Cover Image: The Fake

The Fake

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Member Reviews

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! No spoilers. Beyond amazing I enjoyed this book so very much. The characters and storyline were fantastic. The ending I did not see coming  Could not put down nor did I want to. Truly Amazing and appreciated the whole story. This is going to be a must read for many many readers. Maybe even a book club pick. Our library purchased and our patrons have been checking out and and enjoying the book. I see it is a popular book club choice as well we hope to have more oppurtinies to support authors like them
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While I devoured the short THE FAKE in less than 24 hours, because I had to know what happens in the story, I again was somewhat disappointed by a Zoe Whittall novel. It's a classic con-artist tale, similar to other popular ones in today's culture. It was a fun one though, because the scammer is truly diabolical (at least, we think), and her marks are both lovable and slightly pathetic.

 It's a slim book, and a simple story, but the characters were well drawn out and I enjoyed the journey. I just wanted a little bit more from the book as a whole. I think if it was longer and more fleshed out, it could be something truly intriguing and worthwhile. I'm just not sure why I keep finding her books a bit hollow. The ending was a total cop-out too! Ugh.
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The Fake by Zoe Whittall is about a scam artist named Cammie,  who tricks a widow, and a divorcee into believing she’s someone she is not. The story was kind of slow for a while, but then picked up. I enjoyed the story, but it felt like something was missing. I think the characters could’ve been more fully developed. This book was pretty entertaining though. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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Thank you to @netgalley and @randomhouse for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  Thank you to @prhaudio for a free download of the audiobook.  

This book was different and I was here for the whole ride.  Cammie play the role of a con artist with perfection.  It made the story very compelling and interesting.

For being a shorter book, I felt that the story moved slow and I was glad to have the audio to help me push through.

It’s worth picking up if you want to have your mindblown by a con.

3 stars

#books #bookishlife #booklover #readingisfun #iowabookstagrammers #iowabookstagram #netgalley #prhaudio #botm #bookofthemonth #ltbreaderteam #thefake
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This was a very different book.  The characters were very well done and the story super compelling.  Cammie was just so good at being a con!
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If I had to describe The Fake in only 2 words, they would be absolutely wild. 

Cammie is a liar and con artist, who tricks her way into a friendship with grieving widow, Shelby, and starts a relationship with new divorcee Gibson. She weasels her way into their lives, with increasingly complex relationships while letting Gibson and Shelby be aware of each other while also keeping them separate. Yet when she has no choice but to let the two of them meet, things slowly start to unravel and they realize that everything Cammie has told them may just be a lie. From start to finish, this is a wild ride, and I was blown away when it is revealed who actually knows about Cammie's game. 

Thank you to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for the advance copy!
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This story was a little to slow burning for me, I had a really hard time getting into it and engaging.  I predicted where it was going far too early and didn't really love the characters.  I had big hopes for this one but unfortunately it fell a little short for me.
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Hmmm...okay see my problem with this one is that what you see, is what you get. There wasn't too much underneath the surface for it to hold my attention or captivate me after finishing it. I kept feeling like nothing particularly crazy or worthwhile was happening in the story? It all felt...redundent? Definitely an interesting plotline, but I kind of wanted more from it. I was expecting something more psychological, more cunning than what we got, so I think I'm just feeling a little jipped? Will definitely be checking this author out in the future though. I think the writing is there, but the execution in this one fell a little flat for me.
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The Fake follows two characters names Gibson and Shelby and their relationships with a con artist named Cammie. Cammie comes into Gibson’s life when he’s recently been divorced and makes him feel alive again. He thinks she’s the perfect woman. Shelby meets Cammie in a grief support group, and soon Cammie becomes her close confidant. But when Gibson and Shelby meet they realize the stories Cammie has told them don’t align. And together they try to figure out who Cammie really is. 

Now that you’ve read my summary you know absolutely everything there is to know about this book. There’s no reason for you to read it now. You know everything. And that is the main thing that made me dislike this book. It didn’t lead anywhere. Shelby and Gibson don’t discover anything readers don’t already know from the book’s summary. I believe this is supposed to be a character focused book, but none of the three characters were at all interesting. Shelby is agoraphobic and mourning the death of her wife. Gibson is a freshly divorced middle aged man. That’s all there is to know about them. I didn’t feel like I had a reason to care about them because they never felt like people. I think Cammie could’ve been interesting if I’d gotten to see more of her backstory, but the author intentionally focuses more on how Shelby and Gibson are personally impacted by Cammie than on who Cammie truly is and what made her the person she is. And this could’ve been fine if Shelby and Gibson had the depth necessary to build an entire book around their feelings. 

Reading The Fake felt like reading the outline or a very long summary of a book. There was no real  story here. There were no characters here. There was no substantial message, feeling, idea, or even general vibe being delivered to the reader. This book only has the vague idea of those things. I believe this could’ve been a great story in the right author’s hands, but sadly I cannot recommend The Fake.
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A con artist works her way into the lives of two people. 

The Fake is told using multiple points of view. Most of the story comes from the two people being scammed, but we also get the con artists viewpoint. Complex characters and an interesting story combine for an entertaining read.

A slow burning novel. Dramatic and compelling.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Could see this one coming from a mile away. While I was intrigued by and felt empathy towards our characters, ultimately it felt as if we knew exactly where The Fake was headed from the very beginning. I wanted just a little bit more depth from it and the ending left me wanting.
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This short novel is about two people, Shelby and Gibson, each of whom gets mixed up with the same con woman Cammie. Shelby is extremely anxious and mourning her dead wife and meets Cammie in her grief group, while Gibson is divorced and meets Cammie in a bar then starts dating her. We know from the start that things will not end well for either of them, and then the rest of the book is seeing how things play out - not in a thriller way, more of a quiet character study way.

I had a mixed reaction to this one. I thought the writing was good and Shelby and Gibson were both good characters. Cammie remains sort of a mystery - more a pathological liar/manipulator/user whose motives we never really understand - but maybe that’s the point, that we can never really understand the motivations of such people? Either way, it was interesting and a decent read but the end felt a bit flat/anticlimactic for me.

3.5 stars
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The Fake missed the mark for me. I think there was too much sadness and I just felt sorry for everyone. Perhaps I need to be in a different head space to get into it
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The Fake centers a vivacious con artist who manipulates and takes advantage of people who are in a weak spot, leading to a surprising chain of events. 
I like con artist stories, even more so when it includes something fresh and out of the box. I like how cunning Cammie was, and the kind of damage she brought to the story (she’s an awful person who manipulated others in grief but it’s a book so I’m going to let it slide).
I also liked the portrayal of grief and depression in the book. It’s clear that the author has done research for these aspects and I applaud them for that. 
Unfortunately, I felt there were certain aspects in the plot that fell flat for me, particularly towards the ending. I expected  a bolder ending but I felt unsatisfied by the conclusion.
Nonetheless, The Fake is definitely a book worth reading for the summer!
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*I received a free copy of this novel from NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, and Ballantine Books for my honest review.* 

Gibson is recovering from a divorce and Shelby has lost her wife and is not suffering from anxiety, hypochondria, and agoraphobia. Both have run into Cammie, been screwed over by Cammie and then met each other to try and recover.

What a build up of the relationships and then a let down when Cammie isn't held accountable for her lies and actions. I feel like there was very little resolution. Also, the back and forth in the POV was a little off putting since there was overlap. Rounded up from 2.5 stars and I think that was generous.
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Zoe Whittall crafts an utterly authentic pathological liar in Cammie, a woman who hangs out in bars and bereavement support groups to find her next victim. The novel focuses on two victims, Shelby and Gibson, who are befriended and used by Cammie at the same time. Reading The Fake is sort of like watching a train wreck: you know what's coming, but you can't tear your eyes away. Well done.
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There is something interesting about scammer stories, which is why I picked up The Fake. Cammie isn't just a scammer though, she's almost pathological about her lies. She brings excitement and generates sympathy, but as soon as someone recognizes the cracks in her facade, she turns on them.

The story was good, but I think I didn't love it because it felt so real and it reminded me of my own experience with someone who has issues with the truth on a deep pathological level.
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An interesting read start to finish. Zoe Whittall does an excellent job at keeping readers entertained and engaged with the consistent ebb and flow of drama tinged with a bit of poised suspense. All of the characters, whether you decide to love them or hate them, are intriguing and the storyline is absolutely engrossing. Perfect for book clubs and broad discussion. 

Thanks to #NetGalley for the ARC of #TheFake which was read and reviewed voluntarily.
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Unfortunately, I couldn't get into this and felt confused on what was going on so gave up around 20% as I had to keep reading the same parts over and over again.
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The Fake may come in at just under 200 pages, but this small book packs a great punch. From the start you know drama is coming and Whittall delivers it in spades! 

The three main characters, Cammie, Shelby, and Gibson, are truly the shining stars of this book. Whittall smartly alternates POVs between the characters with most of the content coming from Shelby and Gibson, our victims. My favorite parts were definitely the brief glimpses into Cammie’s mind. 

I loved knowing walking in that this was a story of a con artist and yet feeling myself feel bad for this woman who I knew was taking advantage of others. Each character felt incredibly real and their reactions were true to the characters that Whittall built. The emotions in this book were so raw and real that it almost felt like a true story at times, which made me love it even more. 

If you’re looking for a quick read that will have you saying WTF to yourself more than once, then this is the book for you!

A huge thank you to Random House for my gifted copy!
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