Author: Mary Elizabeth Summer
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | iTunes | Kobo
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
The sequel to TRUST ME, I’M LYING
Staying out of trouble isn’t possible for Julep Dupree. She has managed not to get kicked out of her private school, even though everyone knows she’s responsible for taking down a human-trafficking mob boss—and getting St. Agatha’s golden-boy Tyler killed in the process. Running cons holds her guilty conscience at bay, but unfortunately, someone wants Julep to pay for her mistakes . . . with her life.
Against her better judgment, Julep takes a shady case that requires her to infiltrate a secretive organization that her long-gone mother and the enigmatic blue fairy may be connected to. Her best friend, Sam, isn’t around to stop her, and Dani, her one true confidante, happens to be a nineteen-year-old mob enforcer whose moral compass is as questionable as Julep’s. But there’s not much time to worry about right and wrong—or to save your falling heart—when there’s a contract on your head.
Murders, heists, secrets and lies, hit men and hidden identities . . . If Julep doesn’t watch her back, it’s her funeral. No lie.
Chasing the Blue Fairy: Pinocchio in the Trust Me Series
Julep Dupree's moral compass is questionable at best. As she says herself in the opening to Trust Me, I'm Lying, she wasn't born with that particular cricket on her shoulder. So it might seem strange that I picked a 19th century morality tale as the thematic backbone for Julep's story. But for me, it was the perfect choice.
To understand why, you'll first need to know a few things about Julep:
- Her major hang-up about being a grifter is her lack of fixed identity. She explains this to another character by saying, "when you can be anybody, how do you know who you are?" This plays to the heart of a central theme for all coming-of-age stories, which is not just finding your identity, but choosing your identity.
- Her father made her in his image, and though he's not a bad guy, he's kind of weak, and Julep both loves and has some issues with him.
- One of the major themes in the book is the line between bad and evil (you read that right—bad and evil), and part of Julep's crisis with identity is figuring out which side of that divide she falls on.
Allusions to Carlo Collodi's The Adventures of Pinocchio show up many times throughout both Trust Me, I’m Lying and Trust Me, I'm Trouble, though more so in TMIL, because TMIT's official thematic reference is The Catcher in the Rye (see the companion to this post for more on how TMIT ties to Catcher). Places you'll see references to Pinocchio include:
- The three clues Julep's father leaves her to help her track him down in Trust Me, I'm Lying: the Field of Miracles, the Land of Toys, and the Dogfish are all major scenes from Pinocchio.
- Multiple references to Julep's mother as "the blue fairy" occur throughout both books.
- The judge who heard Julep's case at the end of Trust Me, I'm Lying was named Judge Collodi, after the author of The Adventures of Pinocchio.
The quality I like most about both Pinocchio and Julep is that in the end, despite their faults, they move heaven and earth to save the people they love. Neither of them believes they deserve forgiveness, but they're both understandable and easy to root for, because in them, we recognize ourselves—our temptations, our loneliness, our compassion, and our courage. And we want them to find their blue fairies, because it gives us hope that someday we'll find our own.
What would you say is your blue fairy? Let us know in the comments!