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Lies I Told

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What if, after spending a lifetime deceiving everyone around you, you discovered the biggest lies were the ones you've told yourself?

Grace Fontaine has everything: beauty, money, confidence, and the perfect family.

But it’s all a lie.

Grace has been adopted into a family of thieves who con affluent people out of money, jewelry, art, and anything else of value. Grace has never had any difficulty pulling off a job, but when things start to go wrong on the Fontaines' biggest heist yet, Grace finds herself breaking more and more of the rules designed to keep her from getting caught...including the most important one of all: never fall for your mark.

352 pages, Hardcover

First published April 7, 2015

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About the author

Michelle Zink

30 books1,470 followers
Michelle Zink is author of the Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy, A Temptation of Angels, and This Wicked Game. Her next book, Lies I Told, releases Spring 2015.

Learn more on Michelle's blog at www.michellezink.com.

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Displaying 1 - 29 of 217 reviews
Profile Image for Rachel E. Carter.
Author 9 books3,513 followers
January 27, 2023
I went into this completely blind (not even having read blurb) and loved it, except I found out there's a sequel and the cliffhanger ending was just cruel. Still, this was a super quick read and I loved the way everything played out though I was wrong on one account . Can't wait to read the next!
Profile Image for Ashley.
667 reviews715 followers
October 22, 2014
I REALLY liked this book. I was so obsessed with finding out how it was going to end. Actually, I was kind of scared. I loved Grace and Logan together and so desperately DIDN'T want Logan to get hurt. The guy is so sweet and doesn't deserve that!

But then I was extremely sad to find out that this book is actually the start of a series. That's what I'm assuming anyway, since nothing got resolved at all and it ended as if it was a series. I just hate going into a book that isn't marked as being a series, just to find out it is. Sometimes I just really want a good standalone, you know? I feel like Lies I Told easily could have been a standalone, and it probably should have been left at that. *grumble*
Profile Image for Jen Ryland.
1,551 reviews903 followers
March 30, 2015
On the positive side: an atmospheric suspense story about a family of grifters (think a darker, non-humorous version of Robin Benway's Also Known As, but from the POV of the criminals instead of the good guys).

On the negative? Not a standalone. (I guess I didn't click on the full listing and see that it's first in a series. Or it's possible the GR listing was changed since Ashley @ NoseGraze also was surprised.) Since I was expecting one, the non-ending felt really abrupt. I wish I'd known this going in. In addition, the romance is definitely insta-lovey, if that kind of thing bothers you, the "omg I just met you and I've never felt this way about anyone before."

So, hmmmm...

ETA: According to a comment on Ashley @ NoseGraze's review, this will be a duology.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me an eARC for review.

Full review will appear on YA Romantics on April 1.
Profile Image for Katherine.
778 reviews355 followers
August 21, 2017
"I was a thief. I was a con artist. I was a coward. Believing anything else was jus another lie."

Good heist novels are hard to come by. But this book proves that there are some worthy gems in this genre; you just have to know where to look.

All Grace Fontaine has known is how to con people. After all, it’s the family business. The plan is the same each time; find their wealthy target, get friendly with their group, earn their trust, rob them blind, and get the hell out of town. This time is no different. Moving from Phoenix, Arizona to the isolated peninsula of Playa Hermosa near Los Angeles.
”Playa Hermosa was different. It was like another world. One where the old rules don’t apply.”
Grace and her brother Parker have their new targets; the Fairchild family. The Fairchilds are rumored to have bars of gold hidden somewhere on the estate, and Grace’s parents are determined to find it. Grace doesn’t expect anything unusual this time, since it’s just another assignment. What she doesn’t expect is how attached she would get to Logan Fairchild or the rest of his group of friends. Can Grace get the job done without sacrificing those she’s become close to?

Lies I Told was probably not written to be a deep thinking novel about the consequences about others actions, which is totally fine. It was kind of like a superhero action flick; highly entertaining without being too deep. A fast-paced read, I thought it was interesting to show how thoroughly involved an entire family can be when it comes to committing a crime. It also shows how brainwashed the parents can make their children into doing their own bidding, for better or for worse.

Grace Fontaine and her brother Parker were both foster children when they were adopted by Cormac and Renee. And while Grace has happily adjusted into the new family situation, Parker has not. You can tell there’s a substantial difference between the two siblings.
”I knew what it meant to be surrounded by liars. To be one It meant that your instincts were honed to see deceit in others. That you believed everyone was riddled with dishonesty. That you were trained to look for all the little tics people performed- most of them involuntary- when they weren’t telling the truth.”
Grace is trusting to the point of being extremely naïve about the whole situation. As in to say, if you told her to jump off a roof, she’d probably do it. She was a likable enough character, but I just wanted to smack her sometimes to get her to realize that what she was doing was so far from the norm.

Parker, on the other hand, has never been comfortable with the knowledge of what his parents “do” for a living.
”Parker was different. He called our parents by their first names unless we were working. Sometimes it seemed like he did it on principle. Like he was trying to prove that while he lived and worked with them, they couldn’t make him love them.”
He’s saving enough of his share of the money so he can get the heck out of there. He’s also super protective of Grace and won’t leave till she does. But for all his honorable traits, he could be pretty stupid as well. I mean come on, you’re so pissed off that your little sis is going out with a guy AS PART OF THE ASSIGNMENT . Yup, makes a whole lot of sense buddy.

Cormac and Renee Fontaine are Grace and Parker’s adoptive parents. Simply put, they’re horrible.
”For them, the con was all about the con. It was the challenge they loved. The danger.”
They make Conrad and Victoria Grayson from Revenge look like the perfect nuclear family. From making their teenage daughter seduce an innocent boy to find out where the money is to figuring out that this whole “robbing” thing is the way to make money without really working, to basically putting their children through every dangerous situation imaginable just so they can get rich quick is inconceivable. Not to mention the fact that they’re willing to abandon them as well once the job is done. Great. Just great.

Logan Fairchild is Grace’s target, and he was nice enough. I think the author purposefully made him such a goody two shoes to vilify and foreshadow just how horrible Grace’s betrayal was going to be to him.
We knew what we were doing. Knew the risks. But Logan and his family were good. Maybe the first really good people I’d ever met. They loved one another, sacrificed for one another. Not because they didn’t have anyone else, but because that’s what love is.””
Made him horribly vanilla in the process, but still a nice kid. He doesn’t particularly like the group of friends he hangs out with, who were all equally vanilla like in status (except for Rachel, who was the perfect characterization of a book bee-yotch). Once he sets eyes on Grace, all bets are off.

Like Logan Fairchild himself, the romance between him and Grace was as sweet as a vanilla cupcake. With an extra dash of vanilla, since Logan was in the picture. He was pretty much the picture perfect version of a boyfriend, which is OK. Perfectly OK. He needed to just admit to himself and the rest of the world that he has bad case of the instaloveness. He goes on and on about the fact he’s loved Grace since he first picked up her dropped schedule. No wait; it was when she first opened the car door. Shit, it was the first time she breathed the same air as him, wasn’t it?
”’I can’t explain it, but it’s like as soon as I saw you, I just knew.

‘Knew what?’

‘That I wanted you, of course.’”
Dude, just admit it to yourself and everyone. YOU HAVE A CASE OF INSTALOVE. Go to your corner and stay there. The relationship was sweet while it lasted, though. That is to say, if you were being seduced by a girl whose only goal was to get your family’s gold for her family and run like hell with it off into the sunset….

I really wanted to find out what was the driving force behind Cormac and Renee’s original idea and concept behind getting into rich people’s social circles and robbing them blind (other than the obvious explanation that they suffer from a horrible case of Sloth). But we never did, which made the whole concept of the book kind of implausible if you really think about it. Who the hell keeps gold bars in their house? Why not put them in the bank?

Also, I’m beginning to really, REALLY dislike the fact that when it comes to books about exacting revenge and what not, the author almost always feels the need to include a scene where

Despite my misgivings with this book, I did truly enjoy this book. It was a quick popcorn read that didn’t really require much thinking, but was still thoroughly entertaining. The plot is kind of ridiculous, but when you need a read where you don’t want to think, sometimes the most implausible plots contain the most exciting reads. And this book certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,740 reviews712 followers
April 20, 2015
I'm so glad I waited to read this because the ending would have killed me.

I really liked this premise and all of the characters. Of course I adored Logan, he's adorable and so sweet. Grace and Parker have such an interesting dynamic, I really liked this interactions. As a whole, the family was quite intriguing.

I loved the idea of a teenage con girl doing a job while going to high school and I can't wait to see what the repercussions are in the next book.

**Huge thanks to Harper Teen and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for zahraa.
355 reviews
May 1, 2022
this was surprisingly really enjoyable & such a quick read!! but that ending?? deffo will be reading the sequel!
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,220 reviews462 followers
May 2, 2015
**I received this book for free from (HarperTeen) via (Edelweiss) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Genre* Young Adult, Contemporary
*Rating* 3.0

*My Thoughts*

Lies I Told is part of a duology, with Promises I Made coming out later this year (2015). 17-year old Grace and her adoptive family, Parker, Cormac and Renee, are grifters, or con artists if you will. They travel around the country bilking the unaware of their fortunes, and then moving on to the next stop. The next stop in this case, is the fictional town of Playa Hermosa, California and a family that supposedly has a fortune in gold stockpiled and hidden away.

*Full Review posted @ Gizmos Reviews 05/02/2015*


*Recvd 08/28/2014 via Edelweiss* Published: April 7th 2015 by HarperTeen
Profile Image for Louisa.
7,170 reviews43 followers
April 28, 2015
OH, this was a really fantastic book! I enjoyed it so much, and even though the ending is not good for the characters, I can't wait to see what happens, how they'll get out of that mess! I know it's going to be awesome because this book totally was!
Profile Image for nick (the infinite limits of love).
2,120 reviews1,365 followers
April 13, 2015

I recently started watching White Collar and I'm completely obsessed with anything that has to do with thieves and con-men (mostly because Matt Bomer is too beautiful to look at), so when Lies I Told fell into my lap, I knew I was in for a crazy and exciting ride. Lies I Told had me so nervous from start to finish, but it's a book that I had much difficulty putting down. I just needed to know what was going to happen to Grace and I was extremely worried for her. Grace's new task puts her in an uncomfortable position. She has to befriend Logan, whose family gold she and her family are going to steal. When she gets attached, things get complicated. I really felt for Grace's character. It might seem like she had everything in life, but she didn't. She lacked the most important thing of all : a realistic emotional connection with another human being. I was so mad at her parents for putting her and her brother in such an unfortunate position, basically forcing them to be these thieves. The relationship between Grace and Logan was a sweet one and I liked watching the two of them become closer, but I was also a little wary of it because it was a relationship mostly built on lies. What made Lies I Told a stunning read was the suspense that Michelle Zink was able to weave through the entire plot line. It's usually hard for an author to keep that suspense building and building throughout, but she totally did it. One of my complaints when it comes to Lies I Told has to be the unresolved ending (thankfully there's a sequel). Many questions were left unanswered and I'm dying to know what happens next with Grace and her family. I also was a little put off by the relationship between Grace and Preston, her "brother". Now technically, they aren't blood related siblings, but there was some weird romantic vibes going on between them, mostly on Preston's side. Overall though, I really enjoyed reading Lies I Told and I look forward to the sequel.
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,009 reviews379 followers
March 16, 2015
What is it about a book involving spies that just makes it so darn appealing whether it be in the adult genre or the YA one?

Is it the nonstop drama and action we just know we are going to get? Or maybe all the deceit and danger lurking around every corner? Or maybe it is simply the appeal of being someone else for a very short amount of time, either way, they have always hooked me and called to.

And I couldn't of picked a better story to fall right into. I was intrigued after the prologue and hooked after the first few chapters. I just knew this was going to be a fun exciting ride and I was all prepared for it.

There are some characters that just after a few short pages, you just know you are going to like, relate to and most of all, connect with and Grace was that character for me.

Don't get me wrong, she made a lot of stupid mistakes and some that made me want to reach through he pages and shake some sense into her but overall, I liked her. Her struggle with dong what she needed to and what as right and most of all, her journey to discovering that maybe things weren't as great as she first thought they were. That maybe the life she leads, isn't so black and white anymore.

I really enjoyed where the story went and I loved Selena and Logan most of all. My only complaint was that incredible open ended ending. I mean, what. The. Heck?

There has to be a sequel somewhere on the horizon because the author couldn't have left it all out there like that. Too much, way too much, left undone. Too much happened at the end for that to be it.

I am so looking forward to book two and there dang well better be a book two. I need answers dang it!
Profile Image for Tee loves Kyle Jacobson.
2,474 reviews171 followers
January 24, 2015
First I would like to say Michelle what have you done to me.....

It took me two days to do this review because I could not wrap my mind around Grace, Logan, and Parker. I had to put the book down a few times because I found myself rushing to read through the book. I wanted to find out what happened. I have never read a book so full of suspense and drama that I needed to re-read some of the pages. When I got to the end of the book I was screaming because I could not believe that that was the end of the story. Michelle please tell me there is more another book or two?

Grace and her family are not a normal family. See the parents are con artists and live mark to mark. Grace and her adopted brother Parker help the family out by conning people right along side the parents. There next mark is a rich eccentric man who is very loaded and they want his money and gold. The only problem is that Grace starts to break one of the golden rules by falling for the Mark's son Logan.

You start to see the story unfold and start wondering what is going to happen to her and her brother Parker and Logan. I loved Logan from the start because he was smart,charming, and witty. As you read on you know that something bad is going to happen but you don't know what it is or who it is and when you finish the book you are like Wth! So when this book comes out in April you have to read it!
Profile Image for Jaime Arkin.
1,432 reviews1,325 followers
April 8, 2015
Grace Fontaine has everything – beauty, money, a perfect family…

And it’s all a lie.

Adopted when she was young, her norm is moving from identity to identity, school to school, town to town, mark to mark, and working the job her parents tell her is the next target. It’s never really been hard, until now.

Her brother is questioning everything and causing problems along the way, and she never expects to actually fall for the one person she shouldn’t – When everything starts to fall apart, and their lies unravel what will be left and where will it leave them?

Let me just say, when I finished this book, I hadn’t yet known that a second book was coming… which colored my reaction to the end. That said, since then, the cover has been revealed and a second book is on its way and I’m ecstatic.
I was completely pulled into this story … a family who’s whole plan and existence could cave in at any time was so intriguing. I adored Grace… and I felt for her brother, Preston, so much. I really loved that he was the one person looking out for her and trying to get her to see that there is another kind of life for them if they want it.

Zink does an amazing job of keeping the action flowing and the suspense at a peak throughout so that when things actually start to happen, you’re only trying to read faster than you possibly can just to find out what’s going to happen. And let’s just say I never expected that ending.

I also found it funny that I absolutely hated the one person who knew that something fishy was going on … So kudos to Zink for making the main characters of this story so likable and interesting that I hated the one person who was doing the right thing.

It will definitely be interesting to see how the rest of this story plays out in book 2 – I certainly can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Thank you to the publisher for providing an advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,743 reviews1,305 followers
September 14, 2014
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

This was an okay story, but it dragged a bit for me.

Grace at times came across as an experienced thief, and at other times was a complete idiot. I mean she’d been doing this for years seemingly, but was stupid enough to not only keep evidence of a previous identity, but to carry it around in her dress pocket on a day-to-day basis? I mean how stupid is she?

The storyline in this was okay, but it did remind me of a couple of other things – ‘The Rules for Disappearing’, ‘Pretty Crooked’, ‘Mission Impossible’, and ‘The Italian Job’. The pace let this down for me though, it was so slow, and it dragged so much. I wanted to know what would happen, but at the same time it felt like a bit of a chore to get through the book.

There was some romance in this, but it didn’t really interest me. I was however interested to find out if Grace had in the past had a romantic relationship with her adoptive brother Parker, as it certainly seemed to come across that way.

The end was okay, and we did get some action, the family’s plan was just a big old mess though, and really didn’t turn out well. They came across as a bunch of complete amateurs, which wasn’t supposed to be the case at all. I also didn’t expect this to be the start of a series, but judging by the multiple unfinished storylines at the end, there needs to be at least 1 more book.
Overall; Okay story, but dragged for me,
6 out of 10.
Profile Image for Bella.
527 reviews214 followers
January 17, 2015
Grace Fontaine has everything a girl could ask for. From beauty to a perfect family. But none of it is true. Grace finds out she is adopted, and her family are thieves who trick and manipulate people out of anything they can profit off of.

As grace learns about the family life style she understands more, but when the family decides to steal a wealthy mans gold they assigns Grace to make a friend with the mans son, Logan, and pull the passwords information and area the gold is placed. Like predicted grace develops feelings for Logan, from his witty personality to his charming attitude towards life. This makes Grace second guess the lifestyle she is put into, and causes a bunch of surprising events to come up.

This book was great. I felt the need to keep reading to see what happens at the end. Sadly not all the problems were solved but I am glad to know there are more books to this series and I will surely be reading the rest. I really would recommend this book to anyone who loves danger and an unexpected ending.
Profile Image for Tati.
938 reviews86 followers
June 11, 2015
I have to say I was expecting more out of this book. Usually, books about conning have me on the edge of my seat, wanting two conflicting things at the same time: for the con to work and for it not to work, if that makes any sense.

It didn't happen here. The ending was not as epic as it ought to be, considering the scale of what was done. Parker was annoying, Logan was a flat character, and Grace was unreal. I mean .

I didn't connect with the characters, as there is no reason given for them to keep conning people. And the buildup is not exciting either.
Profile Image for Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd).
1,226 reviews257 followers
February 6, 2017
Lies I Told is a fun heist mystery story that looks at morality and family.

-Each family member has their own reasons established for their involvement in the heists. This helps set up the relationships in the family.
-Parker is a wonderful brother and cares about Grace so much. Even though he becomes heavily disillusioned by the heist games in the book, he is steadfast in his support of Grace.
-The Marks: Logan, Selena, and the other friends Grace makes during the con are kind, welcoming, and warm. She starts to experience true friendship for the first time and begins to question her actions and role in the con.
-The ending was dramatic, full of tension, and surprising. The lead up and fall out will have major implications of our characters and their lives going into book 2.

-What the hell is up with the neighbor? There are so many unanswered questions surrounding who he is, why he was so sketchy and is he actually crazy.
-Rachel is a little underdeveloped as a antagonist for Grace. Even though she is smart, she can come across as a little too mean-girl stereotype, and not as well developed as the other secondary characters.
-Parents SUCK as people. They are the definition of abusive. They adopted young and impressionable foster children and then groomed them into a life of crime after they were given a home and family.
-Grace is naive. She is so focused on supporting the family and making her parents proud that she doesn't question them or stand up for herself at all, despite numerous warnings from Parker.

Overall, I really liked the story and most of the characters. The characters were well established for the roles they played in the story and had both flaws and strengths. The story was engaging and carried real consequences for the characters. I will definitely read book 2.
Profile Image for Crystal | decorating.reader.
415 reviews190 followers
June 5, 2015
Well I RARELY make it 60% into a book to turn around and DNF it, but I guess rare things happen every now and then because that’s exactly what I ended up doing with this book! I’ve really been looking forward to Lies I Told, and I’m a huge fan of thrillers, so I didn’t think anything could go wrong yet I just didn’t find this to be a good fit for someone who has a read a few thrillers in her day.

I found the MC, Grace, to be one of the most naive characters in the entire world. Yes, the girl obviously she has some background issues that may have made her this way since she is adopted…BUT I wouldn’t know what they were because the book tells you virtually nothing about her past!!! It does bring her adoption up as being a factor all the time about why she’s so glad to just have a family, but nothing any deeper than that. When you give me such a naive character that just goes along with anything I need to know WHY said character is this way.

Grace also has a brother, Parker, who apparently has issues too. Once again no background on this kid either. To make things worse, randomly after 58% in, he is all of a sudden declared as not normal and compared to Logan’s dad, who has psychological issues….which HOLD UP, when did this happen?! Color me confused.

Then we have Rachel. Queen Bee of the school and all that jazz. Well for SOME reason she is super suspicious of Grace. WHY is she this way?! I will never know because she just IS. NO reason to spark it what so ever. She goes all detective like on Grace from the get go, but for the life of me through out everything I read I can’t figure out why she’s just like this to her. Grace is secretive I guess you could say, but she never just does anything crazy out of the ordinary, so……once again I felt like I was just supposed to go with random things.

I guess you could say I was having a lot of issues with the characters and the plot all the way around. Since I was SO far in and to try to give it a chance I asked a few people who had read the entire book to be sure things didn’t get crazy good at the end and if I should push through…it was a unanimous NO!
Profile Image for Sabrina.
193 reviews540 followers
March 7, 2015
Short and Sweet:

I love a good YA con story and Lies I Told was every bit as good as I expected!

To Elaborate...

Lies I Told is a FUN read with just the right amount of tension. Grace, the MC is a likable (though a bit naive for a thief) character which makes you root for her despite her dishonest ways. Her brother Parker, also adopted, is less likable, but understandably so since he's tiring of the family 'business.' He has begun to feel used by his adoptive parents and he's angry about it. Parker attempts to convince Grace to give up their life of crime, but her loyalty to her parents makes her feel conflicted.

As the story moves along, the internal conflict is there for both teens, but Grace starts to realize that she's pulled so many jobs that she doesn't even know who she really is. So this time around she makes friends based on small bits of honesty and sincerely begins to fall for the son of the man they plan to steal from. All while trying to be professional and pull off the biggest heist they've ever attempted.

To complicate things further, Grace has one particular classmate, Rachel, who seems to see right through her. No matter how Grace tries to win her over, it only seems to increase her suspicions. Rachel also seems to be a little too interested in her brother Parker who is spiraling out of control and behaving recklessly, putting the Fontaines at risk of exposure or worse. Grace tries to convince herself that she's safe, but under so much pressure, she's starting to crack.

I really enjoyed this book right up until the last moment when I ran out of pages! Lies I Told ends with quite a few questions, but is NOT a standalone so there are more sneaky, con-artist chapters to come.

4 Hearts!

Originally published at I Heart Y.A. Fiction
Profile Image for Kathy Martin.
3,506 reviews80 followers
February 28, 2015
This was an interesting story that left me with quite a few questions. Grace is seventeen and is the adopted daughter of two people who live by conning people out of money and other valuables. She has an older adopted brother named Parker. They have come to California with the intention of robbing a man of his stash of gold bars - $20 million worth. Grace's role is to get close to the son of the house.

Grace has her cover story and things are going according to plan until she actually meets Logan. He is somehow different. Grace has been doing this kind of thing since she was adopted out of a bad foster care situation when she was eleven. She should be used to lying to everyone around her. But this time something is different. She makes a real friend for the first time and she falls in love for the first time.

The tension in the story builds as Grace, Parker and her parents Cormac and Renee weave their way into the town of Playa Hermosa and work their plot to locate and steel the gold bars. Grace has lots of doubts about her lifestyle but it is the only one she has known for six years and her "parents" are the only stability in her life. Moving from place to place every few months to run a new scam doesn't lead to a stable life. Parker wants out and he is trying to convince Grace to go with him. Grace, despite her reservations, is determined to see this con through.

I had lots of questions as I was reading. Grace's family has a mysterious next door neighbor who apparently has secrets of his own. I am curious to learn more about his story. I am also curious about what happens to Logan in the story. His fate is definitely open to interpretation. Grace's fate is also unresolved as the story ends.

Fans of the lifestyles of the rich and famous and fans of stories of first love will enjoy this entertaining story.
Profile Image for Taschima.
868 reviews399 followers
April 10, 2015
Review in process...

"This was different from what we normally did. Bigger. Scarier. But looking around the table, I knew it didn't matter. This was the only way we knew how to live."

"More and more, I had to really think about that part. Had to prepare myself for weeks or months of being in character, of losing a little more of myself each passing day."

"But I was good at it. Good at drawing people out, getting them to like and trust me."

"Then I remembered why we had to stick together. WHy I accepted the risks and sacrifices and self-loathing that came with what we did. Because the only people I had in the whole world did it, and I couldn't be part of their lives if I didn't do it, too."

"Had the end of our family been one sudden, impulsive decision setting into motion a string of events that changed everything? Or had it all been a long time coming? I think that would be worse, because if it was true, it meant that I was hopelessly, unforgivably naive.
And there's no crime as unforgivable as naivety when you're on the grift."
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Charlotte.
337 reviews123 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
April 2, 2015
DNF at 33%

I got bored and didn't want to continue any longer. It just didn't read like a book with a MC who had completed quite a number of cons before and had so much expertise. Her feelings and thoughts seemed more amateurish and you would have thought this was her first time since it began to get more difficult for her with the guilt she felt and other issues going on. Plus nothing much really happens.

I have a few issues with how its written though. At one point the MC felt she couldn't call one character a friend if they didn't tell her what happened to their mother. I can understand partially but you just met her, I don't think you're privy to everything about her life in order to call her your friend. Also, 'exotic eyes'? What?

Now upon reading other reviews, I found that you don't get the full story because it's a series so the first book is not self-contained, I'm glad I decided to DNF because I don't have the patience for that.
Profile Image for Ashley (gotbookcitement).
716 reviews83 followers
February 21, 2017
2017 Book Bingo square A Book From The Library

I really did end up enjoying this. I read it pretty slow, but I think that was just because of the holidays and me not really feeling in the mood to read. Right after I finished this, I requested the sequel so I can find out what happens next.
If you like books about crimes, cons, and criminals, I think you'll like this. It reminds me of the TV shows Revenge and Leverage, not a perfect copy of it, but the same kind of element and feeling.
Profile Image for Juman.
114 reviews20 followers
August 11, 2015
I was addicted to this book. Can't wait for the second installment!
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,312 reviews52 followers
May 20, 2015
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more reviews!

Never in a million years would I actually expect myself to read a Michelle Zink book ever again... or even expect to actually enjoy it. But hey, a psychological thriller read is waaay more different than a paranormal-angel read. Way back in '10 where my career of reading young adult novels had just begun, I went off with reading Zink's angelic trilogy, Prophecy of the Sisters, and really enjoyed it. But the sequel was so gross that I just couldn't go for it or anything else by this author for this sake. The cover of Lies I Told superbly intrigued me and I knew I wanted to indulge it all and fall in love.

I do have to tell you that I'm pretty sure that I've just fell in love with this duology. I first expected it to be horrible and boring, and that's what it began readers off with. It had a horrible impression, and I was pretty sure that I was going to put it down midway. But that might have been the cause because of my illness at the time of reading this and being unable to concentrate with a thriller read. But in an overall hand, this all became perfect and enjoyable by the end. We'll get to more of the plot later, but it's one of the things that left me so surprised by the end.

"Now I started to feel the truth of it. Of me. Not the part I played in this job or in the last one, but who I really was. Like acknowledging things about myself out loud somehow made them—and me–more real. It was exhilarating, confirmation that there was something underneath the Grace who lied and stole. But it was terrifying, too. What if the real Grace didn't want to stay undercover anymore?"

And that regretting Grace was our sassy protagonist here. I'll tell you now, beforehand, that her life was always horrible. It's true. She's been heading to foster homes for the majority of her life, and she was now adopted into a family of thieves who perform heists and hunt down for richness. It may seem like the best possible situation for her and to be happy, but it truly isn't. They now move into a small town in California where they're about to perform their biggest heist yet, stealing gold bars from a rich family's home. And it's Grace's job to get close with the family and try to figure out clues.

The majority of the novel is a transformation, really. It's Grace's character development, and because of her having a tough life from the start, it's easy to see that it's not her fault that she's become involved with all of the cruelty that the Fontaines perform to others. And this is why I wanted to get to the point about her character, first. Initially, I hated her guts. She seemed whiny and all desperate for love and romance, but once I broke out of my angsty-stage of living and saw the real thing behind the lines, she needed help and a good role model. Thankfully, her foster brother and new friends helped guiding her in the right direction. I grew to seek a reader-to-character relationship with this coolest chick around.

Aside from the obvious themes and concepts present: stealing, forbidden romance and family, Zink actually had a depressive story that was hidden from readers' view. This isn't your average mystery-thriller, since I actually found that I haven't read any book about thieves or stealing as a crime, so to read this as a first is very impressive. And of course, I adored the setting as well. WHO DOESN'T WANT TO LIVE IN CALIFORNIA? I KNOW I DO!

"But Playa Hermosa was different. It was like another world. One where the old rules didn't apply. Like the exotic birds on the peninsula, we were suddenly all on our own. Except it didn't feel like that right away. In the beginning, it was business as usual. Plot the con, get into character, work our way in, stick together."

From page one, I was... unhappy. I actually made a prediction that I would put this book down by a hundred pages. And by that time, I was actually ready to. Sometimes I find that I force myself through the novel and reading it although I may not be enjoying it to the fullest extent that it could've been from the start. But hey, I took the chance, kept reading, and voila. Michelle Zink's writing then captivated me. I adored the second half of the book, packed with action scenes that I will never forget about, ever. And in the end after realizing that a sequel will be coming around at the end of the year? I found it perfect. DUOLOGIES RULE.

You may think that this is a Romeo and Juliet situation where Grace and her forbidden love interest... *forgets name* LOGAN are forced with insta-love, but I have to note to you that this wasn't the case here. I mean, some may see it as the love-at-first-sight thing after Grace dropped her schedule and everything, but I found it adorable, real, and not the biggest part of the book. But I'm such a sucker for romance, so I guess that it was a truly huge and positive part of my 4 star rating for me! Just to note another character-relationship, Parker and Grace, brother and sister, were adorable as well. YOU NEED SOMEONE IN YOUR LIFE WHO'LL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR YOU, and that's Parker for Grace. R-I-S-K-T-A-K-E-R!

After reading this spectacular read, I guess I feel that I'm more easy with picking and choosing books to read. Beforehand, I probably wouldn't have chosen to read this and pick it up at my library if it didn't have a nice cover. I guess now I see beyond my surroundings and would go for a book even if I didn't enjoy some other book by an author. Excluding the troubles of the slow plot in the beginning and Grace's character at first, it was practically a 5 star read. I absolutely recommend this for all lovers of psychological thrillers and mysteries, Michelle Zink will surely please you with Grace's lies she told!
8 reviews
November 28, 2017
I recently read a book called Lies I Told and it was fantastic. This novel was written by Michelle Zink and published on April 7, 2015. Zink is an American author most notably known for her gothic fantasy series, Prophecy of the Sisters and A Temptation of Angels. Lies I Told is a young adult fiction novel based on a girl named Grace Fontaine who has been adopted into a crime family who cons wealthy people of their money or anything else of value. When their biggest con yet goes wrong, everything falls apart. I believe characters are well developed throughout the novel and the reader gets a feel for each character. I believe that people can relate to her in some shape or form. The plot is somewhat original. Some parts of the book are cliche and can be predicted, but overall it was very interesting. The story relates to geography by the characters have to adapt to each new con when they go to a different place. Something that might be a little controversial is some violence, explicit language, and romance. The main point of the book is to hold on to what is true or to was is real. I would recommend young adults to read this because it might be a little too much for younger kids. I believe both males and females will enjoy this book. I really recommend this book and you should totally read it.
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2,274 reviews547 followers
April 16, 2015
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: This book was suspenseful and atmospheric, and I enjoyed the lush setting.

Opening Sentence: Looking back, I should have known Playa Hermosa was the beginning of the end.

The Review:

Grace and her adopted family move around the world, never staying in one place too long. They are con-artists, sinking into a community to get close to people for the intel they need before taking their money and throwing away their fake identifies for new ones. Grace’s brother, Preston, isn’t a fan of this lifestyle, and Grace isn’t sure if she is either. Every time they move around, she has to be a fake, plastic version of herself, until she is no longer sure who she is. And the lies keep stacking up — she can hardly see the truth now. The guilt, regret, and doubt are weighing down on her. But with all that she has done, is there really any way to redeem herself? And how can she get herself out of this situation?

Then Grace’s family arrives at a small, beautiful California town where a paranoid man has stockpiled twenty million dollars in gold bars. This will be their biggest con yet, if they can achieve it, but also the most dangerous. Grace’s job: get close to the man’s son, Logan, and learn more about the house to discover where the bars are hidden. Grace is good at being social and faking her way into the right groups of friends. But this time is different. She suddenly can’t ignore how the lies are stacking up, and the unmistakable feelings she has for Logan. These feelings are dangerous. Before starting Lies I Told, I had read quite a few reviews, and they were generally positive. That being said, I moved into the story with an open mindset and some set expectations. For the most part, it impressed me, though I had a couple of problems with the book as a whole.

Grace was the main character and narrator of this story. I liked her — she was strong, but also a realistic character with plenty of guilt, regret, and doubts. Being in the situation she was in couldn’t have been pleasant, choosing between her “family” and being honest. She felt trapped, a lot. She also often doubted whether all the moving, all the lying, all the layers of herself that she had built for jobs, was worth it. Their “parents” used her brother and herself to help in the charade. I think that they did love them, but not enough to let them make their own decisions. Yet she managed to retain her moral compass through the book, and that made me respect her character. She was an easy enough POV to sink into, and I liked how she could appreciate the beauty in different things and people.

Logan and Grace’s connection was instant. Okay, I don’t know how many times I’ve said this, but I’m sort of done with the whole “love at first sight” thing. It happens way too often in YA books these days and isn’t very realistic. I’m clearly not a fan. Logan’s a nice kid, and he and Grace are cute together, but the insta-love spoiled the whole relationship for me. Every time they kissed I was irritated. Also, I wish that Grace had given Logan some sort of warning, a hint, that she was not to be trusted. It wasn’t fair to him, the whole situation. It was upsetting to me that all that Logan ever had done was open up his heart to Grace in the most sincere ways, while she kept feeding him lie after lie.

Altogether, I found Lies I Told to be a satisfying first book. I didn’t even realize that it was in a series until the last couple pages, when I saw that there was so much left unresolved. The cover for the second book has been revealed, and I’m interested to see where Zink takes the story next, since it could go in any number of ways: it was sort of left up in the air. The characters were done well, though I wish Grace had developed a tad bit more (we’ll probably see that in the second book). There was a plot twist at the end that I did not see coming and further proved the point that Grace owed her “parents” nothing. I loved the beautiful imagery of the California setting, and how the words appealed to all five senses. One thing I also wish had been more present in the novel was humor. A good laugh might had bolstered my thoughts about it higher. Anyone looking for a thought-provoking story with suspense, action, and a strong tone will enjoy this book!

Notable Scene:

“Selena Rodriguez.” My mom repeated the name. “Was she in the subject files?”

I shook my head. “I needed a place to sit and ended up at her table. She’s nice.”

She smiled. “I’m glad you’ve made a friend. Maybe you can use her.”

I flashed on Selena’s clear brown eyes, her unguarded smile. Something twisted in my stomach, and I immediately regretted mentioning her. “Yeah, maybe.”

FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Lies I Told. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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