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Fake ID

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  2,120 ratings  ·  415 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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Jacob There is not. But I can recommend another book that is the first book of a series that is like Fake ID. It is called "One of Us Is Lying" By Karen M. …moreThere is not. But I can recommend another book that is the first book of a series that is like Fake ID. It is called "One of Us Is Lying" By Karen M. Mcmanus.(less)

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  2,120 ratings  ·  415 reviews

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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 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
Liars, Inc. meets The Outliers meets Dark Places.

Overall, an okay thriller. Full of red herrings and gave me whiplash when the killer was revealed. The characters felt like cardboard at times, some of the story's elements were also kind of cheesy, and I was uncomfortable with the depiction of female characters in this book (I get that it's from the point of view of a teenage boy, but still, I was uncomfortable), but still a mystery-thriller worthy of the term.
Debbie Narh

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
Feb 17, 2015 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
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: black-author
3.5 stars

This murder mystery was so interesting and fun to read. I went into the book not knowing too much of the synopsis which was nice, but I think if you've already read the synopsis you'll still find it engaging. The witness protection program aspect of the story was fascinating. The twist towards the end was unexpected and surprising. I didn't guess it and the thought of the person who didn't even cross my mind.

The family dynamics of this story are very interesting. I was so annoyed with N
Emily Anne
Jan 19, 2014 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
Lenore Appelhans
Jul 14, 2013 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
Lisa Maxwell
Mar 22, 2014 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
Skye Kilaen
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-genre-ya
I really enjoyed this fast-paced YA thriller murder mystery. Distinctive narrative voice, great characters, and the main character finds himself in quite an interesting situation. I went ahead and ordered another Giles book after finishing it, because I definitely want to read more by him.
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I overall enjoyed the book. I don't read many books, and when I do I typically get bored pretty easily and lose interest quick. But, I didn't lose interest, the author did a good job at making you want to know more, and the pace was pretty quick, so there weren't many long boring pauses in the book. Even the introduction has some action in it, which impressed me based on previous books I've read, where it's basically just a list of characters and their personalities. The main thing that I didn't ...more
Apr 03, 2017 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
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever thought about what life would be like in Witness Protection? This is the life of Nick Pearson. Nick is a 16 year old in high school, forced to move all around the country because of his father's mistakes, which have landed them in Witness Protection in the first place. The government moves them to a small town called Stepton, and Nick starts to discover things aren't quite right. This book is one of a kind. I highly suggest this book, it really pulls you in and leaves you in suspen ...more
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, book-club
The story of a smug teen and his friends who all get into a bunch of adult-type trouble because that's what happens in YA books about smug teens. The main character was pretty annoying and I really disliked the book at first and didn't think that I would finish it, but then I went on vacation and read a chapter or two every couple of days and it wasn't as bad when it was broken up into small sections. I think that middle school or even high school students would enjoy it, but it's really not a b ...more
My son is often difficult to sell on reading novels so when he told me he was reading this one AND liking it, I wanted to read it as well. This one, a tale of a teen in the witness protection program due to his father's actions, is reminiscent of Harlan Coben's novels and a well-plotted story on its own. ...more
Katie Pink
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fabulous mystery! A great read for teens. Giles is a talented writer who has a great voice. I really enjoyed the pace and characters in this book. Really fun.
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Fast-paced and intense YA. It surprised me MULTIPLE times!
Llyr Heller-Humphreys
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this novel. Reminded me a bit of Veronica Mars.
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
I wasn’t expecting a “happy ending” per se, and yet this story was bittersweet af.
Nitin Vijay
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fake Id by Lamar Giles is a great book. It is about a boy named Nick, who's family is in theWitness Protection Program. ...more
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At first I didn't think much of this book, reading the blurb confirmed my suspicion. Oh wow, a major conspiracy that has been kept under wraps, until it surfaces to public scrutiny. A rebellious teen, adept in scheming and chicanery. Well, lets just say after I finished, I was won over.

Firstly, the marvellous writing. The way the author has composed it allows you to really experience the story through the protagonists' eyes. The 'rewind' chapters offers a glimpse into the past whilst not becomin
rafia ✿
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
loved this book! sparked my joy of reading again. i hadn't read an actual book since elementary and i read this book like a few years i guess after elementary and i loved it so much! ...more
Jenni Arndt
Jul 12, 2013 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
Chasia Lloyd
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was such a fun and riveting read, oh my gosh. The voice is so amazing - I was sucked into Nick's head right away. By the time I finished the first chapter, I knew I would be reading the whole book in one day.

Nick's a great main character. He doesn't get a lot of geeky/nerdy stuff his new friend Eli goes on about, but he's been paying attention to history classes, the legal TV dramas, his parents' stories of their lived experiences with racism. He's a cautious person after spending so long i
Abby Johnson
Sep 17, 2016 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 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 rated it really 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
Jan 16, 2012 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.

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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

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