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Trust Me #1

Trust Me, I'm Lying

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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.

Fans of Ally Carter, especially her Heist Society readers, will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.

336 pages, Hardcover

First published October 14, 2014

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About the author

Mary Elizabeth Summer

5 books386 followers
MARY ELIZABETH SUMMER (she/her 🏳️‍🌈 ) likes to poke at dark places until the light spills out, which is why her characters are constantly glaring at her and applying adhesive bandages. She is currently contributing to the delinquency of minors by writing books about a teen con artist solving mysteries by doing crime. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her spouse, daughter, and small menagerie of pets. For email updates on new releases, sign up at maryelizabethsummer.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 644 reviews
January 14, 2021
This fixer creates way too many extra problems for the sake of 'fixing'. Also, what's up with the non-stop blabbering machine?
I can’t say I have much personal experience with conscience. I wasn’t born with that particular cricket on my shoulder. (c)
I might feel a little bad for her if I were a real person. As it happens, I’m not a real person, and she is not my client. (c)
Problem is, my dad is a voracious reader. He’ll read anything from physics texts to pulp private-eye novels. And he never reads a book twice, because his mind’s like Alcatraz—once something’s in, it never gets out. All good con artists are like that. We need to be knowledgeable on a thousand different subjects in order to convince a thousand different marks of our authenticity. So my dad might have been reading up on some obscure piece of Pisa history and it didn’t occur to me to notice. Or Pisa could just be a red herring. (c0
Coincidences are like unicorns—you can believe in them all you want, but that doesn’t make them real. (c)
Is some errant part of my psycho-girl psyche trying to show off for him? Without permission? (c)
People are generally open books. You can tell what their motivations are in a single exchange, if you know what to listen for. (c)
“What I am going to do is track down our homicidal Pied Piper of Hamlin and tie what’s left of the rat carcass around his neck.”
They both stare at me like I’ve gone nuclear, but I’ve had it with the peanut gallery for the day. (c)
But bagging the remains of one’s broken life is sort of a solo endeavor. (c)
I chew on both the tomato and the thought. (c)
“I don’t think you’ll blend into a crowd very well in your underwear,” (c)
Profile Image for Paula M.
547 reviews641 followers
January 5, 2015
I never really expected a mystery/thriller book to break my heart. But this book did. Oh, it did. I don't even know if that's a good thing or not. All I know is that if a book affected you like the way this book affected me, it only means one thing: IT IS BRILLIANT AND MADE BY A GENIUS MIND.

Yep, I think Veronica will approve it.





Julep (if that's her real name) is a con artist. A grifter. And she's good at what she do. After all, she learned from the best grifter she knows: her father. Who is, by the way, MISSING.

The gem in this book is Julep. She is well defined and incredibly believable for a 16 year old con artist. I notice every details when it comes to this kind of plots because even though this book is Fiction, I still want a hint of reality to it. You can say that the author really researched and crafted Julep very well. As far as I'm concerned, not only Julep, but every character in this book is plausible. I even have this weird connection with Julep's father even though I've seen only small parts of him and mostly through Julep's memory only.

The romance isn't the main focus of the story because it's more about finding Julep's dad but it's another reason to love the story. The romance aspect didn't annoy me at all and the instead, it added flare to TMIL's plot. There's drama, of course. But this is the kind of drama that you'll find yourself very invested in. And I have to admit that there were some things that happened that squeezed my heart and felt like it was rip apart but I willingly accepted it. Sometimes I wish I can sell my emotions for awhile. Sigh..

Trust Me, I'm Lying really delivers. It will keep you guessing, will shock you with its twist and turns and will made you laugh along the way. Julep is not someone you forget that easily and you'll find yourself wishing that you have a real life friend like her. I recommend this to readers who is looking for a well done mystery with a sassy heroine. You will love it. Overall, Trust Me, I'm Lying is a lovely debut book! Can't wait for the following books to come.
Profile Image for mith.
751 reviews259 followers
April 1, 2015
I personally did not enjoy Ally Carter's Heist Society and I won't even pretend to know anything about Ocean's Eleven so just bear with me here.
(Julep's not my real name, either, but we'll get back to that later.)

I personally think that is a wonderful line to start this all off, because if the synopsis didn't give away what the book was about, then that certainly will.
Out of all the con artist-type books I have read over my short years of obsessive reading, all of them have something to do with "[First name, Last name] is not my real name, but don't worry about it."
And, like all good con artist books, we start right in the beginning of one, so you know, the readers get the feel of what they're doing, who they aren't, what the MC's job is.
Now, welcome to Julep Dupree's life. She is a grifter, only the second best because the #1 award for Best Grifter in Chicago goes to the Dad--who happens to be missing.
Dun dun dun.
Now you have a game of cat and mouse. He leaves clues and she has to find them--and of course, they are all cryptic. With the Dad figure gone, Julep has many problems.
-A trashed apartment.
-The need to find the Dad figure.
-Keep up with school (that A- average isn't going to keep up all on its own.)
-Still play the fixer-uper at said school.
-Food too I guess.
-Try not to die.
-Try not to fall into some hot dude's choclatey warm eyes as well.
(The last two may or may not be the same thing.)

This isn't anything new, really. Of course Julep would be trying to find her father, and of course she would have help. Other than her trusty sidekick, (or something more, I wonder? Hmm...) Sam, there isn't much help she can get.
Of course that's where Local Prince Charming comes into play.
I'll stop being sarcastic and unhelpful right now.
I meant what I said in my initial reaction upon finishing this book. It would have been a breath of fresh air, sincerely, but there were some certain things just lacking.
First things first: the writing. Keep in mind that this is a debut. I've read plenty of debut novels in my (rather short) period of time and sometimes it's very simple to distinguish one. This novel, however, would not fall into that category. Why? That's easy. The writing was actually very well done. I enjoyed it for the most part. Not all of it was vague--none of "This happened then that happened, causing this reaction." Most of the times, the author went in depth, especially with her characters.
But the thing with the writing.... It was also slightly problematic.
I'm sure everyone's familiar with the term, "Show, not tell" because some English teacher or another would tell you. A lot of the times, this book was just the opposite. The author would tell but lack the evidence to convincingly show. And if that's not done in a correct manner, there's no way for the words to have any kind of effect. It was one of the reasons I couldn't connect with this book and it did make most scenes rather boring and sort of insignificant to me whereas it was crucial in the plot.
Now, for the main character. Julep is... well, she's getting there. Personally, I couldn't always like her as a narrator, but she was well defined and well written. She's smart--mostly. She knows what she's doing and she's confident. She can get herself out of messes, whether she created them or not. She's only a sophomore and hot damn, does she know her way around, well, everywhere. Not surprising, given her little jobs here and there, but this girl can get things done that's for sure. And I love that about her, her self sufficiency. Not to mention she's also sarcastic as fuck along with the other cliche heroine traits: stubborn with a knack of getting herself in trouble. Oh, and oblivious. Cannot forget that one.
She reminds me of Gwen from The Mythos Academy series, actually.
The thing that bothered me most about her was that, despite keeping her history a secret, she basically spills it all when it comes to Tyler. In fact, she doesn't even seem to not want to tell him. She hesitates every once in a while, yeah, but for someone who kinda sorta breaks the law? I wouldn't be giving up anything for any cute guy. Especially one I've barely known or spoken to, nonetheless. (Seriously, this is their first time talking and she's so chill with everything about him? That's... not okay...)
Tyler, said cute guy, is seemingly one of the love interests in this book. I couldn't really trust him entirely because it's downright strange why he wanted to so badly help Julep. But I'm glad he ended up being good for her.
I really liked Sam. I think he's my favourite character in this book because he's always got Julep's back and is always ready to help, even if it means him getting in severe trouble. He's a sweetie and Julep is blind.
The secondary characters got their deal of action, acting as they should, I guess. They helped when Julep needed it but didn't really play huge roles in the book.
Now, even though I'd said the writing was good, it was also lacking in some areas.
When something tragic happens in a book, you expect a paragraph or two to elaborate. It didn't feel like that was happening here. Sometimes Summer would just bluntly say it and it wouldn't feel real, and it would leave you confused. I had to backtrack and reread a lot of the important details because, at first glance, they seemed insignificant.
Also! The romance wasn't the focal point at all! Sure sometimes Julep would get distracted, and sure, it was inevitable, but Julep keeps her head in the game the entire time! Her number one goal is to find the Dad and that's what she's always trying to do.
However, I still found it a bit tough to stay interested in this book. That's why it look me so long, other than the gloomy effect school has on me. While it was interesting and fast paced, certain parts just lagged and didn't click. There is a bit of romance so no need to worry about that.
Overall, I was a bit underwhelmed. 3 stars in my final vote.
After reading
(This is temporary. I'll actually try for a review in a bit!!)
Honestly? This would be a breath of fresh air in the whole teenage con thing because it was pretty crazy.
Except the effect was ruined by the understatement of several happenings and I refuse to let that go.
Sometimes the author just said what had happened so the initial "what the fuck??!!!" (in a surprised manner) does not occur, but rather "what the fuck????????" (utter confusion) replaces it.

Correction, I like this cover:
Ooooh I enjoy this cover!
6 reviews2 followers
May 1, 2014
I'm a pretty cynical dude in my late twenties, so I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy this book so much.

I am reminded of being "forced" to watch Gilmore Girls in high school. "Not again!" I exclaimed while smiling inside. Like Rory and later Veronica, Julep and her author won me over with their wit and charm. Readers of all genders and ages will be hooked.
Profile Image for Elevetha .
1,769 reviews168 followers
January 5, 2015
2.5 stars.

Not a proper review, really, just some notes.

The relationship between Tyler and Julep was fine (especially for YA standards nowadays), but they trusted each other far too quickly. Not to mention that there were a lot of "I didn't want him to know, so why I did bring him with me, where's he sure to find out?" on Julep's part. I DON'T KNOW, JULEP. YOU TELL ME.

I was very, almost pleasantly, surprised that

Ooh, and the reason behind the (plot)

So I'll be sticking around for Book Two, but I kinda hope this is a duology. It needs a sequel, but it feels like it could easily be only two books without leaving out important bits.

I found a typo in a hackneyed phrase:
" He lets go a breath I didn't realized he was holding."
Page 18

Oops, here's another one:
"No you are not."
Page 110

And yet another:
"We'll have to find a pair tweezers."
Page 174

Also, why wouldn't you capitalize God? It doesn't matter if you believe in Him or not, if you are using His name as a proper name, you have to capitalize it, for grammar's sake. But obviously that's not very important to you, considering the missed comma, incorrect tense, and missing preposition.
Profile Image for Kelly (Diva Booknerd).
1,106 reviews299 followers
January 21, 2015
Trust Me, I'm lying was fun, adventurous, but with a thrillingly sinister storyline that I couldn't put down. Reminiscent of Veronica Mars, it follows the story of Julep, a sassy voice in a sea of the wealthy and elite. She makes dreams a reality for a fee, with intricate schemes ranging from setting up dates for the desperate, to criminal activity. Her single father teaching her all he knows, until she comes home from school and finds her place ransacked and her father missing. Suddenly her extracurricular activities pale in comparison. Apart from best friend Sam, Julep has connections but no other friends, not allowing herself to take comfort in anyone else, until she meets Tyler.

Tyler is wealthy, popular and after seeing a dead rat being placed in Julep's school locker, feels he needs to involve himself in her protection. Julep is wary of his sudden interest, and with good reason. Sam doesn't trust him and their once close friendship becomes strained with the introduction of Tyler as a possible love interest. Their dangerous adventure was enthralling, a mystery that unravels as the reader turns each page. I loved Julep's character and although she eludes a tough exterior, I felt incredibly sorry for her. She doesn't want to follow in her father's footsteps, even though he is pushing her into a life of crime and one day dreams of attending Yale.

The appeal of Trust Me, I'm lying comes from being so far fetched, that it borders on being a fun thriller and not to be taken seriously. It's entertaining, and will appeal to fans of young adult mystery. Looking forward to continuing on with the series.
Profile Image for pstreads.
264 reviews62 followers
February 12, 2015
All of it was just too unrealistic, that's saying something considering how far my mind can stretch when it comes to unrealistic events but, ugh... There was so much potential here. I just couldn't get into it. The protagonist was also too distant I think. I found myself not really caring about her insignificant woes when there was so much going on. Meh.. 2.5stars.
Profile Image for Jenn.
Author 27 books4,737 followers
May 13, 2013
I was lucky enough to read the manuscript of this, and it is AWESOME: smart lead, deft snark, intriguing mystery. Kind of a Veronica Mars meets Paper Moon. Just flat-out good. If you dig YA and are craving something fresh and snappy, read this.
Profile Image for Barb.
1,179 reviews129 followers
October 25, 2014
I thought this story line sounded like a great set up, teenage con artist Julep Dupree, works with her father (also a con artist) so she can learn the ways of the privileged upper class and go on to con them in the future. She's attending, St. Agatha's, a private school, where she does "favors" for her fellow classmates (for the right price). But something is obviously wrong when Julep comes home to find her apartment ransacked and her father missing.

I recently read 'Sway' by Kat Spears, and the protagonist in her novel has a similar relationship with the student body in his high school. I really enjoyed that book and thought it would be fun to read a story with a female protagonist running some similar plays.

Unfortunately there wasn't a lot of attention to detail, consistency in character or believability in 'Trust Me, I'm Lying'. The main character is constantly telling the reader she's a grifter but the only time she shows us her scamming skills is when she tricks a stranger out of a cup of coffee and when she plays up to the server at the local café and gets a triple soy macchiato without paying. She does have a side job that generates funds and is dishonest but she's not using any face to face conning skills while at work on that project.

She uses the word grifter and grifting over and over to describe herself and what she does. But also offers some interesting advice 'harping on the same idea diminishes its strength' and I have to agree with her. I only wish the author had noticed this herself and let up on the hammering of the word grifter and instead showed the reader in action and deed the clever capabilities of the manipulative Julep. Because what I saw her do was mostly talk about being a grifter. I would have much preferred her to put her money where her mouth was.

There are just too many unbelievable interactions within this story for it to be enjoyable for me. I like my fiction realistic and there were too many unlikely exchanges in this novel to satisfy my critical eye. If you're good with suspending your disbelief and you don't mind a lack of authenticity in your fiction you might be happy with this story. One of the things that was just silly in this vein was that Julep was able to walk right into two high level government offices without any interference whatsoever and find the exact desk she wanted within seconds. Another example of inconsistency is this tough "grifter" telling her friend she's "miffed" at him for sharing some information. Miffed? I don't think miffed is in the lexicon of the tough, edgy "grifter". And I don't think "paper-cut wienie" is either, which is how she describes herself to this same friend a little while later. She doesn't come across as tough because she doesn't talk tough or act tough, she only tells us that she is tough. Another issue I found hard to believe is how she fits into the social hierarchy at the private school. There aren't any details offered up to make her acceptance there logical or likely.

I was expecting a clever and edgy novel with a capable female protagonist but when all is said and done this felt more like a typical teen relationship book with a love triangle and a heavy issue thrown in for interest. If you don't pay attention to the details and you don't care if your fiction is believable you could probably read this and enjoy the ride. I did like the protagonist and her two sidekicks and thought the ending was clever.
Profile Image for Frances Blackthorn.
Author 5 books81 followers
March 26, 2016
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* The author of this book sent me this paperback copy in exchange for an honest review, so don’t expect less than that, I will always give my honest opinion, like it or not *

To be really honest with you, I was expecting so much more from this book ! This is one of the books that was on my TBR for a really long time and I got quite disappointed with it.

Before I continue, I am really grateful to the author Mary Elizabeth Summer who sent me her book in exchange for a honest review. I am being honest and I really think you have talent and I really think you should continue writing and showing what your imagination has to show. I am sorry if you don’t like my review and I don’t want to offend anyone here, so please, don’t take this review too personally.

When I started reading this book I was really excited, believe me, I was really curious about it and I really wanted to know what was going to happen in this story because I heard a lot of mixed stuff about it and I wanted to have my own opinion about it, and then I started reading it, chapter by chapter and I was gettinhg kind of bored because I thought there was going to be more action going on… I wanted a mystery/thriller with some contemporary going on BUT not too “cheesy”, not too contemporary, not too “YA fiction”… I wanted more like a YA story with a lot of mystery and action !

If you ask me I didn’t even love the characters, they were tolerable, yes, but there was something missing you know ?… the thing I loved the most in this book was actually the title and the fact that it was actually related with the story, because sometimes tittles and stories have nothing to do with each other.

“Trust Me, I’m Lying” has nothing to do with “Mara Dyer” ok ? NOTHING GUYS, BUT there’s a sentence in this book that says “Julep’s not my real name, either, but we’ll get back to that later.” – YEP, that kind of reminds me of Mara Dyer and I don’t know, lately we’ve seen a lot of books starting or ending with some sentences like that, maybe this is just the time to change that, let’s be creative.

I think that this book had so much potential to be a great book, I think that at least in my opinion, it would be awesome without some “cheesy” or cliché parts and maybe it would be FANTASTIC if it was more realistic… I mean, changing Julep would be actually a huge step, she’s supposed to be a criminal mind and she’s just kind of “stupid” sometimes, I don’t really know if that supposed to be, I don’t know if the author wanted the main character to be like that… but I mean, I guess she didn’t want it.

The most positive part of this book was actually the moment when the author changes the plot… so the story was always the same, you pretty much could guess what was going to happen next until the author decided to “eliminate” one of the characters from the book… and you get just “WHAT ?” because come on, there were a lot of characters to kill or delete from the story and she eliminated the one you were not expecting her to eliminate. BOOM, that my friend, is a genius move !

Even after everything I said (I know sometimes I can be a little harsh) I really think that it was overall an interesting book… I wanted it not to be so predictable but there were parts that were not predictable at all, same as I told you before, and honestly, I am just really hard to please… it was just not my cup of tea ? YEAH, but it can be your next all time favorite book ! Just read it and take your own opinion about this story .
Profile Image for Megan  (thebookishtwins).
527 reviews170 followers
February 12, 2016
I am a bit conflicted about Trust Me, I'm Lying because sometimes I did enjoy it, but most of the time I really wanted to finish it as fast as I could. Perhaps two stars is a bit harsh but I was expecting so much more with it being compared to both Heist Society and Ocean's Eleven, to which I am huge fans of. I have devoured the Heist Society books, as well as the Ocean's Eleven movies, and shows such as White Collar, Hustle and Leverage. I love con related stories but this one fell extremely short of my expectations.

Trust Me, I'm Lying was cliche and cheesy with romance that made me roll my eyes at because it was so bad with zero development or chemistry. Tyler comes out of no where, and suddenly Julep is bringing him into her dangerous life with a large amount of criminal activity, and his dad is also a senator?? Also, where was the emotion? Something tragic happens and it is brushed over, like it barely affects Julep. For a grifter she isn't very smart and trusts everyone, seriously, everyone (which comes to bite her in the ass later). I just... really wanted to enjoy this, but really didn't. It had so much potential.
Profile Image for Rukky.
206 reviews43 followers
July 30, 2019
Quote: “I can’t say I have much experience with conscience. I wasn’t born with that particular cricket on my shoulder.”

The Good:

*Humorous? I laughed out loud a couple of times, and it was kind of a relief, or something childish and different to read. That’s the only good thing I can think of about this book right now.

Quote: “When you can be anybody, you become nobody”

The Bad:

*It was just Meh. It had a lot of potential, and it just fell flat. The characters were dull, the plot was not new or surprising, and I didn’t like Julep. The fact that’s a con artist, or a grifter, didn’t help the story, and actually made it worse. One of the major plot twists was something I saw coming from the very first few chapters and I was just baffled as to how she didn’t realize this even though it’s her job to swindle or con people.

*Julep the Grifter. Julep wasn’t really likable. She’s naive and really self-centered and I found it annoying that she couldn’t just think about someone else for a second. She’s also constantly referring to her friends, who are helping her, as her minions and complaining about how she has to spell out everything for them which grated on my nerves. And for a girl who grew up in the world of con artists, she’s horrible at it, ridiculously naive, and way too trusting. There were a few instances in which she used her ‘skills’ to help people out in return for payment, but I wasn’t wowed or amazed by it.

*Plot. I thought the plot was really lame. When Julep comes home to a trashed apartment and a missing father, she’s determined to find him at all costs, and uses clues that her father managed to leave behind to try and find out where he is, or who has him. Her father is supposedly working for a really dangerous gang, yet he still has the time to set up elaborate clues all over the city. It was really far-fetched and hard to believe. The adults in this story were just not there, and even though someone from child services comes after questions were raised about Julep’s father, nothing happens. And there’s another adult who somehow manages to convince herself that it’s okay to let a kid go talk to a gang leader who may or may not have kidnapped her father. It was ridiculous.

Quote: “I guess it’s true what the French say: fortune favors the innocent. Lucky for me, it also favors the moderately dishonest.”

The Wrap:

I didn’t like this. I don’t think I would recommend this, but here’s a positive review that might help you decide if you want to read it or not! Initially, I gave this 2.5 stars, but I think I’m going to bring it down to 1.5, rounded up to 2. I hope you enjoy it if you choose to read it! (Kelly’s Positive Review)

One sentence summary: A disappointing read with a naive main character.

Overall, 1.5 stars rounded to 2


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Profile Image for Abooktopia.
56 reviews46 followers
October 23, 2016


With every turn, the plot thickens and develops as the author hits the fan with more intriguing twists and plots that can’t help but keep you hooked until the very end. – Abooktopia

Julep is a con artist. A grifter of sorts. And like all con artists, Julep Dupree is not her name. She’s good at what she does. It’s her job. After all, she learned from the best of the best: her father. That is until he went missing…

This book came off with a great start that immediately immersed the reader’s attention. It was such a thrill to be in the mind of a con artist as you could tell that the author had really researched and crafted her character well with a hint of reality to make everything plausible, which I adored. Despite being the master of deception, there is still a vulnerability to her character that truly balances her character well, and works with her age. In fact all of the characters were fascinating and complex as they kept you seconded guessing their inner motives. The romance in this novel didn’t allow Julep to stray away from her main goal of finding her father, but in fact added a nice sparkle to the plot.

Throughout the novel with the help of her best friend and loyal companion, Sam, and Tyler the gorgeous big-time-man on campus, Julep is left to uncover the hidden clues left behind by her father in order to locate his whereabouts. But the fate of her father is only a small part of the complexity that is about to unravel. With every page turn, the plot kept thickening, that you couldn’t help but become engrossed to see what happened next.

The ending was sentimental and emotional, making you desperate for the next book. It truly delivers well, as it will shock you with it’s surprising and heart wrenching twists. Trust Me, I’m Lying is great for fans of Veronica Mars and Ally Carter’s Heist Society series.

***I received a copy of this book in return for an honest and unbiased review***
Profile Image for Muskan.
236 reviews46 followers
September 7, 2016
This book was sent to me in exchange for a review. All opinions stated below are mine and 100% honest.

Trust Me, I'm lying is PURE ENTERTAINMENT. There were flaws, things that bothered me but not once did I want to stop reading it. While reading the book, I had to attend a party and was really upset that I have to leave it behind. So firstly, applause to the Author for engaging me as a reader.

Secondly, the title! I absolutely love it. It's PERFECT for a book about con artist.

Julep, the protagonist of the book, is a 16 year old con artist and she is great at what does, since she has learn it all from her father. Julep considers herself as the best one in the field which bothers me. She is great but the best? No. Girl, there's a lot you haven't seen of the world. The world is a way bigger place than you know and right now, you are just bounded by your high school. Other than this, I loved Julep. I think a lot of thought went into her characterization.

The book consists of a Love Triangle Now, aren't we all super tired of that? But here, it really didn't annoy me. I guess that's because it was kept as it should be- a sideplot. I am so much in Team Sam. Sam reminds of Simon from TMI, but a little bit cooler and less dorky. xD Then there's Tyler (WHY DOES MY BACK COVER SAY TREVOR!?). He made me smile so much, it's crazy. :') But sorry Tyler, as charming as you, Sam's brains attract me more. (Not in a zombie way, I promise.)
Overall, you'll like them both, I think which is amazing for a love triangle! Because nowadays authors bash one guy completely, I don't even know why. .-.

This book is really good. I totally recommend it to anyone who is in a reading slump because it's fast paced and easy to fly through. You need to read this if you want a quick mystery read with a fun romance side.
Profile Image for Jill.
344 reviews50 followers
December 2, 2015

hot damn. I did not see that ending coming. my babies... nooooooooooooooo
Profile Image for Sara Grochowski.
1,142 reviews567 followers
February 19, 2015
Julep Dupree might look, at first glance, like every other student at St. Agatha High, but looks can be deceiving. Julep is a grifter - a con artist - and she's been trained by the best: her father. Though her father is extremely skilled at what he does, he has a bit of a gambling problem, so Julep funds her education herself (her ticket into her dream school, Yale) by doing scam jobs for her fellow students, most of whom have more money than they know what to do with. Everything comes crashing down when Julep returns home to find their apartment has been broken into and trashed... and her father missing. When Julep discovers a cryptic message from her father, she knows something must have gone horribly wrong during his last job. Determined to track him down, Julep plunges into the seedy underbelly of the Chicago crime world. She enlists the help of her best friend and partner-in-crime, Sam, and a distractingly charming classmate, Tyler, but, as secrets are uncovered and some shady characters start making threats on her life, Julep realizes that the job of finding her father will take all of her substantial skill... and a little luck.

What's not to love about Mary Elizabeth Summer's debut, TRUST ME, I'M LYING...? A witty, teen con artist tracking down her missing father with two good looking guys, who both seem to be a bit in love with her? Sounds like a must read to me! I'm happy to report that Summer delivers that and more in this action-packed novel.

I immediately liked Julep. She's got a no-nonsense attitude when it comes to work, obviously important in her line of less-than-legal work, but she's also got a great sense of humor and a brain that works a mile a minute... probably from all the coffee she's constantly guzzling. I couldn't help but imagine Julep as a cross between Veronica Mars and Charlize Theron's character, Stella, from The Italian Job.

Julep isn't a sleuth, but her skill set as a grifter and the fact that she's a "fixer" seems to make the transition easy for her. If something needs fixing, Julep will make it happen. Luckily, she has her BFF, Sam, a skilled hacker, who's willing to help her out, usually with little more than a raised eyebrow. New to Julep's team is Tyler, when he's not distracting her with his good looks, charm, and disconcerting concern over her well being.

Julep needs her friends, but they also complicate things. As a con artist, it's important that Julep remain pretty anonymous, invisible even, but Tyler actually sees her... and it throws her off her game. And it doesn't help that, for some reason unknown to Julep, Sam dislikes Tyler. Julep might be too distracted to see why Sam isn't happy about Tyler's third wheel addition to their two man team, but it's pretty clear he's got some serious feelings for lawbreaking hero.

Disguises, cryptic clues, explosions and the ever impressive Julep Dupree make Mary Elizabeth Summer's debut a thrilling read.
Profile Image for Spencer.
1,242 reviews17 followers
June 1, 2022



Seriously, it has everything I ever want in a book. The intrigue and mystery, the romance and friendship, the teen girl taking on the world.

Julep's character was absolutely fantastic. She's kick ass, quick witted, caring, dangerous, funny, clever, brave, amazing. She works hard to make everyone around her get what they want. She's a con artist, but prefers to think of herself as a "fixer." She works to fix everyone's problems, and truthfully, I think she is much better suited to be a fixer.

I loved her best friend, Sam. He's loyal to a fault. And he desperately tries to be helpful, even when it means putting his own life in danger. He just wants to do what's best for everyone, but especially what's best for Jules. And that is probably the most important trait to have in a best friend, someone who looks out for your best interests. Even when you'd rather they stayed home where they were safe.

Tyler *sob* - I'm going to avoid saying more to avoid spoilers

I'm absolutely thrilled that Dani not only turned to the light side (after that very dramatic rat locker scene). And, not only became one of the good guys, but also came back to Julep to give her a business card in case Julep ever wanted her help on a case. 100% honesty here - I really hope she comes back in the sequel.

OMG, Mike. *soft sigh* I'm such a sucker. I loved that Mike came through in the end for Julep since she needed foster care. I guess I'm not the only sucker around (lol). I also hope that he has a bigger role in the follow up book. He also has a big heart and just wants to do the right thing, even though he is a little bit more tied down to the law than Julep is

Fantastic read

Read it

You will not regret it
Profile Image for Cassandra (Thebookishcrypt).
570 reviews52 followers
November 1, 2015
*Copy provided in exchange for honest review*

"You can love an illusion, but the illusion can't love you back."
This book was the gold mine of incredible quotes!! I wrote so many on my notes but to choose one was as difficult as putting this book down. Anyway, as you can see, I decided to use that one. This book had an AMAZING intro. It's now one of my absolute favorites. I was completely immersed from that first sentence. I devoted my undivided attention to devouring every word of this and you should too! The main character, "Julep", is as badass as they come. It was a thrill to be inside the mind of a con artist. I love anything relating to criminals and it's mind-blowing when an author pulls it off. Mary did and she made me fall in love with that genre even more. All the characters are fascinating and complex, they keep you questioning their motives towards Julep and her goal to find her father before it's too late.
The plot twists were life-crumbling!!!!! I was utterly blindsided by them and I swore I was about to die from the force of them. I felt like tow trucks kept running me over and I didn't get a chance to stand up before another one did it again. This woman can weave a story like no other. The plot kept thickening at every turn of the page and I couldn't tear my eyes away.
The ending was so bittersweet and emotionally heavy. I completely lost it at one point of the story... My heart is still aching even as I type this, 2 days after finishing it. I seriously need to know what happens to her next or I will not take the blame for needing to go sign into an asylum.
Profile Image for Louisa.
497 reviews364 followers
October 26, 2014
(3.5 stars) SUCH GREAT FUN. Okay, so I'm a sucker for teen spy novels, which can either turn out good or bad. No in betweens. This one had the advantage of a great narrative voice in Julep. Sure, you have to suspend some disbelief at points, but it's young adult. I'm fine with that as long as sparkly vampires don't fall in love with cardboard cutout girls or the main couple professes their love five minutes after meeting.

Julep is a drifter - she cons people for a living, as does her dad. When her dad disappears, it's up to her to figure out cryptic clues to find him and how to cope without either of her parents around. She's got a mature head on her shoulders, and she's just a nice blend of teen and girl-who-had-to-grow-up-too-fast.

I was a little sceptical about her relationship with Tyler, their private school's "Prince Charming", and while it does take a bit of a fast turn,

Either way I could go 3 or 4 stars with this, but I'm going with the latter just for the well-executed concept. Time to rewatch Ocean's Eleven again!
Profile Image for Sarah.
193 reviews36 followers
November 7, 2014
2.5 stars. Turn off your common sense, logic and all grounding sense of believability when reading this book and you'll probably end up enjoying the ride a heck of a lot more than I did. I know this is YA Fiction but the whole premise is just so utterly eye-rollingly unbelievable and ridiculous (school girl slash 'master of disguise' takes on and outwits the mob, yet does not understand things like not blabbing off plans to anyone who will listen. Back catalogue of cunning achievements include a proud and emphasised highlight of tricking someone into giving her a free coffee...). While attention to detail and consistency with character actions and behaviours is certainly lacking, it remains remarkably readable - I actually really liked the writing style and the sarky strong main female character. I also like that a love story wasn't needed (though hinted at) to keep this book entertaining - a welcome change from so many others out there. A fluffy, nonsense read but somehow still quite entertaining.

Profile Image for Michelle.
1,312 reviews51 followers
August 25, 2015
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!

Are you ever stuck in one of those time-warps where you feel the need to read something like you've read before? Because I know that I never am stuck in that case, that's for sure. Trust Me, I'm Lying is one of those books that you expect to be disappointing because of how tough it can be to master the subject which the author focuses on, but it ends up fabulous anyways, especially by the end. I definitely recommend it to all who need a little boost and information on the lives of con artists and people who aren't afraid to be reckless.

I tend to read books that feature protagonists who are either A. totally like me or B. the complete opposite of myself. Julep, Mary's protagonist, is the complete opposite of me. Woot. She's kick-butt and totally knows exactly what life plans out for her and how her career could expand her reputation to others, including the ordinary rich teenage girls who go to her Chicago-bound private school. Everything that occurs in this book is developed and lies by money and how it doesn't lie on trees, leaving you fighting for everything you'd like. It's basically everyone's lifestyle, thrown into a teenage girl's life, having to deal with everything on her own.

"I want to be a real person—to be me. I know it sounds strange, but I don't actually know who that is anymore. When you can be anybody, you become nobody. Does that make sense?" (146)

Trust Me, I'm Lying features practically anything that you'd want in a great novel. A fabulous plot, interesting characters and one of those forbidden romances that'll surely catch your eye are all present. And I must mention that those forbidden romances usually catch my eye. Was Summer's a little too overwhelming? You'll figure out the answer as I go on with my thoughts. *smirks* But what was the most important, prominent part of the book to me were the character relationships and the action. Surely you must expect some guns, mystery appearances and secrets being unfolded, surely something Nancy Drew and Veronica Mars would approve of. It's such an appealing novel.

Although I actually finished reading this one a while ago, the events and plot are actually still stuck in my mind. That's a good thing, if you're wondering. Julep, our sassy protagonist, is a con artist, which she learned and inherited from her father. But then her father disappears, leaving just a clue that her house has been ransacked. And yeah, a love triangle forms as she discovers she needs help from two guys: Tyler and Sam, one who she just met and the other as her partner-in-crime best friend. And you can kind of guess the story from there.

I can't stress the fact that this book was fabulous enough. I firmly believe that anyone who has ever worked in the crime department or enjoys reading about it would find this true to the word. Summer captures Julep's perspective perfectly, not that I know anything about what it's like to be a con artist. But she gave us that experience, like it was wrapped in a gift handed straight to readers. I wouldn't trade "this experience" for any other book, although perhaps for the sequel if I already knew what this one was about and... you probably get the idea from there. It's such a quick read that you'll never want to set your eyes off of.

So basically this is a mystery slash thriller, with lots of tweaks of contemporary. Since I am a total obsessed fangirl of contemporary romance, this completely spoke to me. It dealt with subject matters that not many YA authors seem to touch upon on in modern literature, and it squashed my feels together. I promise you that you'll actually feel all of the emotions that you'd like to feel, including rage and anger. Don't forget about the fictional-lust you'll have for Sam. *blushes* I truly support this best friend, friends with benefits relationship.

"I want to be normal, but I want to be the best at it.' [...] 'Well, I can't imagine you as ordinary. But extraordinary's not a stretch at all."

I did and most truly enjoyed the relationship, love triangle which Summer added into this book. It's not totally gone into detail of, but you'll catch those few paragraphs of intimacy where you'll surely blush, I promise. I just turned out to be such a huge fan of Sam from the start as he wasn't the type of guy who Julep would have to keep secrets from BECAUSE HE'S HER PARTNER IN CRIME! Agh, excuse me but I'm going to have to take a moment to fangirl and blush of happiness. Discovering that this perhaps is a duology and that the sequel is RELEASING THIS YEAR just made all of my days and I can't wait to read about the continuation of something magical.

Trust Me, I'm Lying may not be for everyone. If you'd like all mystery, all detective-stuff, then I'd suggest backing away. This is your more modern day mystery/thriller taken place from the perspective of a young girl who's trying to discover who she is and how to be ordinary and normal, when we all already know that you can never be classified as normal anyway. Not that I'd want to take Julep's job... but I'd want to live a day in the life of her because it's just so damn interesting.

Two sentences. Brace yourself for pleasure, it's gonna be good. Also, brace yourself for betrayal and hate for someone—I'm actually not going to name their name for fellow blogger-reviewer-hate on me. *winks*
Profile Image for Jennifer.
951 reviews41 followers
April 17, 2015
Originally a review for Author Spotlight here.

I have never read a book like Trust Me, I'm Lying before. I own a few Mafia/Mob/Crime Infested type YA books but none of them sound really intriguing. This book sounded both intriguing and different so I was excited to read it.

Julep, if that is her real name, goes through so much in just one book that I am shocked she hasn't been committed to some shock treatment insane asylum. She is so strong but she is also bull-headed. She wants help but at the same time she knows that might mean jail, expulsion or death for the people that want to help her.

Sam is a great side-kick. But that is all Julep sees him as and it's very obvious that the reason he puts so much on the line for her is because he wants to be more than a side-kick. I can't say that I wanted Julep to end up with Sam but I can say Sam was a great guy and he deserved a great girl.

Oh lord, Tyler. At first I didn't trust him. He is Mr. Popular and every girl wants a piece of him. So why would he want to help anyone? But he turned out to be pretty genuine and I fell for him. In the end, I wonder how Tyler's father feels about everything that happened. I know it ripped my heart out. But it must be killing him knowing he is the reason for how his son ended up. I truly wanted Julep to end up with Tyler.

Julep's dad is the biggest part of the book. He might not be an actually speaking character for most of the book but if it wasn't for him Julep and her friends wouldn't have been in the situations they found themselves in. I can't say whether I like him or not because I didn't get to know him that well. But after hearing everything he's put Julep through and the life he has lived because of being a grifter kind of made me angry. Being a grifter is a job for a single person. Not someone with kids. And he brought her into his world. Some part of him HAS to feel guilty for everything he has done.

I loved the preppy private school setting of the book. It truly added to the story. And the fact that Julep was in this school also helped her out a lot. Sam, Tyler, Heather and Murphy all helped her out A LOT but she wouldn't even know them if it wasn't for St Aggie's. Most of what Julep did also wouldn't have been possible without the fact that everyone she knew was part of a super wealthy family with connections. They say money can't buy happiness but in the case of this book... I say it can.

I was left with so many questions that I am praying the second book answers. Like what the HELL did Julep's mother have to do with this entire situation and the "blue fairy" situation. I know her mother has to play a big part somewhere. The book didn't end on a cliffhanger PER SE but the entire book built me up to tons of questions that need answers NOW. I was definitely in tears by the end of the book.

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars.
Profile Image for Jessica-Robyn.
564 reviews40 followers
January 3, 2016
This book is exactly the kind of thing I love, so you can imagine my disappointment when the first half of Trust Me, I'm Lying just didn't connect with me.

There was something about the writing and the characterization that just felt off. It lacked the kind of emotional maturity I expect from a life-of-crime protagonist and there were a collection of little things that made the whole narrative feel out of sync. I started off thinking this just wasn't going to work. And then I kept reading and Trust Me, I'm Lying managed to pull up from a nose dive in a rather admirable fashion.

Now, I'm being purposely vague in this review because this book could very easily be spoiled. (Trust me, I have a habit of flipping forward to a random page and reading a few random words near the end when I start getting restless while reading. Normally this doesn't matter because the words are mundane, but this time I ended up giving myself a major death spoiler, which thankfully only inspired me to keep reading.)

The ending is by far the best part. It was so satisfying the way everything fell into place, even if I saw it coming. A lot of those little things that threw me off in the first half end up explained in the climax of the story, which is a great way to earn back my love. I ended up really enjoying Summer's writing once the action kicked into high gear. So much of this book is spent in the build up that I was glad that the pay off was worth it.

As far as my rating goes, this book could totally be a four star read for me, but because of the disappointing and borderline frustrating start I'm knocking down my rating to 3.5 and rounding down instead of up.

I will be adding book 2 to my TBR, even though I'm not entirely convinced that the set up created at the end of book one will actually work.
Profile Image for hal .
771 reviews108 followers
May 14, 2015
I'm so pissed right now, because I spent forever typing out my review and then the GR app timed out on me and now my long, detailed review has been lost. *insert angry curse words here *

Anyway, here's the general gist of what I had;
I was really looking forward to Trust Me, I'm Lying, but it turned out to be slightly disappointing.

Firstly, Julep acts pretty stupidly for a con woman. She lets her guard down so many times it's very lucky she Disney didn't (stupid autocorrect!) end up dead. Even after her apartment is broken into and ransacked, she still acts pretty dangerously and recklessly. She also tells Tyler some pretty personal stuff after barely knowing him.

Speaking of Tyler....The effing insta love between him and Julep was ridiculous. I didn't like it at all. Not to mention there's a goddamn love triangle between Tyler, Julep and Sam! The obvious choice is Sam, the best friend who is always there for Julep to help her out and is clearly in love with her (she's clueless to this though).

Also, I was intrigued by the notion of crime and cons but there was lack of that and I am not happy.

Overall, disappointing. But it wasn't bad, so three stars.

Sorry if my review isn't too well-written. I had something better planned, I swear. But I lost it.
Here's a really great review by my GR friend Cait Grace. It pretty much says everything I wanted to: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Profile Image for Ellen Lee.
55 reviews32 followers
October 17, 2016
Ugh. I wanted to love this book so much. But...I just can't. I wanted Julep to be sarcastic and hard-boiled and whip-smart. And she was none of those things.

I won't waste a lot of your time, dear readers. Just ask yourself: would a hard-boiled teen con artist insta-love and insta-trust some boy, divulging all of her secrets to him (including how she does her con jobs) JUST BECAUSE HE HAD DREAMY EYES AND SAID "TRUST ME"?

No, she would not.

But Julep does.

Would the daughter of the master of the long con trust some guy named Mike who claims he's a P.I. hired to protect her, just because he says "trust me"?

No, she would not.

But Julep does.

The plot is creaky and unbelievable and I didn't laugh once. This book is a bunch of cliches and tropes shamelessly lifted from t.v. shows like Veronica Mars and recycled until they're as tasty as a hamburger warmed under a 100 watt light bulb.

No, thanks. There's a great idea here that begs to be handled by a truly funny and inventive author who respects and trusts her audience.

Trust me on this one. I'm not lying.
Profile Image for Greta.
450 reviews
March 20, 2022
"Quando puoi essere chiunque, diventi nessuno"

Julep ha sedici anni ed è una truffatrice. Non avete idea di quanto vi affezionerete a lei, alla sua mente geniale e ai suoi amici; io stessa non lo credevo possibile ma questo libro ha superato di gran lunga le mie aspettative. Si perchè mi aspettavo il solito thriller noioso e prevedibile, che poi alla fine la storia di questo "caso" è qualcosa che chiunque ha già visto nei film, ma proprio per come è stato strutturato il romanzo e i personaggi ti fa cambiare idea immediatamente.
Ho riso (a volte da morire) e qualche lacrimuccia mi è pure scappata verso la fine (maledetto Tyler), oppure la mia bocca si è spalancata (ancora, maledetto Tyler). Spero vivamente che alla Newton Compton non venga in mente di interrompere questa serie, non ho idea di quanti volumi siano ma sono più che sicura che continuerò a leggere le avventure di Julep.
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,652 reviews161 followers
December 18, 2014
"You, me and sixty-three."

I'm not sure what it was about this one. I mean, I should have loved it. A girl who is a con artist...but also...kind of a small-time investigator.... Her dad goes missing and she's working to find him by trailing along finding all his scavenger hunt clues he's left behind. She's also continuing her work and helping kids out at school

but something about this one just.....kept me from really getting into it. Maybe it's because you never really get to know Julep. And I never really understood Tyler - I know it says she's had a crush on him for forever but he felt so sudden and then BOOM! He's there everywhere.

meh. I'm not sure I liked this enough to read the next one.
Profile Image for Robin Herrera.
Author 5 books40 followers
June 21, 2015




I have never read a book that kept me guessing as much as TRUST ME, I'M LYING did. And wow, did it ever play with my emotions! Julep Dupree, our awesomely-named narrator, is sassy and smart and matter-of-fact while being vulnerable and clueless. I really loved reading about all of Julep's various cons - the hat one being my favorite. (I need to con someone with that someday!) Julep was so entrenched in her con world that the setting and the vocabulary was soaked in it. The world here felt so real, and yet... so noir.

And can I just say that I LOVE Sam?

I don't have to tell you when this book will be out. You'll know by the sudden rise in crime. :)
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