The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.
Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.
Julie is known in the book as many, many names, but is referred to as Jule on the most part. Very little is known about her as a person, which gives me a sense of fear or uncertainty. Had it have been a first-person narrative, I would have said she is the most unreliable character of YA fiction I’d ever come across. In fact I still, hours after reading, don’t trust her or her motivation for doing what she does… which is why I’m so spellbound by her.
Jule is incredibly intelligent and resourceful. Just wait until the pin starts to drop and, while we never get a true sense of who she is, you do realise how strong she is.
Imogen is a spoilt, unlikable character and there seems to be a sense of justification about what happens to her. Yes, we get a lot of information second hand, but you do later realise there’s other things you have to look out for to learn about this character. Not that it helps.
Forrest and Brooke are equally unlikable; however, you may feel a little sympathy for them. They’re both upper class collateral damage.
Plot and writing
It’s hard not to talk about both of these together, owing to the nature of the book. It’s a third person narrative that has a backward/ retrospective plot that is reminiscent of the beautiful film Memento (2000).
This is unputdownable writing. I read it in one sitting, mainly because I needed to know. I don’t think I could have kept up with the threads had I been dipping in and out of the narrative.
While it’s clearly not a new concept, as Memento can attest to, it is a gripping way to set out a novel and it won me over from the start.