Fans of Ally Carter's Heist Society novels will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.
Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.
But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.
“A sexy love triangle and madcap mystery . . . I loved this book.” —Jennifer Echols, author of Dirty Little Secret
One of TeenVogue's 15 Most Exciting YA Books of 2014
One of PopCrush's 10 Most Anticipated YA Books
"Julep isn't just another high schooler beset by the usual drama of boys and academia. Nope—she also happens to be a con artist and master of disguise, which comes in mighty handy when her father mysteriously disappears. Determined, she delves into the underbelly of Chicago to find him (bringing a bunch of fresh plot lines and unexpected twists along the way)."teenVogue.com
"Summer creates a standout character in Julep. She lies and cheats with so much confidence and skill that readers will cheer her on, but she also adheres to her own strict moral code. . . . A memorable debut; here's hoping for a lot more from Summer."—Kirkus Reviews
“Well-paced, well-plotted.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This book has it all: homework and hit men, prom drama and silencers.” —APRIL HENRY, New York Times bestselling author of The Body in the Woods
About the Author
MARY ELIZABETH SUMMER is the author of Trust Me, I’m Lying and its sequel, Trust Me, I’m Trouble. She contributes to the delinquency of minors by writing books about unruly teenagers with criminal leanings, and has a BA in creative writing from Wells College. Her philosophy on life is “You can never go wrong with sriracha sauce.” She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her wife, their daughter, and their evil overlor—er, cat.
Visit Mary Elizabeth Summer online at mesummer.com, and follow @mesummerbooks on Twitter.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
One of my favorite movies is CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. Maybe because I just really love smart people, but the story of a con artist—especially a young one—was fascinating to me then and is now. So saying that, it's kind of a tragedy that it took me so long to get to Mary Elizabeth Summer's TRUST ME, I'M LYING, which is, in fact, about the daughter of a con artist who has picked up the tools of the trade herself. TRUST ME, I'M LYING checked off all the things I could have wanted in a book about a con artist: smart protagonist who cleverly works through problems, high stakes, and immediate and pervasive conflict. Julep was a really fun protagonist to read about—she's witty, sharp, independent and determined. I loved seeing her work her way through the clues to find her dad while hiding her parentless status at school and trying to make ends meet. I was, however, a little disappointed that she was completely oblivious of Sam's crush on her (not really spoiler—it's obvious early on) because how did she not notice? But that wasn't a major issue and didn't lessen my enjoyment of the book. And then the twists! There were quite a few that I honestly didn't see coming, and I loved how the book kept me guessing the whole time. What happened to Julep's dad? Who is coming after them? Who can she trust? Combined with Julep working her way through dangerous situations and the implied ticking clock of her missing father, I was engaged from beginning to end. Overall I'm giving 4.5/5 stars, I've added the sequel, TRUST ME, I'M TROUBLE to my TBR, and I recommend it for a fun, clever read. Diversity note: There wasn't much, although Sam (Julep's best friend) is Black. I hear there's major bisexual rep in book two, however, so I'll definitely be checking that out. :)
I really loved this book. It was a fast-paced mystery, and once I started it, I just kept turning the pages because I couldn't put it down. I loved reading about how Julep was a grifter, because it's interesting to read about a main character who is doing something that isn't necessarily right, yet you can still love and root for that main character. I liked the vast array of secondary characters, and how you didn't always know which ones to trust and like. I am really excited to read the second book, especially since I hear that Dani will have a more prominent role in it, and I'm interested in learning more about her character.
If I taught a creative writing class, I would have my students read this book. The pacing in this book is perfect for a mystery/thriller of any genre. Trust Me I'm Lying is YA mystery/thriller about a grifter named Julep whose con man father goes missing. She sets out with the help of her friends and a mob enforcer named Dani to save him. There are 32 chapters in this novel and every single page contains important information that readers need to hold on to. Every character serves a purpose. Mary Elizabeth Summer made sure every single word in her novel count. The characters ethics and motives are questionable and shady, but you cheer for them. The second I met Julep I wanted to know everything about her, and even when I questioned her actions, I wanted to stick with her to the end. Same for all the characters. Overall, fast paced YA mystery/thriller with intriguing characters and story lines. I finished this novel in two days. Each chapter leaves you wanting more. Can't wait for the sequel!
I got to meet Mary Elizabeth Summer. She gave me jelleh beans and read a preview of thiw book - Before it came out! I love it!
Julep Dupree. Now, is that a great name or what? The only thing that doesn’t *quite* ring true is that, for some reason I can’t identify, I expect to find a girl with a name like that doing her grifting in the South or maybe the Southwest but that’s no matter. After all, any canny con artist knows you don’t use your real name if you want to be good at what you do. She and her father took me right back to my imagination of the Great Depression and its scammers even though they’re very much in today’s world. Julep’s ethics may be on the shady side—she’s a schemer and a scoundrel, no doubt, although a loveable one—but she’s also a teen who needs her dad and will do anything she possibly can to find him when he goes missing. The cops probably aren’t going to be all that interested in locating a con man but she has help from a few friends and classmates, among them partner in crime and bff Sam, hot guy in school Tyler, and clients Murphy and Heather. These kids stick by Julep through all the mayhem that’s to come. Mystery mixed with a very smart girl and her very smart friends, a dollop of romance, a dash of humor and a hefty helping of hurt make for an entertaining and intriguing story but, amongst the lightheartedness, there are serious issues including kidnapping, murder and other organized crime activities. Ms. Summer has managed to keep them all in balance and the result is a tale of puzzles and sadness and I hope to see more of Julep in future books.