Don't You Trust Me?
Author: Patrice Kindl
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genres: Realistic Fiction | Thriller | Suspense
Released: August 30th 2016
Review Source: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
A teenage girl switches identities with a stranger and pulls off a long-term scam in this smart, sarcastic thriller perfect for fans of Ally Carter.
Don’t you trust me? I mean, look at me. Blond, blue-eyed, the very image of innocence. Pretty enough, if you care about that kind of thing. I don’t.
But would a normal person switch identities with some wet mess of a girl at the airport, just to get her to stop bawling about being separated from her loser boyfriend and sent to live with some distant relatives? Nope, she wouldn’t. Yet I did. I’m not as normal as you think. And you’ll just have to trust me on that.
Don’t You Trust Me? Follows the story of Morgan - a young girl who learned she was part of a group named the fay. A specific set of traits or other fay characters weren’t offered. From what I was able to gather, the fay consisted of an elite group of people only identified by others of their kind who posses a lack of empathy, guilt, and fear. Some may argue the fay may just be sociopaths.
Either way, these abilities Morgan possessed always got her into some sort of trouble growing up. Stuff like stealing phones, lying whenever she felt convenient, and not being able to relate to other people like normal. When she reached high school, her parents decided the best thing may be to send her off to a boarding school in hopes that a change of environment would help her situation.
At the airport, Morgan meets Janelle. A girl sitting in a chair crying to herself. She was leaving sunny LA to go to New York to live with her aunt and uncle because her parents want her away from her boyfriend.
Morgan saw this as an opportunity to avoid boarding school altogether. Luckily, her and Janelle were vaguely similar in appearance and Janelle’s family hadn’t seen her in at least 10 years. Morgan convinced Janelle to switch clothes and luggage so Janelle could be romantically reunited with her boyfriend and Morgan could run off to upstate New York and figure it out from there. Morgan decided to ride it out with Janelle’s family while holding up Janelle’s identity all along. After all, Janelle’s family had money that wouldn’t be too difficult for Morgan to get her hands on.
Morgan makes friends, organizes charity events (really only for her benefit), starts after school activities, and has her new found aunt and uncle wrapped around her finger. That is until Janelle calls one day, not expecting Morgan to answer, so Morgan pretends to be her cousin. Janelle is weeping about her abandonment from her boyfriend and how her parents aren’t answering her calls.
Morgan decides it’s time to make a hasty, yet clean exit. This digs her deeper into her own web of lies. She starts taking larger sums of cash and her lies are starting to get suspected. Though she doesn’t get made out ‘til the very end with an unwinding of her series of events.
There is no love interest, friend rivalry, witty sidekick, or dramatic climax. It’s the story of an arguably sociopathic girl who pushes herself to the limits of her own ability and gets caught when even she can’t keep up anymore. It was an OK read. It took me a while to get through it because, frankly, it couldn’t keep my attention for long. Morgan wasn’t a likable character and the secondary characters weren’t quite dazzling either. It was just alright, and I’ve read better.