From the author of Unraveling Isobel and The Education of Hailey Kendrick, a smart, romantic novel about a teenage con artist who might be in over her head.
Sadie can’t wait to get away from her backwards small town, her delusional mom, her jailbird dad, and the tiny trailer where she was raised…even though leaving those things behind also means leaving Brendan. Sadie wants a better life, and she has been working steadily toward it, one con at a time.
But when Sadie’s mother wipes out Sadie’s savings, her escape plan is suddenly gone. She needs to come up with a lot of cash—and fast—or she’ll be stuck in this town forever.
With Brendan’s help, she devises a plan—the ultimate con—to get the money. But the more lies Sadie spins, the more she starts falling for her own hoax…and perhaps for the wrong boy. Sadie wanted to change her life, but she wasn’t prepared to have it flipped upside down by her own deception. With her future at stake and her heart on the line, suddenly it seems like she has a lot more than just money to lose….
(Description from Goodreads)
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Even though I give this book 3 out of 5 stars, I must say that it was a compelling read. There were several times where I thought I knew what was going to happen, but then I was completely thrown for a loop; at one point, my mouth must have been hanging open because my boyfriend made the comment that something shocking must have just happened in the book (which it had.) I wish I could give this book a higher rating, but there were several things I wish were different about it.
First of all, I wasn’t drawn in so much by the story as I was the main character’s name: Sadie. I absolutely LOVE that name. It’s probably a silly reason for someone to pick up a book to read, but that’s all it took for me. Of course, once I got past the main character’s name, the premise of the book actually sounded quite interesting. There were many twists and turns to this story, which made it all the more interesting and fun to read. Aside from being named Sadie, I really liked her character. I felt so bad for her the entire time…my heart seriously ached for this girl. Like the description says, Sadie’s mom takes ALL of the money she has been saving up for college since who knows how long. Sadie doesn’t come from the most affluent life, so everything she had, she earned. Well, for the most part. Even though she worked at the local hotel, she did manage to pull several cons that earned her quite a bit of extra money to put in her account. The minute Sadie found out that she lost everything, I immediately started to feel absolutely sorry for this girl. I have to say that Sadie is probably the main reason I continued reading this book and not so much the actual story; I just wanted to make sure that she turned out okay in the end.
The other characters in the book were pretty interesting and compelling as well. Brendan, her best friend and fellow con artist, got on my nerves at first, mostly because of how he treated Sadie. However, about halfway through the book, he started to shine a bit more because of him actually expressing his true feelings to Sadie about why he acts the way he does toward her. Chase was just the opposite of Brendan in my mind, as he was a pretty awesome character at first, but then he turned out to be a total jerk. Go figure. I never quite figured out how I felt about Sadie’s parents. Throughout most of the book, I have to say that they really disgusted me, just because of how they treated Sadie (ie. taking all of her money) but once the various truths to the story started to come out, I felt sorry for them as well. The whole family was just a complete mess, I must say.
The idea for the story really was quite an interesting one, even though the whole switch-a-roo type story has been done before (and probably in a better way.) The story felt really rushed during the last third of it or so. The pace of the first two-thirds of the book was just how it should have been, but when certain things started to arise, it felt like even the author was done with writing any more and just wanted to end it as quickly, yet efficiently as possible. I was also thrown off by the actual lack of cons that happened throughout the book. I was expecting there to be far more cons that led up to one big con, but the book started off with a very tiny con (that had nothing to do with the actual story) and then focused on a giant con that was left hanging out to dry, in a sense. Also, the whole love triangle that occurred between Sadie and Brendan and Chase was kind of a big mess. The only purpose I saw it served was to give Sadie an idea of what she might possibly be missing by living in a trailer and having to scrape as much money together as possible. Of course, once certain aspects start to come out, the whole triangle is forgotten, and is left as a big ol’ mess.
As for the ending, I still am baffled by it. I guess it’s the type of ending where the reader can decide what happens, but I’m the kind of person who NEEDS a defined ending. I have no idea what to make of the ending, mostly because it was left open to interpretation. I really wanted a solid ending that left the reading knowing exactly what happened to Sadie, Brendan, Sadie’s parents, Ava, Chase, etc. Sadly, there was none of that, so I guess I’ll just have to suck it up and decide what I think actually happened.
I really did enjoy this book as a fun read. I would have given it a much higher rating, but it just left me feeling like it wasn’t absolutely finished when it could have easily been. Perhaps that’s just me.