Prepare to put some time aside to read this one, you won't want to leave it and come back. You'll want to finish the whole thing in one sitting, which I did. smile emoticon Personally, I felt a little like the main character, searching for a "type" of family but I never fought once you get what you want, it may not be what's best for you and I experienced that with the main character, Grace. She taught me that if you get what you wish for but cannot be authentic, you're not only telling lies, being a liar, but you become a lie. This is a book you have to read more then once because you know you'll discover things you didn't the first time!
BookyBerries More than 1 year ago
Booky Berries received this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Lies I Told was one of the ARCs I remember wanting the most back when we sent in our requests. I remember staring at it on Goodreads at, like, 3 o’clock in the morning and sadly texting Lacey about how much I wanted it to come out already, but when it finally came out, I read about one chapter and then I saw a review on Goodreads written by someone who had just finished it and was really disappointed by how it just sort of dropped off at the end, so I decided not to set myself up for failure. Of course, after that it was announced that this was only 1/2 of a set, but I had already decided that I was going to procrastinate about it, and that’s exactly that I did. On one hand, I really hate myself for making me wait as long as I had to for this awesome book. But on the other hand, the wait for the sequel will be a little less agonizing, since it will be way shorter! I’m in a little bit of a review slump, though, and I’ve figured out in the past few days that it’s harder for me to review a book that I loved than it is to review one that I didn’t. (Is that a real thing? Do other people have to deal with that too?) So this review might not be as full-bodied as this book deserves it to be, but just know that I. Loved. This. Book. Alright, alright, no one comes here to hear my life story, right? So let’s get to the good stuff! Lies I Told is one of my favorite books of the year – yeah, I know it’s only March, but I’ve already read a lot of books this year, so trust me, that means something! I loved this book so much. For a TL;DR version: the plot is amazing, the characters are amazing, the romance is amazing, the friendships are amazing, the families are amazing, the enemies are amazing. Everything is amazing. Is amazing even a word anymore? It doesn’t look like one. Whatever. Grace is an awesome heroine. I fell in love with her on page one because something about her seemed so… sad. She seemed nostalgic, wistful, lonely, and beautiful - and she was all of those things, and more. I suppose she could be classified as unlikable, and on this blog that’s a really good thing. I love my girls snippy and jaded, rough around the edges. This book delivered that for me. The most important thing about Grace wasn’t that though, the most important thing about Grace was that she was a real character. She had a very distinct voice that carried her thoughts and feelings effortlessly, and I felt a connection to her that I can’t really explain. I’m not a con artist by trade, I’ve never gone around lying and scheming on a professional level to get what I want, but somehow felt like she transcended her situation/story and was just a believable, relatable teenage girl, and that’s something that really struck a chord in me. You see, Lies I Told was much more than just a story about a con artist running schemes. It was a story about a girl who’s slowly becoming self-aware, a girl who’s losing her place in the world (or realizing she never had one at all, to be honest,) and who’s beginning to question her identity and the identity of literally everyone around her. This book touches on how it feels when one minute everything makes sense, and the next you feel totally displaced and nothing around you makes any sense at all. At the heart of this book, there’s something uncannily familiar, a sort of aha moment that everyone has at some point – whether it’s that your hair cut has always sucked, your boyfriend has always cheated on you, or that your parents have always manipulated you into stealing from strangers and kept you from ever actually sewing any roots, we’ve all had a moment where our entire world was turned upside down. To me, it seemed like this author was able to crack open the head of a teenage girl and pour in all of this doubt and fear and then dump it out onto the pages of her book, and that’s something I absolutely loved. However, if you don’t like stories that are character-centric instead of plot-centric, fear not! This book offers not only a kick ass heroine, but also a kick ass story. Oh, and background characters! There’s a whole slew of awesome background characters: a lovable best friend, a swoon-worthy love interest, a sigh-worthy rival, two heart-breaking parents, a marriage-worthy brother, and just… Everyone in this book is great. This book is great. I don’t know how I got started talking about the characters again, I’m so sorry. I know I said I would talk about the plot but the characters, you know? They’re just perfect. The storyline itself is too, though. I’ve always had a huge soft spot for con-artists, which I know sounds really weird, but I love stories about people who do shady, tricky things, whether it’s conning or robbing or murdering or just basically anything weird and illegal. That’s one of my 900 niches. The plot of this book isn’t exactly unique – a con-artist falls in love with their mark, but something about the execution of this story makes it stand out among its peers, especially the rest of the 2015 releases. I can’t say very much without giving it away, but just know that whatever your preconceived notions are about the kind of plot where the Big Bad Wolf falls in love with Little Red Riding Hood are, leave them at the door when you pick this up. It’s in a league of its own!
SaraiRuke More than 1 year ago
I NEVER write book reviews. One look at my Goodreads account will tell you that. But this book was amazing! I could hardly put it down. (Unfortunately, the children and hubby expect to eat. The nerve!) When I read the synopsis of the book, my immediate reaction was that this is not my usual genre. But I'm a big fan of Michelle Zink, so I was already all in. And I'm so glad that I was because this book is quite possibly one of the best books I've ever read. The beginning was perfect with explanation of the heroine and her life, both past and current. Then we moved right into the thick of things. The story moved right along, never leaving me bored with unnecessary description or back story. There was never a lull. I hated for the book to end because I knew that I was going to have to wait for the sequel, but even so, I COULD NOT stop reading! Michelle has done an amazing job. And this is one of those books that I think would be a fantastic movie--if only they could stick to the book! I cannot say enough about it. If you have any doubts, DON'T! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is everything needed in the Young Adult genre. Identity, lies, guilt, love, family. Expertly woven and exceptionally written. I can't wait for the sequel.
Margaret123321 10 months ago
At first I liked it, then it got a little less interesting and a bit more cliche, and I was disappointed. So much potential! But Zink really turned things around with the climax and aftermath, and surprised me in a way I was never expecting. Overall, an enjoyable, quick read, that really picks up. Not sure if I want to do 3.5 or 4 stars, but definitely worth a quick, easy read.