Genuine Fraud (Lockhart)

Genuine Fraud 
E. Lockhart, 2017
Random Children's
288 pp.

From the author of We Were Liars, comes a unique novel that showcases E. Lockhart’s unmated ability to play with style and deliver a perfectly plotted, well-written novel with a surprise twist.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.

Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.

An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.

A bad romance, or maybe three.

Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.

A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.

A girl who refuses to be the person she once was. (From the publisher.)

Author Bio
Aka—Emily Jenkins
Where—New York, New York, USA
Rasied—Cambridge, Washington; Seattle, Washington
Education—B.A., Vassar College; Ph.D., Columbia University
Currently—lives in New York City area

Emily Jenkins, who also writes under the name E. Lockhart is a writer of children's picture books, young adult novels, and adult fiction.

Her first novel as E. Lockhart, The Boyfriend List, was published in 2005 and has been followed by three sequels, The Boy Book (2006), The Treasure Map of Boys (2009), and Real Live Boyfriends (2010).These four novels are also known as the Ruby Oliver novels, based on their central protagonist.

Lockhart's 2008 novel, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, was a finalist for both the National Book Award for Young People's Literature and the Michael L. Printz Award. Her picture books, written as Emily Jenkins, have won numerous awards, including Boston Globe-Horn Book Award honors and the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Book Award. Her 2014 novel, We Were Liars, has achieved wide acclaim from reviewers.

Jenkins grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Seattle, Washington. In high school she attended summer drama schools at Northwestern University and the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis. She attended Lakeside School, a private high school in North Seattle. She went to Vassar College and graduate school at Columbia University. She has a doctorate in English literature. She currently lives in the New York City area. (From Wikipedia and the author's website. Retrieved 2/27/2014.)

Book Reviews
Genuine Fraud is a disquieting book, one built craftily enough to reward repeat readings.
Jeff Giles - New York Times Book Review

(Starred review.) Lockhart blends the privileged glamour of We Were Liars with a twisty, backward-running plot that’s slick with cinematic violence.… [The] storyline… will keep readers on their toes, never entirely sure of what these girls are … capable of (Ages 12–up).
Publishers Weekly

(Starred review.) Jule is…a survivor. The narrative moves backward in time, constantly forcing readers to adjust their opinions of the characters and events.… [For those] who love twisty mysteries, stories about class conflict, and tough-as-nails teen girls (Gr. 9-up). —Stephanie Klose
School Library Journal

(Starred review.) Captivating…bewitching

(Starred review.) Can Jule recognize her own true self within the tangled story of the past year?… Her unsettling storytelling, filled with energy and a fair amount of violence … will challenge preconceptions about identity and keep readers guessing (Age 12-adult).
Kirkus Reviews

Discussion Questions
We'll add publisher questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, please use our LitLovers talking points to help start a discussion for Genuine Fraud … then take off on your own:

1. Genuine Fraud explores identity. What plays the greatest part in your own sense of who you are — where you come from … what you've experienced … your interests … how you look … how you talk? How do Jule and Imogen establish their identifies?

2. Follow-up to Question 2: How much does the way other people view you affect how you view yourself? Are you always the same person no matter where you are or who you are with? What about Jule and Imogen?

3. Describe the two young women. In what way are they different, and in what way are they similar? How do they affect each other? Whom do you find more sympathetic?

4. At what point in the novel did you become unsure of your original assessment of Jule? Was there a point where you couldn't be sure what she was capable of?

5. How does the fighting off her attackers in the arcade affect Jules?

6. In what way have action movies shaped Jule's view of society's expectations for women? How does she set about subverting those expectations?

7. Jules accuses Forrest of being clueless when it comes to his sense of privilege: he has no understanding of what it means to adapt yourself to others' customs, nor does he understand that others must adapt to him. Have you ever been in either position — having to adapt to someone else or being insensitive to someone who might be struggling to adapt to you?

8. How would you answer Jule's question to Paolo: "Do you think a person is as bad as her worst actions?… Or do you think human beings are better than the very worst things we have ever done?" (p 76.)

9. What is the significance of the book's title? It's an oxymoron, so what does it mean?
(Questions adapted from Random House Teacher's Guide.)

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