‘TRUST ME, I’M LYING,’ BY MARY ELIZABETH SUMMER. Review of the 2014 novel by Mary Elizabeth Summer. Text © Rissi JC

Some readers will probably have reservations about Trust Me, I’m Lying. Things like its morals or by proxy its characters, however this is actually one of the cutest pieces of teen fiction I’ve run across.

STORY: The book kicks off introducing us to its sassy heroine, Julep Dupree, a student who manages to make extra cash by taking on con jobs. Julep is the best at what she does and as the daughter of a grifter, she knows her stuff. But trouble finds Julep when upon her return home from school one afternoon and she isn’t sure how to handle it. Her father is missing. With the help of her best friend, Sam, and the school’s popular (and dreamy) guy, Tyler, Julep sets out to unravel the truth behind the disappearance.  

Trust Me, I’m Lying, by Mary Elizabeth Summers | Book Review

Secular genres are really difficult for me to endorse because of the topics they bring in and how they deal with the topics. It’s rare to find a secular novel that plays by these rules. This book went with a “cuter” structure and overall, it works to its advantage. Anyone who doesn’t abide characters who lie to pave the way to a clear-cut pay day had better steer clear of this because otherwise, you’ll be disappointed in the story – Julep may be a teen with issues, but she doesn’t bat an eyelash when it comes down to it – she lies to her clients parents as well as anyone standing in the way of her search for her father, lying for her clients or morphing into someone she isn’t in order to get the job done is just second nature to her.  


If your curious as to what this resembles, think Leverage or White Collar. It features an unusual, albeit savvy female lead, whose story isn’t as interesting (though fun) as the characters that surround her are. I enjoy the dynamics between her and best friend, Sam (despite the potential to be cliché) and thought that Tyler is “more” than a stereotype. All of this comes with a caution since this debut author doesn’t tell a story gently – seriously, guys, an otherwise lighthearted story ends with quite the bang and let’s just say not everyone comes out alive on the other side. Like, wow. The scattered situation ending will likely leave you wondering, “WHAT JUST HAPPENED!?” I know it did me.  

Fans of heist stories won’t want to miss checking out this book. It’s smarter than some of the other books I’ve read in YA and isn’t afraid to mold its own niche. That alone says something for this debut author.  

About the Book:

Author: Mary Elizabeth Summer
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher Provided ARC
Publication Date: 2014
Find the Review elsewhere: Goodreads
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult/Teen, Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5 

Content Note: this is a secular novel, so it does include some profanity in the text including sh*t and other mild profanities. There is some innuendo, and “sensual” make-out scenes. Nothing goes beyond a PG13 kind of rating though.

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary ARC copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. Just the title of this makes me want to read it! Seriously, can you get any better than Trust Me, I'm Lying? I'm a little concerned about the innuendos in it however, especially given what I've read in Divergent and Insurgent. But I think I'll be putting this one on my reading list anyway.

    walking in the air.

    1. Right!? It is a great title, Hannah – and I hope if you read the book, you enjoy. I haven't read the Divergent books so comparing the content would be impossible, though as I remember, things are relatively "tame" in this novel (I read it earlier this summer) and for secular books, it's relatively clean. :)

  2. This book sounds great! I love YA mysteries, and as immoral as it may be, books about liars are quite interesting to read ;) Thanks so much for sharing, Rissi. I'm adding this to my TBR list!

    1. LOL, I don't mind stories are "liars" so long as it's "fun." Case in point: I'm a huge White Collar fan. And this novel is no different. I'm surprised by the ending, but we'll see what else the author has planned. :)

  3. Leverage, White Collar, and Ally Carter?! Love all of those, plus YA, so I think I may have to check this one out. This was such a fabulous review, Rissi, thanks for sharing!! :)

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