Pretending to Be Erica by Michelle Painchaud
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
ARC received for honest review.
This is one of those that is so hard for me to review. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't as gripping as one might hope. Con artistry seems to be a hot little niche topic in YA lately, and this book cashes in on that. To its credit, it kept me reading to the end. I could never predict the ending well enough that I wanted to stop reading, even when I had a guess as to how it would all play out. That guess also kept changing. It is a mystery that you want to solve.
That said, despite the suspense, it wasn't what I'd call fast paced or exciting. It took me several months to finish. The characters were all a bit blah. I wasn't terribly invested in Erika/Violet, but more curious to see if I was right in my predictions. I would have liked more depth, more sympathetic characters who I love and remember and root for.
I think this author has great potential. In a few years, with a few more books under her belt and some more experience, maybe those issues will disappear. As it was, some of the writing (the overly dramatic chapter endings, awkward phrasing, etc) seemed a bit amateur, and the pacing was slow for the genre.
Overall, an interesting read from a promising debut author. Mild content, recommend for ages 14+.
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