Pretending to be Erica by Michelle Painchaud

Type: Stand- Alone
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Date Published: July 21, 2015
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Source: Hardcover // Library

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Summary: 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.

Review: Pretending to be Erica was one of my most anticipated book of the summer and it did not disappoint. Violet was has lived her whole life being raised by her adoptive father to become Erica, a missing girl kidnapped at a young age, even going through plastic surgery to look like her! Her mission: find the Silverman Painting without getting caught.

It was a really entertaining and fast-paced read for the most part. My favorite part was the flashbacks of Violet's pastlife. It was entertaining to read about how she became to be while continuing on with the story. I thought that it interesting how the flashback were told in third person point of view while the current events are narrated it in first POV. 

The story was captivating and engrossing that I finished it in one sitting. At the very beginning I had this gut feeling that the real Erica would suddenly appear and wreck havoc, but that did not happen, so yeah. I had a bunch of theories throughout the whole thing, some came true while some were totally off point.

Most of the characters in the book appeared to be rather dull in my opinion. Cassie and Meril portrayed the typical popular girl and don't stand out as much. However, the one that stuck out to me the most was Kerwin. When he was first mentioned, I really didn't think much of him, except for being the possible romance, but he soon became more mysterious that he appears to be hiding something. 

The romance was probably one my least favorite aspect of the book. I really didn't like James at all.  I thought he would play an important part in the book, but I felt like he was there just to provide a romance that just wasn't really there. I don't even know if that makes sense at all. I just don't like him at all and there doesn't seem to be any chemistry between him and Violet.

Overall, I thought it was an amazing debut. It was dramatic and mysterious at the same time and I really enjoyed it. It was a really interesting read and definitely enjoyed it. Although I thought Violet was a great character, I definitely like Taylor more because of her spunkiness and rebellious nature.

My Rating: 4/5