Saturday, August 1, 2015

Review: Pretending to be Erica by Michelle Painchaud

Pretending to Be EricaPretending to be Erica by Michelle Painchaud
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Release date: July 21st, 2015
Purchase: Amazon
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.
My thoughts:
Pretending to be Erica was definitely an interesting read.  This was my first YA con book and I have to say I think I will be craving more of these!

Violet has been groomed to become Erica Silverman. This will be her until con and solidify her place besides the man who rescued her from foster care and taught her everything she knows.  All she has to do is pretend to be Erica for a few months, steal a painting, and disappear into the night.  Easy right?  Well the whole stealing the painting thing would be easy except for one thing.  Violet realizes everything she doesn't have living with Erica's family and starts to wonder if her con filled life is really all it's cracked up to be.

I have to say I ended up liking this quite a bit.  I was torn about midway through I won't lie though because Violet/Erica just had too many inner monologues about what she had to do and how leaving would effect her.  It just got to be too much for me to read.  I understood it would be hard for her, but I didn't need to hear it every other page.  I liked the strong con artist female from the beginning and wished she would have stayed a bit longer.

Also she seemed really self assured of her abilities, but then people would find out about her faking and it was all a no big deal.  I didn't expect that at all.  I understood one particular person's choice to stay mum, but not the others.  What did they gain?  Adding to that there had been two other fakes so I would assume this would not have been swept underneath the rug like it was.  That part I just didn't understand and there were a few plot holes that left me wondering, but they didn't take away from the unique storyline. Most stories I have read like are like this in the whole faking to be somebody else game are about revenge.  This is the first con one I have read and it definitely stands out in a crowd even with my few minor hangups.

Honestly though I kept on reading because I did like Violets voice.  I wanted to see whether she chose to steal the painting and what her ending would be like.


  1. I've been seeing a lot about this one. I love con artist books, so I'll check it out. Great review!

  2. Awesome review! Thank you! I like the synopsis so I might give it a try.