"An enjoyably twisty, romantic, and thoughtful prep-school mystery." -Kirkus Reviews
At Holden Prep, the rich and powerful rule the school—and they’ll do just about anything to keep their dirty little secrets hidden.
When former con artist Eleanor Ames’ homecoming date commits suicide, she’s positive there’s something more going on. The more questions she asks, though, the more she crosses paths with Miles Beckett. He’s sexy, mysterious, arrogant…and he’s asking all the same questions.
Eleanor might not trust him—she doesn’t even like him—but they can’t keep their hands off of each other. Fighting the infuriating attraction is almost as hard as ignoring the fact that Miles isn’t telling her the truth…and that there’s a good chance he thinks she’s the killer.
The Eleanor Ames series is best enjoyed in order.
Book #1 Chasing Truth
Book #2 Hiding Lies
About the Author
JULIE CROSS lives in central Illinois with her husband and three children. She never wrote fiction before May of 2009, but since then, hasn't gone a day without writing. She is the author of The Tempest Trilogy.
Read an Excerpt
The Eleanor Ames Series
By Julie Cross, Liz Pelletier
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Julie Cross
All rights reserved.
It's not like I haven't seen a topless girl before. I mean, I am one. Not topless. Not now, anyway. But I am a girl.
Seeing a topless girl standing on the neighbor's balcony at six a.m., yelling and tossing clothes from the second floor, is definitely not the norm around here.
From my position on my own apartment balcony, I watch the handful of gray and navy clothing land in the pool, right in front of Mrs. Olsen, mid–side stroke. The old lady stops, looks up, sees the topless blonde. A horrified expression takes over her face. She's out of the pool as fast as a seventy-something-year-old woman can be.
"Got anything else you want me to put on?" topless blonde snaps at whoever is pissing her off next door. New neighbors moved in yesterday while I was having a root canal and sleeping it off with pain meds most of the day. "That's right. Stay in there. Like I care. Have a nice life!"
The girl steps back into the apartment and, seconds later, I hear the front door slam and she's thundering down the steps, a blue sundress now hastily thrown on. I stay hidden until she's peeling out of the parking lot, then I tiptoe through the apartment — careful not to wake my sister and her boyfriend who only get to sleep past six on Saturdays — and head down to the pool. If the topless girl hadn't taken off so quickly, I would have thanked her. I'd been waiting twenty minutes for Mrs. Olsen to get out of the pool. Now it's all mine.
I lean over the side, fishing out the clothes floating near the five-foot end. One gray T-shirt — men's medium. One navy T-shirt — men's medium. Two pairs of navy shorts.
"Uh ... sorry about that."
The soggy shorts fall from my fingers and I look up, squinting into the sun at the tall, shadowed figure in front of me. I stare at the tan bare feet then allow my gaze to shift north. His washboard abs distract me for a second, but I reach for the wet shorts again and drop them onto his toes with a plunk before standing up. "Got something against colors?"
Now that I'm standing, I finally get a good look at my new neighbor. I'd expected someone older, but Mr. I-only-wear-gym-shorts-because-I-have-abs-of-steel is definitely more guy than man. Especially with the messy, dark-haired bedhead thing he's got going on.
He frowns at me. "Colors?"
"Yes," I say. "Like red, green, orange. Pink, if you're into that."
"Ah." He shrugs. "Never really thought about it."
The guy swoops down to scoop up the dripping clothes at his feet, and then he flashes me a grin that shows off two perfect dimples. I fold my arms across my chest — I never trust anyone with dimples — and wait for him to offer some kind of explanation. When he doesn't, I prompt him. "Think this will be a regular thing? Should I bring my fishing net tomorrow morning? Or I could ask management to install a pole. If your friend is gonna be here again, in costume, she might as well provide some entertainment."
The guy shakes his head and then, to my utter surprise — believe me when I say that I am not easily surprised — he blushes, his gaze bouncing to the parking lot from where Topless Blonde bolted, then back to me. "I'm not — I mean she's not —" He sighs. Defeated.
"What's wrong?" I press. "Not into topless girls?"
"Is it a crime if I'm not?" he says. "Besides, I don't even know her."
"I hear that happens sometimes." I pretend to look deep in thought. "Is it possible that a chemical substance could have been in your bloodstream when you met her? That might explain the memory loss."
Normally I'd roll my eyes and call the guy an asshole inside my head, but there's something almost boyish and innocent about my new neighbor — it wasn't when he first planted his feet beside me, or when he swooped down to pick up his wet clothes, or in his response to my question about his aversion to colorful fashion choices. But when I mentioned Topless Girl — that has me pausing. Curious. It'd been a little bit interesting when the girl was scaring off Mrs. Olsen, but then it was boring. Drunken one-night stand misinterpreted as more.
Now I'm dying to know what their relationships is/was. But as my wise and foolish — yes, you can be both — father taught me long ago, never show your cards. Not in your hand, not on your face. Not even in the way you breathe.
So instead of getting my answer from Hot Neighbor Boy, I toss my cover-up onto a nearby chair and dive into the pool. When I surface, I catch the tiniest glimpse of him still standing there, holding his dripping-wet clothes, his mouth half open. I force myself into a choppy freestyle, kicking and pulling way too hard for this early in the morning. A minute later, my new neighbor is trudging back up the steps.
I stop to rest at the shallow end, laughing to myself. But then I look up at the empty staircase, the completely desolate apartment complex, and I can't help wondering if maybe this is why I haven't made a lot of friends at my new school.
My only friend at Holden Prep. Maybe my only real friend in my entire life.
I pull my head out of my ass and look up at the tall, dark-skinned person standing on the pool deck. "Hey, Ace."
Aidan, my sister's boyfriend, ignores my use of his code name and tosses his towel onto an empty chair, then dives into the deep end. I watch with a hint of envy as he manages to swim the entire length of the pool without a breath and magically appears beside me on the steps. Over the last six or eight months, I've gotten worse and worse at my poker face with Aidan. To prove this, he gives me a look, obviously reading my thoughts, and says, "Ellie, a few months ago, you couldn't even swim."
A few months ago, I fell into this pool and nearly drowned. I shake off the memory and narrow my eyes at him. "I know that."
He flashes me a grin, which is nothing like the fake, dimple-filled grin of New Neighbor Guy. "Have patience, young Grasshopper. We have much to learn." He slaps the water, causing a tidal wave to hit me right in the face. "But you won't get anywhere sitting your lazy ass on those steps. Four laps is not a workout. Don't tell me you've turned all L.A. and taken up sunbathing."
"Virginia is not L.A., last I checked. Plus, I had a freakin' root canal yesterday! And you're taking this spy thing to a whole new level, Ace."
"Secret Service aren't spies," he corrects, though I know this already. "And yes, I saw your entire workout." He hits more water in my direction, probably trying to get me fired up. "Saw you scaring off our new neighbor, too. Well done. One less boy for me to chase away, Eleanor."
My jaw clenches at the use of my full name. It's payback for my calling him by his Secret Service earpiece name. "Think I should have gone easier on him?"
"Nah." Aidan glances at the balcony beside ours. "Miles can handle it."
"Miles?" I lift an eyebrow. "You've met him already? Does he have a keeper?"
Aidan gives his best "I'm a grown-up and thus privy to more information than you" look. "Don't you think I'd check out anyone new moving in?"
By "check out," he means background check. Criminal record. The irony of this statement is too much to not point out. Though if my sister, Harper, were here, I'd keep it to myself. Aidan is surprisingly tolerant of these mentions. "Clearly you possess the ability to bend the rules if you allow yourself to be associated with Harper and me."
"That's another lesson you haven't learned," Aidan says. "You and I aren't that different, kid. We've both made a living out of noticing things, and we're both experts at keeping secrets."
"Is that why they call it the Secret Service?" I joke, not sure what to do with this idea of Aidan being anything like Harper and me. He's the epitome of good. My family is the opposite of good. "I've always wondered where the name came from."
He rolls his eyes. "We both know you could have charmed Miles Beckett in your sleep. But you didn't. You resisted that instinct."
He says it like it's so easy, pushing away everything I've been taught my whole life and adopting this new mantra. I mean, I'm glad that I don't have to con people anymore. I'm here because, like my older sister, I don't want that life. But sometimes ... every once in a while ... like when I'm at Best Buy and the guy "diagnosing" the problem with my laptop has clearly labeled me as a clueless girl he can rip off, I'm so tempted to show him otherwise, to turn on that part of me I've left behind along with my old last name.
Aidan is more military than he's willing to admit, and our chat ends right then because he says I need to get my lazy ass moving. It's September already, and soon the pool will close. So I swim and swim and swim. Until my father's words are nothing but a phantom memory. Like when he told me swim lessons were for kids with social security numbers. For kids who stayed in the same place longer than six months.
I lose count of how many laps I swim — probably more than I've ever done in one session — but when I finally stop, it isn't just Aidan in the pool with me. Miles Beckett has apparently unpacked enough to find his swim trunks and is coming at me with perfect butterfly strokes. He stops at the wall beside me, barely out of breath, and looks at me like I hadn't made him blush less than an hour ago. "Your freestyle needs work."
I snort back a laugh. "Your one-night stand needs work." I miss his reaction because I hear Aidan laugh. I forgot he was out here.
"Come on, Miss Sunshine." Aidan nods toward our apartment. "Your sister's making waffles."
"And you let her?" I push myself out of the pool. "I can't believe they hire you to save lives."
"You're welcome to join us," Aidan says to Miles.
"Don't. Trust me." I wrap my towel around my waist and pat myself on the back. Daily civic duty? Check. I give Aidan a nod. "And that's how you save lives."
I'm halfway up the stairs when I hear, "Nice meeting you, Eleanor Ames."
What the — I stop. Turn slowly and look down at my new neighbor. "I don't remember introducing myself."
The grin he gives me is one I'm all too familiar with: guy trying to charm me (aka — guy trying to get in my pants). "Turns out you're infamous around here."
"Is that right?" I laugh to myself. He's being cute. He has no clue how infamous I am. Or my family, at least. "I'm sure everything you heard is completely true."
Aidan catches up to me and tries to hide his amusement. "This should be a blast."
"Whatever. It's not like I see our neighbors all that much, especially since school started up again last week." I shrug. Aidan looks like he wants to say something else but decides against it. "What?"
"He's going to Holden." Aidan turns more serious, his hand now on the doorknob to our apartment. "Miles is a good kid."
"Good? You sure about that?" Clearly he missed Topless Girl. "I think you're losing your touch."
He ignores my jab and says, "Might be nice to have another friend at school."
"Right." I nod. "Because the one friend I had went and offed himself. Good luck, Miles."
Aidan pauses on the stairs and turns to face me. "Ellie, Simon's death had nothing to do with you."
I roll my eyes, but inside I'm shaking. "I know that. God, turn off the therapist voice, will you?" And yeah, I do know all this. It's been three months since Simon — a senator's son and my only friend within the ritzy halls of Holden Prep — well, since he ... you know, went to a better place. The sting of saying his name out loud is slowly wearing off. But I still have questions. And it's taking every ounce of self-control I have to not seek out those answers.
"Plus, you were the new kid last spring," Aidan reminds me. "You should know better than anyone how hard that can be."
Luckily I don't have to spend too much time feeling sorry for Miles Beckett, new kid at school, because when Aidan opens the door, the smoke alarm is blaring and the entire kitchen is in a fog.CHAPTER 2
Aidan pushes past me, heading straight through the smoke-filled kitchen. "Harper!"
I'm too busy helping him look for a fire to say, I told you so. Both of us are coughing and barely able to see anything through the smoke. But sure enough, I spot flames coming up from what looks like a waffle maker (when did we get a waffle maker?), and while Aidan is looking around for a cup of water and stringing together way too many swear words, I yank the fire extinguisher from beneath the sink. A stream of whitish green foam hits the small flames and suffocates them almost immediately. The beeping of the alarm is too loud to talk over. Aidan grabs a chair to stand on so he can disable it, and I rush to open the balcony door.
Harper's cry of, "Oh no ... Oh hell no!" echoes through the apartment and probably floods outside. She's wearing her bathrobe, a towel over her long blond hair. She looks at Aidan and me, pleading with her eyes. "I swear to God it was off before I got in the shower! What the hell happened?"
She rushes over to the kitchen counter. The gust of smoke that leaves the apartment improves visibility enough for me to notice the small stack of blackened and oddly shaped waffles resting on a plate on the kitchen counter. The counters are littered with eggshells, spilled milk, flour, dirty measuring cups. Harper's expression goes from devastated to pissed off. Just when I'm sure she's about to chuck the waffle maker at the wall, she lets out a yelp.
Fingers are curled around the balcony railing and a second later, Miles Beckett (and his abs) hops the railing and stands on the balcony, barefoot and shirtless, looking into the kitchen like he's poised for a fight. "Everyone okay?"
I roll my eyes. I can't help it. I mean, Jesus, we have stairs for a reason.
Aidan tosses the smoke alarm battery onto the counter and hops down from the chair. "I think we've got it under control."
Miles walks in anyway. He glances at me. I'm still clutching the fire extinguisher, my towel long gone. "That's a good look for you."
I open my mouth to tell him off, but Harper reaches for the waffle maker. "Harper, don't! It was just on fire!"
When my sister gets pissed, she sees only red. Logic is nowhere near her line of sight. It's her greatest flaw — or so my father says. Luckily, Aidan is ready, an oven mitt on one hand. He snatches the appliance before she has a chance, holding it high above her head, the cord dangling behind him.
"God, what is wrong with me?" Harper throws her arms up in the air. "I can't do anything right. Preschoolers can probably make waffles without involving arson."
"It's not your fault." Aidan makes a poor attempt at looking over the waffle maker. "Didn't you get this at a yard sale? It's probably broken. I'm sure the seller just ripped you off."
Harper laughs, but there's not much humor in it. She would never be fooled by a faulty sale. Aidan should know better. He does know better, I remind myself. I forget sometimes that people can lie and deceive for good reasons.
I clear my throat and nod toward the balcony intruder just to make sure they both remember that Miles is here. Miles looks at me again and points a finger at the heavy object in my arms. "You might need to get that replaced."
"What are you? The apartment fire marshal?" I demand. What is he still doing here? It's not like we're throwing our problems into the pool. This is private property.
Harper is too pissed to talk about anything rationally and also very aware of this fact. She storms off to her and Aidan's bedroom and slams the door. A second later, she opens it again, poking her head out. "Don't you dare clean up my mess! Either of you."
I exhale and set the fire extinguisher on the table. My heart is finally coming down from the adrenaline rush. I look over at Aidan and see him lower the waffle maker, a smile playing on his lips. He taps the garbage can with one foot and drops the burned appliance inside.
"She's right, you know," Aidan says to me. "A preschooler could probably do this without setting anything on fire."
"Duh." I take in the destroyed kitchen and sigh. "I'll take care of this. Go do whatever it is you do to make her happy again. And refrain from sharing any details."
"Doughnuts on me." Aidan sets a hand on my head, rubbing my wet hair. "Just give me thirty minutes."
Excerpted from Chasing Truth by Julie Cross, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2016 Julie Cross. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Julie Cross launches her teen spy series with Chasing Truth the tale of Eleanor Ames, a teenage ex-con artist who suspects her homecoming date’s suicide is a cover for something bigger. Hiding her illegal past from her rich classmates at Holden Prep had been difficult, but after her friend Simon’s untimely death Ellie has a new purpose, to find out the truth. But her new enigmatic and maddening classmate and neighbor Miles Beckett is popping up everywhere she’s looking for answers. Ellie can’t decide between wanting him or hating him. Can they learn to trust each other in order to uncover the true killer? Neither Ellie nor Miles are your typical seventeen year olds. They’re both smart, adaptable, with lots of hidden talents and neither trusts easily. They’re also wonderfully layered characters. While Ellie fights her past lying tendencies in order to be and do good, Miles is a straight arrow, her complete opposite and perfect match. With Chasing Truth, Cross produces an exciting young adult mystery, with a great cast of characters, spot on banter and swoon worthy moments, and an expertly crafted plot filled with action and suspense that had me intrigued and on the edge of my seat from start to finish. I loved the romance and the anticipation of knowing who did it in equal measures and can’t wait to read more about this cute and inquisitive couple. Chasing Truth is book #1 of the Eleanor Ames series by Julie Cross. It is standalone young adult mystery romance told by the heroine’s point of view with a happy ending.
Chasing Truth is a great Young Adult thrilling mystery. Eleanor has many secrets, one that she’s trying to put behind her. To be able to start a new life with her sister. That was all great, till a friend of hers meets a tragic end. Which means Eleanor is going to stop at nothing to figure out what happened to her friend. The whole time I’m reading, I had no idea who did it. I find that to be one of the greatest things when reading a book such as this. I loved the characters and how the story fell into place. This is only the second book I’ve read of Julie’s, but I’ve loved both of them. I find that the writing style keeps you reading. She makes you fall for these characters, and you want the best for them. I’ll jump into the next one, which was newly released, Hiding Lies. Overall, Five Boundless Stars
The first book in the series is Chasing Truth. The main character is Eleanor Ames - or that’s what she’s known as at the moment! She’s a student at Holden Prep, but only started going there after moving to live with her older sister, Harper, and her boyfriend, Aiden. Before that she lived with her parents who are both renown con artists and Eleanor has been taught all the tricks of their trade but, like her sister, wants a more honest future for herself - and going to school is part of her attempted reformation. She initially struggled to make friends but when her best friend and homecoming date, Simon, apparently commits suicide straight after the event, she just doesn’t believe it and is determined to discover the truth. A handsome new teen neighbour moves in, Miles Beckett, and they’re the same age and both go to Holden Prep. Unfortunately he keeps catching Ellie doing things which make him suspicious and Ellie annoyed!. Add in that he’s an obsessive rule follower and you just know these two are going to clash. Despite such inauspicious initial encounters, the two are seriously attracted to each other but both try to resist temptation. However, both are suspicious of Simon’s death . . . should they investigate it together or go it alone? I’m not going to say any more about the plot or I’ll end up giving away spoilers. What I will say is that I really enjoyed this teen story because of the great characters and the skilfully woven plot lines which only come together to reveal the whole picture in the end. If you can think of an acronym for a government agency, they’re probably involved in this story - yes, I mean organisations like the FBI, CIA and Secret Service - there are even special military schools! There are plenty of twists, turns and surprises along the way and I really couldn’t wait to read the sequel as soon as I finished this, it just has to be packed with more trouble for these two. I requested and was given a copy of this novel, via NetGalley, with no obligation. This is my honest review of the book after choosing to read it.
In "Chasing Truth," Eleanor (Ellie) Ames is running from a past she can't escape. After turning FBI informant on her con-artist family, she now lives with her older sister Harper and her sister's secret service boyfriend, Aidan. Despite not having any papers (no birth certificates, SSN, or any other documentation), Ellie is trying to make a life for herself. She currently attends Holden, an elite private school, that she was somehow able to get into despite lack of documents and with a scholarship (thanks in no small part to Aidan). Although she wishes it wasn't, her con-artist upbringing is a big part of who Ellie is, and she must use those skills (to get what she wants) if she is going to investigate her best and only friend's supposed suicide. Ellie was the last person to see him alive when he dropped her off at home after the school dance- and he seemed fine then. So what happened to Simon between those crucial hours? Add to this that there's a really hot new teen, Miles, moving into the apartment complex who is also attending her school- and apparently investigating the same thing. Together, they just might be able to unravel the events of that night and what actually happened to Simon. Ellie was an easily likable character, and I loved seeing everything from her perspective. The book has a relatively slow start, and the mysteries were often a little easy to figure out, but that didn't mean that getting there wasn't an interesting and, at times, wild ride! I really enjoyed the book and felt completely invested in Ellie as a person. Not to mention that there are some really steamy make-outs scattered here and there that really keep the romance alive! This book was hard to put down and a really great YA mystery with a heavy dose of romance. I would recommend to older teens for content- sexual situations, drug abuse, suicide/character death/violence. Although we get closure on most of the main events in the book, I am definitely looking forward to continuing this series- Ellie is a fantastic main character, and I would love to hear how her story evolves. While I see the Veronica Mars comparisons, Ellie is definitely her own person and her techniques are her own. I think fans of YA mystery/romance will easily devour this story, and I'd love to see Ellie get her own TV series! Please note that I received an ecopy from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Julie cross is quite easily becoming one of my favourite authors. Chasing Truth is my 3rd book by her and it was really good. Now is the time to read this book as the sequel Hiding lies is out in April 2018. Eleanor is living with her sister after her life got turned upside down. Her normal is totally different to everyday life. She had just settled into a new school, Holden Prep when her best friend dies. They say it was suicide but Elenor isn't convinced. Eleanor's past gives her skills. The kind found in the movies like oceans 11. She knows how to charm, dig for juicy dirt and identify a listening device. What she doesn't know is how to be herself but she's trying to work it out. Now BFF, Simon has gone and there is a hot new guy next door Eleanor can't help but get creative. She starts to dig into the Holden Prep's most elite. She uses her skills to befriend them. What she finds is more than she could expect. Maybe Simons death wasn't an accident? Maybe there is a possibility to make a new true friend and even an ally. Bret, Dominic, Chantel, Jacob and justice are her new rich, powerful and dysfunctional friends. Together they hold more secrets and lies than Eleanor can sift through. Luckily for her the new hot neighbour, Miles may also have a habit of snooping. Miles is Eleanor's opposite and equal. To him, everything is black and white while Eleanor's more in the grey. He's military sharp and she's streetwise. This duo makes the perfect team and an interesting romance. I loved this book and can't wait for more. 5 stars out of 5. The thing I like most about this author is her unpredictability and it really shines in this book. *I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. If you like your character edgy this author will be for you.
Mini-Review -Fun, exciting mystery -a SWOONY romance -apt comparison to Veronica Mars
As a big fan of Julie Cross' writing, I was thrilled to learn she had a new title coming out and a mystery, suspenseful one at that. Chasing Truth was phenomenally written and kept me guessing with each turn of the page. It's being described as a book fans of Veronica Mars will enjoy. And while I haven't seen the show (yes, I know...I NEED to!) I can tell you that the characters, storyline, and overall mystery of the truth Eleanor is chasing along side the gorgeous Miles, is a package you won't want to miss! Eleanor has a past she isn't fond of. Growing up living lies and committing crimes along side her parents, she is now determined to keep those secrets buried deep as she makes a new life with her sister, Harper, and Harper's boyfriend, Aiden. But when Eleanor's one and only friend in her new life is found dead and suspected of committing suicide, Elle can't let it go. Simon WOULD NOT kill himself. So, has Elle starts to dig for answers, she uncovers more questions and meets her new neighbor, Miles, who seems to be searching for his own answers. Will these two be able to work together to uncover the truth or will Elle's hidden past ruin the attraction that's building between them? I must admit, the moment Miles entered the page, I was intrigued and willing Elle to fall for him. His own mysterious demeanor was so intriguing. The more Elle tried to figure him out, the more I was sold on him. I didn't care what "issues" he might have had, just how he was described and how I pictured him in my own head left me head over heels for yet another fictional character. Okay, I need to stop talking about the mysterious Miles and just let you read and see for yourself. Julie did a wonderful job building suspense throughout the story and leaving me guessing with every turn of the page. I never knew who did what or who didn't. I was left trying to figure it out along side Elle and Miles. Which left me feeling a little Harriett the Spy and wanting to pull out my notebook and pen and start taking down clues and suspects. With this being the first book in a series, I can not wait to see what happens next for Eleanor Ames! Chasing Truth was a fantastic first book. The only downside....having to wait a year for the next one! While on the bigger side of most YA novels, don't let that keep you from picking it up and trying to solve the mystery alongside Eleanor! I honestly don't think this book couldn't have been shorter. Each and every detail was covered, all the I's dotted and T's crossed. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!
LOVED! Chasing Truth has been billed as a must-read for fans of Veronica Mars, and really, I have to agree. It very much has the flavor of the series--a fish-out-of-water, too-smart-for-her-own-good girl at an exclusive prep school, trying to solve the murder of the one friend she' made at school while also keeping an eye on the suspicious hottie who's asking a lot of the same questions she is. Equal parts suspense and romance, I loved every minute of this one and can't wait for book two! (But I have to. For a whole year. Sigh.) Ellie Ames (not her real last name) grew up in a family of con men. Her older sister, Harper, escaped the life when Ellie was twelve, but Ellie herself just managed to get out a little over a year ago and has been trying for "normal" ever since. Well, mostly trying. It's not easy when you have no real identity and are living with your older sister and her Secret Service agent boyfriend and your entire life up to that point has been playing one role after another. How do you even know who the real "you" is? More importantly, how can you possibly get a driver's license? When Ellie's date to the spring formal--her best (and only) friend at her new school, senator's son Simon Gilbert--dies within hours of taking her home afterwards, the FBI quickly determines it was suicide. Ellie's not convinced, though, and she's determined to get to the truth. Except that the more she investigates, the more she keeps running into Miles Beckett, her new next door neighbor and classmate--which is unfortunate, because he's super annoying. And mysterious. With a penchant for going around shirtless. And did we mention that he's totally hot? But annoying. So annoying. Ellie and Miles soon realize that they're after a common goal, and that working together is their best option. Simon deserves nothing less. Except trust doesn't come easy for either of them, and the more Ellie gets to know Miles, the surer she is that his black-and-white way of looking at the world will make him despise the real her. But the closer they get, the more danger their lives--and their hearts--are in. This book kept me turning the pages, needing to find out what was going to happen next. Just when I thought I knew what was going on, Ms. Cross threw another surprise our way. The last 20% or so of the book? So. Intense. I actually had to put it down for a few minutes--step aside, get a drink of water, calm the heck down--before jumping back into the thick of things with Ellie and Miles. We're left with an HEA of sorts--the mystery of Simon's death is solved, at least, though we may never know the fate of all of the bad guys. Ellie may have made some friends at school at last--maybe, things are looking up there--but Miles has another life to get back to. Ms. Cross's website (and the back of the book) promise another Ellie and Miles book next fall, though, so all is not lost on that front. Can't wait! Even though I have to...sigh. :) Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A
I want to thank Entangled Teen for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review. I have been a Julie Cross fan for a long time. I really have liked everything she's written. So I wasn't surprised when I enjoyed this title from her just as much as her others! Eleanor is a curious modern day teen Sherlock Holmes with secrets to keep. She's not proud of her past and she's trying to leave it behind her but has a hard time doing it. She pretty much made the book for me. I loved her inquisitive mind and curiosity. She's tenacious and refuses to settle for things that just don't seem right. So it's not surprising that she tries her hardest to figure out the mystery of the circumstances surrounding the death of her prom date. Miles is a mystery in and of himself. I'm still not sure if I like his character or not. I feel he wasn't completely truthful with Eleanor but at the same time he had his reasons, and she did the same to him. In the end, he grew on me enough that I was ok with him, though. Julie really does a great job with the suspense in this book. I didn't figure out the who done it at all, which was great because I hate figuring things out before they come to a head! And her writing is really top notch. I was worried with the length of the book the pacing would be too slow for me, but it wasn't at all and I finished it in a day! I'm excited to see more from this series for sure. Lovers of action and suspense with thrills and romance thrown in will truly enjoy Cross' sassy heroine and her band of friends!
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Entangled Teen for the arc of Chasing Truth by Julie Cross! Wow, what a ride! This adventure, mystery, thriller, romance, young adult story held my attention from beginning to end. Chasing Truth is cleverly written, with complex main characters and side characters, and mysterious because the main character has hidden agendas and a secrecy surrounding her. I like Ellie (Eleanor) with her clever, quick wit and the fact that she seems to care about people and also values integrity in others. Ellie's friend, Simon, supposedly committed suicide but the investigation into his death is ongoing. This book is hard to put down and I just wanted to keep reading, but alas, life needs to be lived;). I loved this line, "This makes me hate him 2 percent less, which is useful when I have to pretend not to hate him". I laughed out loud! It's priceless! Out of context, this line doesn't make much sense, but when you get to know Ellie and how she is dealing with her con-artist background while trying to be normal, it makes great dialogue! The mysterious background of Ellie and the mystery surrounding Simon's death kept me riveted throughout the book, 5 stars!
Chasing Truth by Julie Cross....OMG, I could not put this book down. This story is amazing, it is full of suspense, thrilling, exciting and keeps you turning pages. The characters Ellie and Miles are well developed, fascinating and keep you guessing. This is my first book by Julie Cross and she has won a new reader, I am so excited to read more book by her. If you are looking for a super exciting book, here it is. I was given a complimentary book by publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
Chasing Truth is the beginning of the Eleanor Ames series and if this book is any indication, the series is going to be a good one! Ellie didn't have the best childhood and has done things in her life she isn't proud of. She was a con artist looking for her next con in life. She's enrolled at Holden Prep school trying to make something of her life. She has a date for prom with Simon, and afterwards commits suicide...or was he murdered? There's so much more to this story and you have to read it because I've barely touched on how good it is! This was a great mystery book and kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to know!! I didn't know what to expect being a YA book, but it was actually a good book!! I thought the author did a great job! Ellie was a strong heroine and smart! Thanks to Entangled Publishing LLC (Entangled Teen) via NetGalley for a copy of this book!
my best friend has been bugging me to watch veronica mars since the show premiered way back when. but for no good reason i've resisted. reading chasing truth makes me wonder if i should rethink my decision because eleanor ames certainly owes a lot to veronica. but that doesn't mean she's some carbon copy, i think they share their sarcastic repartee and innate curiosity, but they also come from very different upbringings and the scandals and intrigue of neptune, california are very different from the ones that proliferate in our nation's captial. ellie is a recovering con artist, brought up in a family of master swindlers, she knows everything about how to lie and cheat your way into money. after cooperating with the fbi to take down her father, she finds herself living with her sister, harper, and harper's boyfriend, aidan and trying to learn how to live life as a regular citizen. this is complicated by the fact that she has no birth certificate or social security card, because the best way to go undetected when you are a criminal is to have no identity. just when she starts feeling like a normal girl again, her friend simon dies and his death is ruled a suicide. but ellie had just been to the homecoming dance with him and nothing about that evening makes any sense. when a new neighbor moves in, miles bennett, her spidey senses start tingling and soon miles and ellie are tripping over each other on the hunt for clues. neither believes that simon killed himself and eventually they stop suspecting one another. and when they start working together the novel really starts to click. miles is the kind of guy who lives on the straight and narrow. for miles life is entirely black and white, while ellie only sees shades of gray and this contrast between the two of them makes their partnership and the sparks between them sizzle. as things get more heated and dangerous in the case, miles and ellie are forced to look at things in new ways, and it's wonderful to see them both grow from getting to know one another. i can't wait to see what's next for miles and ellie, they were really fun to get to know. **chasing truth will publish on september 27, 2016. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing in exchange for my honest review.
5 "COMPELLING and a CRAZY-RIDE" STARS!! Her best friend Simon's death and a penchant for conning, Eleanor Ames decides to take matters into her own hands when the Police and FBI deem Simon's death a suicide and close his case. The hot new neighbor Miles Beckett has his own reasons for looking into Simon's "suicide." What begins as adversarial distrust, soon becomes a tentative alliance as Miles and Eleanor join together to find the truth. Chasing Truth was a delicious read that I completely devoured with unrestrained fervor. Compelling for these reasons: 1.) Smart, intense and passionate hero 2.) Clever, snarky and redeemable heroine 3.) Quick, witty and/or sarcastic banter 4.) Compelling and driven mystery 5.) Enemies-to-love, swoon-filled romance 6.) Convincing and well-developed secondary characters 7.) And intense moments of suspense. It nearly doesn't get better than this in a YA novel. Fair warning, though: DO NOT go into this book with the idea that it is realistic to FBI and police protocols. Personally, I enjoy suspending belief in my reading and going along for the ride. If a person can do that when reading this book, it is a most enjoyable experience. The ending is near perfect and sets up the series nicely without ending on a cliffhanger. Thank goodness, because the next Eleanor Ames book releases in the fall of 2017. I am truly looking forward to it! Side note: In descriptions of this story, there are references to the T.V. Show Veronica Mars. Although I am familiar with the show, I have never watched it. I definitely prefer books to T.V., but Chasing Truth might have created a convert. If there is any chance I could enjoy a T.V. show as much as this book, it is worth my time. I was gifted a copy of this book from Entangled Teen (via Netgalley) in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
I haven't read any of this author's previous work and this book is a smashing introduction. Eleanor aka Ellie comes from a dodgy family. Her life was revolved around cheating and lying. She has been given a chance to lead a "normal" life but old habits die hard! Miles has just moved nextdoor to Ellie and is the new student at her school. Their first encounter is rather comical and not a very good start. Ellie has acquired some very good skills as a result of what she used to do for her family. These skills should be useful to get to the bottom of what really happened to her friend Simon. She is also very good at detecting lies and believes that Miles is not telling the truth about where he comes from and the reason for the change of school. They tolerate each other to begin with and when Ellie starts to suspect that Miles might have an interest in her campaign, they come to some form of agreement. They soon find out that they are attracted to each other and have to work really hard to fight this attraction. Miles likes to do everything by the book whereas Ellie is not adverse at breaking the occasional rules. As the story develops, it becomes apparent that there is more at stake than anticipated. Ellie and Miles are in a dangerous game as everyone appears to be a suspect. There are so many lies and unravelling the truth becomes more and more difficult. When they think that they are close to getting the answers, along comes the unexpected and more lives are at risk. Even their own! Will this bring them closer together or will Ellie's past keep them apart? This story builds up gradually and then becomes more and more intense. The further I read the harder it became to put the book down. This story is full of mystery, action, suspense and romance. I like the interactions between Miles and Ellie even though I felt like screaming at times. I like everything about this novel. It's well written, the plot is addictive and the characters are believable. It ends on a fairly good note but with the promise of more exciting "stuff" to come. I would fully recommend to other readers. I received a complimentary eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
4.5 stars! I really love Julie Cross’s writing so I was super excited to see that she was writing a mystery, suspense YA series! First of all, you have to know that I am obsessed with crime and suspense stories. I could watch Investigation Discovery 24/7… Dateline, I think I’ve seen every episode. I love this genre when it’s done well, and I think that Cross did an amazing job with the first book in the Eleanor Ames series! Cross certainly delivers with Chasing Truth. I’m going to admit up front that this book is a bit long for a YA story, but when I think back, I can’t think of a way it could have been shorter! Which just means that it needed to be this long, but please don’t let the size of it keep you from picking it up! Eleanor Ames has a past she’s not proud of… she grew up only knowing the next con and the next job. Her family isn’t one she can depend on, except her sister Harper. On the straight and narrow now, she’s enrolled at Holden Prep, brushing elbows with the rich and powerful and none of them know who she used to be. After attending Homecoming with her best friend Simon, he commits suicide but she’s convinced that’s just not true. The more Eleanor digs, the more questions arise and then she meets her new neighbor Miles Beckett. He’s mysterious and arrogant and he sees things in only black and white… but things with him aren’t exactly as they seem either. Cross did an amazing job building the suspense with this story, and I can admit that I had no clue who did what and who was doing what and I loved every second of it. Also, I just have to mention the UST between Miles and Eleanor because holy crap there is so much and it’s delicious and I want so much more of it. These two clicked on so many levels, but they are also keeping major secrets from each other and that really puts a crimp in them trusting each other and working together to find the truth about what happened to Simon. I also enjoyed a lot of the secondary characters here and they were all a big part of the story! From Justice and Bret to Dominic and Aidan they all had major parts in this and really rounded out the story. I’m super excited for the rest of this series and I can’t wait to see what happens in the second book, I have some hopes as to what we’ll see, but I know I’ll love it no matter what Julie writes. Fans of Veronica Mars are going to love this! Grab this one as soon as possible!
Amazing YA read. Mystery and suspense is the name of the game at the elite prep school, Holden Prep. The plot is complex filled with twists and turns with a great group of characters. Ellie, Harper, Aiden and Miles are a unique group of friends and they always have each others back. Dealing with the loss of her friend Simon who supposedly committed suicide is hard for Ellie. She doesn't believe for a second that Simon would do such a thing. Using everything she learned from her past she is determined to get to the bottom of Simon's death. She wants to do this without her past coming out but that might be impossible with Miles watching her so closely. This is a very well done story and it's definitely one I would recommend.