Pretending to Be Erica
Author: Michelle Painchaud
Reading Level: Young Adult
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.
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.
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