Blog Tour: Pretending to Be Erica by Michelle Painchaud | Guest Post | Giveaway

Pretending to Be Erica
Author: Michelle Painchaud
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Released: July 21st 2015
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

We Were Liars meets Heist Society in a riveting debut!

Seventeen-year-old Violet’s entire life has revolved around one thing: becoming Erica Silverman, an heiress kidnapped at age five and never seen again.

Violet’s father, the best con man in Las Vegas, has a plan, chilling in its very specific precision. Violet shares a blood type with Erica; soon, thanks to surgery and blackmail, she has the same face, body, and DNA. She knows every detail of the Silvermans’ lives, as well as the PTSD she will have to fake around them. And then, when the time is right, she “reappears”—Erica Silverman, brought home by some kind of miracle.

But she is also Violet, and she has a job: Stay long enough to steal the Silverman Painting, an Old Master legendary in the Vegas crime world. Walking a razor’s edge, calculating every decision, not sure sometimes who she is or what she is doing it for, Violet is an unforgettable heroine, and Pretending to be Erica is a killer debut.

Pretending to be Erica was quite a surprise. It was much fun to read this and I really liked Violet! The whole inner “Violet” while pretending to be Erica worked for me.

At a young age, Violet has been given only one task: to be someone else. Someone that has been gone for a while. This person is Erica Silverman, an heiress who was kidnapped and never seen again. Many have pretended to be Erica. But eventually, the truth comes out. These individuals have been put in jail for such fraud. Unlike them, Violet has an advantage. With this and her ultimate con artist skills, she will be the perfect Erica. But the love and devotion her new mother provides, will she be able to pull it off and steal from her?

Violet is pretty awesome. Even though she was told at a young age to pretend to be someone else she still wanted to be herself. The struggle she goes through in the story, her difficulties to be herself as Violet, really sold me. At times she was overwhelmed - to lose herself and be this Erica. This Erica her parents never lost hope to find. Unlike her family, no one cared for her until Sal came into the picture. Which is the only reason why she was willing to pretend.

Bravo, Michelle! The ending was very realistic and I love you for this! There really isn’t a perfect ending to this but the way it ended - you way - the realistic ending, it was great. What I loved most about Pretending to be Erica, is Violet’s inner monologue. The little hope she keep holding on to - to be herself - was just a tortuous but amazing execution.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was fun, Violet’s inner monologue was very captivating. There were some parts I thought it drag a bit but the ending makes it up for me.  It’s a great book to read.


Hey guys! Michelle here. Thanks for having me! Today I’m gonna talk about MY favorite authors! 
A ton of us grew up with Harry Potter, and I was no exception. When I was ten, the first book came out, so I was eagerly awaiting a letter from an owl on my eleventh birthday. My mom had to console me for DAYS. I think we all cried when we didn’t get a letter from Hogwarts. We all wanted to be put in a house, with a wand and a pet, and most of all we wanted to be magical, to be able to cast spells and fly. I think that’s part of why I decided to write for a career - there’s no magic in real life (in the standard sense) - so I create it through writing. Regardless, I adore JK Rowling. Not only is her story one of rousing rags-to-riches, but she’s a genuinely classy lady with so many wise things to say. If I’m a fourth as refined as her when I’m her age, I’ll be content for life. 
Another favorite author of mine is Lev Grossman - of THE MAGICIANS fame. He basically wrote a parody/homage of Harry Potter, but with overachieving kids in college, and it came out just as I was going to college. He also writes for the New York Times, and he’s hilarious. His writing style is so casually funny I’m constantly in awe slash envious of him. He really nailed the unsureness of being post-high school and adrift in the sea of looming adulthood, and it was a huge influence to me establishing my voice as a writer. If you get the chance, I highly recommend the Magicians trilogy, which recently finished up! He’s also just a cool guy. 
My last and final favorite author is definitely Ursula K. Le Guin. When I was a kid I read Earthsea, which is one of my favorite series ever. Later on, I learned she spoke perfect French and is a Taoist, and my admiration for her rose so much more. Her books contain criticisms and metaphors of the destructiveness of human nature, and her villains aren’t always straightforward and traditionally ‘evil’, which I really like. I’ve tried to incorporate that sense in my writing; that villains are shades of darker gray, rather than pure black. She definitely made me question my morals in writing, and in how characters are portrayed. I have yet to read Left Hand of Darkness, but I’ve heard only good things about it, and am really looking forward to it. 
Thanks again for letting me blather! What are some of your favorite authors?

Michelle Painchaud is the author of the young adult thriller PRETENDING TO BE ERICA, (Viking Children's, 2014).

She likes anime and you and has a twitter if you want to chat or say hi!!

US Only 


  1. Awesome review!
    I'm so excited for this book and I can't wait to read it. It looks so good and definitely just like something that I would love.
    Also, the little guest post from Michelle is awesome, Thanks Michelle!
    Olivia @ Fluttering Pages

  2. I have been on a thriller kick lately and this looks perfect!

  3. I can't wait to read this! :))

  4. I mentioned this book as one of the books I'm looking forward to the most here:
    Thanks for the giveaway!


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