October 10, 2015
Hello readers, and welcome to our Tour Stop for
Trust Me, I’m Trouble by Mary Elizabeth Summer!
We have a fun guest post with Mary Elizabeth Summer today about Trust Me, I’m Trouble, and Catcher in the Rye!
Intrigued? Read all about it below!
Follow the rest of the tour by clicking on the banner above, and be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
The sequel to TRUST ME, I’M LYING
Staying out of trouble isn’t possible for Julep Dupree. She has managed not to get kicked out of her private school, even though everyone knows she’s responsible for taking down a human-trafficking mob boss—and getting St. Agatha’s golden-boy Tyler killed in the process. Running cons holds her guilty conscience at bay, but unfortunately, someone wants Julep to pay for her mistakes . . . with her life.
Against her better judgment, Julep takes a shady case that requires her to infiltrate a secretive organization that her long-gone mother and the enigmatic blue fairy may be connected to. Her best friend, Sam, isn’t around to stop her, and Dani, her one true confidante, happens to be a nineteen-year-old mob enforcer whose moral compass is as questionable as Julep’s. But there’s not much time to worry about right and wrong—or to save your falling heart—when there’s a contract on your head.
Murders, heists, secrets and lies, hit men and hidden identities . . . If Julep doesn’t watch her back, it’s her funeral. No lie.
For those of you who’ve read Trust Me, I’m Lying, it probably comes as no surprise to you that I like to pick a classic novel to use as a reference for the story, something with a theme or two in common with what I’m writing that I can allude to from time to time. It provides both verification of theme and a wealth of material I can steal—er, I mean, draw from while I’m writing.
In TMIL, I used The Adventures of Pinocchio (by the by, there will be a companion post to this one on October 13th called “Chasing the Blue Fairy” that covers the Pinocchio connection). For Trust Me, I’mTrouble, though, I wanted something a little more grown up.
When I first started brainstorming Trust Me, I’m Trouble, I knew a couple of things:
- I had to up the ante. TMIL had such an epic premise—teenager goes up against the mob to save her dad and ends up sacrificing everything to save a bunch of strangers instead. I knew it would be tough to top it. And the only antagonist I could think of that would be harder to beat than the mob was another grifter.
- Julep has a real save-the-whales complex, but only when it comes to the innocent. To everyone else, she’s kind of a schmuck.
- Julep may have figured out more or less which side of the good/evil divide she falls on, but she’s still on the quest to find out who she is. And she’s got a lot of ground still to cover.
So I took those things that I knew, and started thinking about what books I’d read that exemplified breaking away from everyone’s expectations, where the main character was kind of a schmuck, but the reader is still kind of rooting for them to find themselves. And obviously, the best book for all those things is The Catcher in the Rye.
Probably the thing I liked most about The Catcher in the Rye for Julep’s second official adventure is the alienation that Holden Caulfield (the protagonist) struggles with. He thinks practically every adult he comes across is a hypocrite, calling them “phony” over and over again throughout the book. Which, to me, felt perfect, because (a) nobody’s phonier than a con artist, and (b) Julep’s main struggle in this book is with the hypocritical aspects of her own nature. She blames herself for what happened at the end of TMIL, and she’s still recovering from the grief it caused. But she finds herself drawn in by the very grifter she’s supposed to be taking down, and she’s not sure she even wants to resist.
In Trust Me, I’m Trouble, you’ll see references to The Catcher in the Rye mostly through character names. Mrs. Antolini’s name comes from Mr. Antolini, a favorite teacher of Holden’s. Most of the interns’ names come from friends and classmates of Holden’s in Catcher. And there’s a part near the climax of the book where the bad guy leaves a clue for Julep on a sticky note with the word “Phony” and a phone number. (I do like a good pun now and then.)
But the biggest thing Julep and Holden have in common is that they are the catcher in the rye. The person standing at the top of the cliff, catching any of the children playing nearby who stumble too close to the edge. Julep’s fatal flaw as a grifter is that she cares. But it’s her greatest strength, too. Same with Holden, who doesn’t want to finish telling his story, because it’s only made him miss people—even the jerks.