Skip O'Rourke is dragged into one last con . . . but he doesn't know the con's on him in this funny, page-turning debut YA for fans of Winger and Ocean’s Eleven, now nominated for the Edgar Award and the International Thriller Writers Award.
Cameron Smith attends an elite boarding school and has just been accepted to Princeton University alongside his beautiful girlfriend, Claire. Life for Cameron would be perfect, except that Cameron Smith is actually Skip O'Rourke, and Skip O'Rourke ran away from his grifter family four years ago...along with $100,000 of their “earnings” (because starting a new life is not cheap). But when his uncle Wonderful tracks him down, Skip's given an ultimatum: come back to the family for one last con, or say good-bye to life as Cameron.
"One last con" is easier said than done when Skip's family is just as merciless (and just as manipulative) as they've always been, and everyone around him is lying. Skip may have given up on crime, but there's one lesson he hasn't forgotten: always know your mark. And if you don't know who your mark is . . . it's probably you.
Witty and irresistibly readable, this standout debut will always keep you guessing.
Adult author Taylor's (Based on a Movie) first book for teens quickly draws sympathy for Cam Smith, a graduating high school senior who works at the cafeteria to afford tuition at his private boarding school. Cam may have his sights set on Princeton, but he is anything but privileged he ran away from his con-artist family in hopes of starting over and pursuing a normal life. Now that the family has tracked Cam down and wants his help on their latest scheme, Cam's above-board life is in jeopardy. Taylor's characters including gun-toting, tough-talking, biscotti-eating Uncle Wonderful; Hummer-driving, disability-fraudulent Vinny; and conscience-free cousin Roy will feel plenty familiar to fans of the con-artist/tough guy genre. Taylor puts Cam in an impossible position, unable to trust anyone (especially if they're family) and uncertain whether he can escape his past. As Cam tries to juggle the nefarious demands of his relatives and his own respectable ambitions, Taylor's comedic crime novel entertains with its madcap, rapid-fire antics. Ages 12 up.