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Fake ID

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  1,360 Ratings  ·  265 Reviews
Nick Pearson is hiding in plain sight…

My name isn’t really Nick Pearson.

I shouldn’t tell you where I’m from or why my family moved to Stepton, Virginia.

I shouldn’t tell you who I really am, or my hair, eye, and skin color.

And I definitely shouldn’t tell you about my friend Eli Cruz and the major conspiracy he was about to uncover when he died—right after I moved to town. A
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published January 21st 2014 by HarperCollins
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3.5 stars

Thank you HarperTeen for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.

Three star and three point five star books make me cringe because it’s basically screaming: MONOTONOUS REVIEW AHEAD. STAY AWAY FROM ‘MEH’-NESS. But fairly, this book wasn’t really ‘meh’ or just another book lost in the bookish ocean. Fake ID is much more than a murder mystery. Seriously, what if the person next to you is a murderer?

1. Fake ID has
Faye, la Patata
An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review. This did not alter my thoughts in any way.

As you, I, and many others know, books aimed at the Young Adult demographic are full of female narrators. Heroines who have problems with their crushes, who have been chosen to lead revolutions that would topple governments, and heroines who will one day save the world from the evil, nasty, eternally-laughing villains. That is expected given that the majority of readers in the YA category are female,
Aj Sterkel
Oct 16, 2016 Aj Sterkel rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Lamar Giles is a cofounder of We Need Diverse Books, which is one of the best things that ever happened to children’s literature, so I was excited when I got the opportunity to read his debut young adult novel.

The narrator, Nick Pearson, hasn’t had the easiest life. His father got the family in so much trouble that they had to enter the Witness Protection Program. Nick was forced to change his identity and move to Stepton, Virginia. (Which sounds a lot like Stepford, so you know something is rot
Abbe Hinder

Fake ID kind of just swept me off of my feet and blew me away. I was expecting a darker story and for it to be a lot slower but I got something a bit different. Lamar Giles and L.R. Giles have written a story about family, romance, and above all, trust. Which has earned them a respected place among my favourite authors.

I had a hard time connecting with some characters since their back stories and histories are told too late in the story for me to actually care about them. I wished that more of
Julia Ember
Jan 19, 2016 Julia Ember rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, dahlbc, genrechal
All the good stuff first:

Lamar Giles has an AMAZING voice and the premise of this book was pretty awesome. I loved the witness protection aspect paired with teen journalism and small town conspiracy. It also had some great plot twists that I did not see coming at all.

And a few things I wasn't crazy about:

This book starts really slowly. Although I liked Nic right from the beginning, I wasn't wild about the other characters who seemed torn out of High School Musical. We had the jock kids, the r
Feb 17, 2015 Slim rated it it was amazing

This book was good sad that Eli got killed and Reya acting towards Tony I mean Nick like that. Smh ! I kinda figured Dustin had something to do with. They should've locked him up and throw away the key. And oh I thought Tony dad had something to do with the murders man I was wrong lol
Adam Bouzianis
Dec 09, 2015 Adam Bouzianis rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily Anne
Jan 19, 2014 Emily Anne rated it it was ok
I had a hard time finishing this book. It’s not that the characters or plot or writing was horrible... it was just that I never clicked enough with the story to be fully immersed. Nevertheless, I am sure some others people will enjoy Fake ID. I just... struggled.

The number one thing that had me yawning during the story, was that I never connected enough to the characters to care what happened to them. Maybe I am cold-hearted, but I have to feel a connection to fictional characters before I care
Lisa Maxwell
Mar 22, 2014 Lisa Maxwell rated it it was amazing
Nick Pearson is in witness protection because of some things his dad did, but when the only friend he makes at his new school turns up dead, he has to try to solve the murder...that might point back to his dad.

I really, really loved this book. Nick is such a great narrator-- he's funny and smart and tough, but still believably naive (he's only 16 after all) enough that you feel for him as he's trying to puzzle this whole mess out. Giles writing is so compelling. I always love it when a writer ca
Lenore Appelhans
Jul 14, 2013 Lenore Appelhans rated it it was amazing
On his first day at a new school, Nick already catches the attention of the biggest bullies, the hottest girl (Reya) and the editor of the school paper (Eli) - which is not good when you're meant to keep a low profile. See, Nick's family is in the Witness Protection Program, and Nick isn't really his name.

Eli convinces Nick to work on the paper with him, confides in him that he's working on a HUGE story, and then winds up dead. Meanwhile, Nick starts to suspect that his father, a former account
Nov 09, 2012 Kassiah marked it as to-read
Shelves: ya, pub-2014
I want this right now. Not a million years from now lol
Apr 03, 2017 Heidi rated it really liked it
I started out really liking this book. The story hooked me right away, it was easy reading with believable action and few slow spots. The story kept me guessing and I was unable to determine who the antagonist was until the author revealed it. Where the story fell flat for me was the ending.


I know many YA novels nowadays are utilizing the non-happy ending but I felt the story ended forced and unresolved. This will still be a book I would recommend to young and reluctant readers - an
Jenni Arndt
Jul 12, 2013 Jenni Arndt rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-ebook
The synopsis for this book is one that I actually took the time to read, I know, shocking right? The mysterious vibe it gave off immediately had me hooked and I had to get the book off Edelweiss to find out exactly what is going on in this boy who calls himself Nick Pearson’s life. After diving in I was sucked into and intrigued by the twisted web that is weaved involving the Witness Protection Program (WitSec) and the ties this family has to the mob. While it didn’t fail to keep me entertained ...more
Abby Johnson
Sep 17, 2016 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it
Nick Pearson is the new kid at his high school and he has secrets.

First of all, Nick Pearson is not his real name.

Nick's family is part of the Witness Protection Program and this town is their last chance. Nick's dad has a hard time staying out of trouble, even when he knows it could be dangerous for his family. The Program won't keep relocating them forever. They have one last shot.

Nick becomes friends with a kid named Eli, the one-kid force behind the school newspaper. But as he gets to kno
Kyle Escotf
Dec 02, 2014 Kyle Escotf rated it it was ok
On this fiction,mystery, and adventure book the main characters are Nick Pearson, Reya Cruz,Witness Protection, and Dustin Burke. The author if this book is Lamar Giles. Nick Pearson is in a Witness Protections agency where he tracks down killings and if he gets caught he has to move and change his name. This is the 4th time Nick has moved. At. School he meets Eli Cruz a journalist who is talking about some secret operation. This makes Nick curious and wants to dig deeper. On day when Nick walks ...more
Jan 13, 2016 Shouni rated it really liked it
Shelves: liked-it

Review also found @ Through The Book Portal

3.5 Stars

This is going to be a small review. Hmm… I actually enjoyed this more than I thought I would. It’s been a while since I read a book with a sole male protagonist since most YA books tend to have female leads nowadays. Nick and his family are a part of the Witness Protection Program and they are accustomed to always changing their identity to stay hidden. Stepton is their fourth change of location.

I think Nick is smart and resourceful. The ro
Jan 16, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Loved it.

The moment I started reading this book, I knew I was in good hands. Lead character Nick (not his real name...) is immediately sympathetic, and his narration is both witty and real. I loved spending time with him and seeing his view of the world; a view informed by the fact that his dad used to cook the books for a mobster, and his godfather is a hitman. Yep. And yet Nick is a guy who tries to do the right thing, even when he needs to keep his guard up and figure out how to navigate the
Liz B
Fast paced suspense about a high school kid in the Witness Protection Program who discovers his new town is not what it seems.

I loved the main character's voice, and the overall plot/ conspiracy was interesting if a bit predictable. The foreshadowing was very, very heavy handed--in the way that makes readers dismiss YA fiction. It'll still make a great book for book clubs--I think kids will really like it, and I love that the MC is African-American, as is the author. We *do* need diverse books.

Sep 11, 2013 Cindy rated it really liked it
a suspenseful read with
tons of twists, interesting characters
as well as a great hero in Nick as
someone in the Witness Protection Program.

Giles had me guessing the entire
way along with Nick as to the
mysteries of Whispertown as well
as what was going down in Nick's own
life and with his family.

i loved Nick's voice, his humor,
and his way of seeing things. Giles
made his circumstances utterly believable
in the narrative.

also, Reya, as Nick's crush,
is one kick ass character
and i really loved her, too!

May 19, 2015 Marina rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star

This was a fantastic murder mystery. It's a fast, light read but one that kept my attention and had me flipping pages. I did not see the end coming and so the revelation of the mystery practically had me gasp.

Nick was a fantastic protagonist. I really liked all the characters and the fact that the main cast was all POC was refreshing.

Highly recommend this to anyone looking for a diverse, fun read.
Fiona Quinn
Mar 04, 2015 Fiona Quinn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a former emergency mental health interventionist for the courts, I dealt with a lot of my teenaged clients with parents in the penal system. Bright talented youths lived under the shadowed umbrella of their parents' lawbreaking missteps. I recognized the plight of my clients in Giles's protagonist and rooted for him throughout the book. I thought the inclusivity of different ethnic backgrounds made for a rich tapestry.
Erica Alyson
Aug 07, 2013 Erica Alyson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had pretty much everything I loved! The characters and story line were great!

Nick is in the witness protection program due to his dads activities. Nick, his mom and dad move and he has to start a new school. One the first day he makes a new friend. His friend is a journalist and working on something big. A little too big and it cost him is life. Nick wants to look into it but he is suppose to keep low key.

This story is just amazing! I loved it!
Alyse Liebovich
Nov 10, 2016 Alyse Liebovich rated it really liked it
I honestly don't think I ever would have known about nor picked up this book except for the fact that it is currently on the Abe nominee list. Shows how useful that list is every year!
I think this one is great for reluctant readers because it's a quick read, suspenseful, and an answer for the #1 question I intercept: "Where are the mystery books?"
What a great surprise! I've had my eye on this for a while & I'm so glad that I read it. It was suspenseful and nonstop twists! I liked Nick and the story really took it to a place that I didn't expect which is good thing. And one of the best things about this book is that it isn't a series!!

I can't wait to share this with students in the fall!
Jul 11, 2016 Jill rated it liked it
This is more of a 3.5. Although it seemed like it was trying too hard with its text speak and general contrived conversations, I appreciated that once the action started it was pretty fast-moving. It was a mystery that I definitely did not figure out until the book straight up told me. It wrapped up nicely also. Good read.
Jul 31, 2016 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
This was a surprisingly good book. It lacked a bit in certain parts (such as the ending didn't exactly meet the expectations set by the rest of the book); but overall it was a good story and well written.
Miss Fabularian
This YA thriller about a young man named Nick whose family is in the witness protection program. For more of this review and to watch an interview with the author, Lamar Giles, click here.
Enjoyed this a *lot*. I don't read a lot of thrillers, but I'm in a weird state of mental fatigue these days and this was just perfect for it - fast-paced and surprising and even containing the occasional dick joke. I'm a total sucker for dick jokes. Wanted a sequel as soon as I was done.
Mrs. Palmer
May 07, 2016 Mrs. Palmer rated it really liked it
A solid young adult mystery with an ending that was a cliffhanger. I'd like to read more by this author.
Stacey Lee
Jan 07, 2015 Stacey Lee rated it it was amazing
Emotionally resonant, fast-paced mystery with touches of humor. Loved the protagonist.
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Lamar "L. R." Giles writes books for teens and adults. FAKE ID, his debut Young Adult Thriller, will be published by HarperCollins in 2014. He is represented by Jamie Weiss Chilton of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and resides in Chesapeake, VA with his wife.
More about Lamar Giles...

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“You don't have to know someone your whole life to know them. Not really. Lonely is the same everywhere.” 2 likes
“Our backgrounds were different, but the traditions of death surpassed culture. Everyone mourned with food.” 0 likes
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