Author: Michelle Zink
Rating: ★★★★ 1/2
Synopsis: 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.
Huge thank you to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for this ARC!
I LOVED this book and could not put it down! I was initially drawn to it because I love things with con artists (huge fan of the TV shows White Collar and Leverage). I was a little skeptical going into it because I was wondering how realistic it was going to be buuuuut it was awesome. It had a similar vibe to a book I loved last year, Kiss, Kill, Vanish so if you liked that book you’ll dig this one too.
Grace and her family are con artists. They find a target, work the mark and then take them for all their worth. I was SO worried that this was going to be crazy fake and that I’d have to suspend my belief A LOT or just roll my eyes a lot. I did neither. Grace and her brother, Parker, are adopted. When they were introduced to the grifter life they were both coming from horrible foster care situations and this just seemed SO much better. Money, glamour, power. What scared, lonely, poor, abused pre-teen wouldn’t want that? This set up just worked for me. And trust me their parents, awful people.
But to Grace, they’re her parents and this life is MUCH better than the one she left. Parker is dark and broody and has scars that he doesn’t talk about. It’s quite obvious that he’s doing it to make sure that he’ll never have to want for anything ever again. He’s saving his money so that he can get out. And Grace, she does it because she’s good at it. And it’s all she’s ever really known that makes her happy. She loves her parents (despite them being really awful people, they are good-ish parents) and doesn’t hate their life.
After having pulled off a number of jobs as a family, Grace and Parker are moved to Southern California where their mark is a wealthy man who has over 20 million in gold hidden on his estate. Grace has to get close to the son to infiltrate and find the gold, but she doesn’t count on falling for him. Making real friends, and enjoying living a “real” life. She starts to question if what she’s doing is right or wrong, and who it’s hurting. Parker is getting darker and darker, more unstable and he’s begging Grace to get out with him.
I loved Grace’s character growth. She really does evolve in this book and at the end when things fall apart she’s left questioning everything that she’s learned and ever known.
Things I loved about this: the writing and the pacing. It snaps along and I found myself instantly drawn in. I couldn’t put this book down and found myself FLYING through the last 40% because I had to know how things were going to go down. The characters: Everyone was so real. They were flawed, loveable, hateable, and at times I even felt really sad (especially for the guy they were robbing) for some of them. This so easily could have been a story about cookie-cutter California stereotypical rich kids, but it wasn’t. And they weren’t.
The ending was left pretty open and there are a lot of things that didn’t get resolved so there BETTER be another book because I NEED to know what happens!!!!