Review: Chasing Truth by Julie Cross

E-ARC: 400 pages
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Eleanor Ames #1
At Holden Prep, the rich and powerful rule the school—and they’ll do just about anything to keep their dirty little secrets hidden.

When former con artist Eleanor Ames’s homecoming date commits suicide, she’s positive there’s something more going on. The more questions she asks, though, the more she crosses paths with Miles Beckett. He’s sexy, mysterious, arrogant…and he’s asking all the same questions.

Eleanor might not trust him—she doesn’t even like him—but they can’t keep their hands off of each other. Fighting the infuriating attraction is almost as hard as ignoring the fact that Miles isn’t telling her the truth…and that there’s a good chance he thinks she’s the killer.

Chasing Truth is my first read by Julie Cross and it's one of those books where it was a little hard going getting through it, but in the end I'm glad I finished it. I'm definitely keeping book 2 under my radar.

Our main character Eleanor "Ellie" Ames is a former con artist, and because of this her mindset sometimes goes to there--trying to find ways to deceive or dupe someone first. This makes her feel like a freak and she's trying to leave that far behind her to live like a normal person. She's living with her older sister Harper and her boyfriend Aidan in Washington, D.C. 

Thanks to Aidan's connections, she's enrolled at an elite prep school. She hasn't really connected with any of the rich kids except for one, Simon, who was an awkward nerd and an outsider. Simon and Ellie went to homecoming together as friends, when after dropping her off at home, Simon supposedly commits suicide at his house.

Fast forward to a new school year, and Ellie sees a new neighbor move in at their apartment complex. He is Miles Beckett and he is a sexy, if arrogant and, at first, a tad awkward. But, it wasn't long before he is hanging out with the most popular kids at school, who Ellie also befriends (she cons her way into their circle) them because she's suspicious of them and believes one or more of them may be connected to Simon's death. But, Miles seem to be asking the same questions as Ellie--are they on the same side?

With a premise like that, I was excited to read Chasing Truth. Unfortunately, I found the beginning to be really slow. We are getting all of this information about Ellie and her past with her family and how they conned people, as well as information about what happened last spring with Simon. Then, we are also introduced to a lot characters like Ellie's sister Harper and her boyfriend Aidan, as well as Miles Beckett, and all the group of popular rich kids at the prep school. All of these characters do all play a role later on in the story so it was important we establish their backgrounds and such, but it was a lot and most didn't read new and refreshing. Like, I've read most of these characters before in similar books, so reading the first 30% felt really slow going. After details about Miles were revealed things did get more interesting and the pacing speed up and I found myself reading faster. Just had to get over the hump in the beginning.

My favorite characters were Ellie, her sister Harper, and Harper's boyfriend, Aidan, who is part of the secret service. Harper and Aidan become surrogate parents of sorts to Ellie--the kind of parents she never had before. I really enjoyed Ellie's relationship with both of them. As for Miles's character, I had him pegged early on as to who he might be. But, I'm not going to say anymore to avoid spoilers. I did like the tension/attraction between he and Ellie--I was shipping them from the start.

Chasing Truth is described as Veronica Mars meets Pretty Little Liars, and I see that. My biggest issue with it is the slow pacing in the beginning and there were times I felt like the story dragged when it shouldn't. It wasn't that I was bored or anything, but I wished there was more action in the beginning. Also, the story almost felt a little too long. However, if you are a fan of Julie Cross and you like mysteries set in a prep school, definitely pick this book up.

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