Pretending to Be Erica
Summary:Erica has it all - wild popularity, debutante beauty, scintillating smarts.
But she can’t tell the truth. That her name is Violet, not Erica. That she’s sixteen, not seventeen. That the real Erica, the one who was kidnapped at the age of four, is dead.
Violet is pretending to be Erica. She has DNA from the body the police haven’t even found, plastic surgery, and convincing memories. Violet is her conman father’s protégé, and this is their last sting - trick Erica’s mother into giving Violet the code to a priceless painting.
The microwave clock spills into midnight, and the marionette girl walks up the stairs to sleep in her puppet bed in the puppet house, filled with not-puppet people.
They are made of flesh and blood, and she is made of lies and wood.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I picked Pretending to be Erica up, but it certainly delivered in both the premise and the execution. This is an eloquently written and thought-provoking novel.
More than a decade ago, Erica Silverman, the young daughter of a wealthy heiress, was kidnapped and never seen again. Years later, she finally returns. Except she’s not Erica.
17-year-old Violet has prepared her whole life for this con: masquerade as Erica, get inside the Silverman mansion, and steal the Silverman’s billion dollar painting.
Violet is an incredible and well-developed protagonist. She is intelligent, observant, and careful. Yet, she also possesses the ability to think for herself. Eventually she realizes that she envies the normalcy of Erica’s life – friends, family, school, crushes – and that she wants it for herself. Her struggle of wanting a normal life continually overlaps with her sense of duty, and it’s fascinating to see how it plays out.
I’m the shadow of a dead girl. A shadow does not have friends.
A dead girl does not feel guilt.
Pretending to be Erica is a gripping read from start to finish. Violet is a protagonist you can’t help but root for, and the way Painchaud incorporates an emphasis on friends and family is wonderful.