Book Review: CHASING TRUTH by Julie Cross

CHASING TRUTH is an electric introduction to a dramatic teen series that will feed all your suspense-loving desires!

Here are the facts: Simon Gilbert went to the Homecoming dance with Eleanor Ames. He dropped her off at her apartment complex. When his parents came home later that night, they found Simon dead. The police called it a suicide, making Eleanor the last person to see him alive– the last person who could have potentially stopped him from ending his own life.

But Ellie Ames isn’t just any naive teenage girl who accepts the facts as they’re handed to her.

20763125Raised by a group of nomadic con artists, Ellie is starting a new life on the straight-and-narrow with her older sister, Harper, and Harper’s boyfriend, Aidan. Well, as straight-and-narrow a life as one can live when they don’t have a Social Security Number and their entire backstory is fabricated. Thanks to Aidan’s job at the Secret Service, Ellie attends the prestigious Holden Prep alongside the children of Washington D.C.’s elite. That’s where she first met Simon. Following his death, it becomes the starting point for her investigation. Ellie doesn’t think Simon killed himself, but her theories mean nothing if she can’t prove it.

She starts by cuddling up to a popular clique of students that Simon was trying to gain favor with before his death. Given that one of the members was spotted in the same parking lot where Simon dropped Ellie off that night, her suspicions run high. But soon, Ellie realizes she’s not the only person with a plan: A new student by the name of Miles Beckett is also creeping into the group and every time Ellie works on a new step of her investigation, Miles seems to be bumping into her.

Soon, Ellie realizes that there’s more to Miles’ appearance and more to Simon’s story than she’d ever expected, all of which has put her in a whirlwind of trouble.

copy-of-chasing-truth6-date1If you love a good crime mystery, this book is here for you. It comes at you with vigorous young investigators trying to navigate the line between espionage, teen scandal, and romantic tension. Ellie is smart and ultra-witty, carefully using her skills to navigate a world she doesn’t consider her own. Her backstory is a character in itself, shaping situations and attitudes with an unforgiving fierceness. We loved Miles for the fact that he’s handsome and savvy, but not the smarmy, ego-bloated standard for romantic counterparts in teen novels. That doesn’t mean they always get along, though! He and Ellie are constantly working to out-think and out-do the other, but in many respects, they’re equals. He’s still absolutely swoon-worthy without declaring his own awesomeness constantly. The two characters definitely have chemistry, but of course, there’s one lingering detail: If Simon was killed, Ellie is Miles’ best suspect.

As for secondary characters, we were especially fond of Harper and Aidan. They’re still quite young themselves and there are some very amusing ups and downs as they discover the trials of raising a teenager who knows how to plant spy equipment and con strangers out of their life savings. There’s also plenty to be said about the popular crowd including Brett, Dominic, Justice, Chantal, and Jacob, because among these children of privilege and their sex, lies, and deceit, not everything is as it seems.

When it comes to the mystery behind Simon’s death, we wouldn’t say it’s completely unsolvable, but it did take a long time before we caught on. The story also adds in plenty of twists, particularly in the second half of the novel, to make sure you don’t know every detail even when you’ve figured a good chunk of it.

Our only minor issue with the book was pacing. After a splendid start, the middle of the book featured some slower chunks that made things feel too drawn out, which never bodes well in a longer book. Certain things could have been cut. Thankfully, things picked up quickly as the climax approached. Things got wild and in the midst of it all, we realized Ellie Ames is a character we definitely want to keep following!


Chasing Truth is out now. You can pick it up at a bookstore near you or via Amazon.


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.

By Molly

Molly is a proud Canadian who is currently attending university in Scotland. She loves to read, write, watch films, and talk about Sarah J. Maas books. If not snuggled up with a book, Molly can usually be found tapping at the dance studio, or writing yet another essay.

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