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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

First Lie Wins

1. Identity plays a significant role in FIRTS LIE WINS. Evie assumes various aliases for her jobs and ultimately allows her Lucca Marino identity to take the fall for crimes she didn’t commit in order to protect her future. Why is the name Lucca Marino so important to her? Do you think your name is essential to your identity? Why or why not? And will she be happy as Evie Porter?

2. Evie and Ryan are both morally gray characters. Despite her life of crime, there were lines Evie wouldn’t cross: not leaving Miles unattended after his mother was injured, giving financial advice to Tyron, changing critical information about Ryan’s business so Mr. Smith wouldn’t be able to take it from him. Do you think this behavior redeems Evie in some way? Why or why not?

3. Evie’s path to crime began as a way to pay for the medicine and medical treatment her mother needed. In today’s world of high health care costs, Evie believed she had no other option. Do you sympathize with Evie or think she was wrong to turn to a life of crime? Should she have continued in that line of work after her mother died? Discuss.

4. What are your thoughts on the author’s use of flashbacks? Did each flashback give you further insights into Evie’s actions or thought processes in the present? How so?

5. Evie’s mother dies when Evie is still quite young, yet rather than seek out community, she takes on a job that is inherently isolating. Why do you think it was so important for Evie to find the others who worked for Mr. Smith? Do you think Evie finally found her family with Devon, Amy and Ryan? By the end of the book, do you think Evie has achieved what she originally hoped she might? What is the significance of her garden?

6. Evie leaves an origami swan behind when each job is complete. What do you think this specific calling card means? Do you think Evie enjoys the chase? Or is there a part of her that wants to be found out? Is it possible for both to be true?

7. Evie says, “There are the short cons and there are long cons and I’ve just finished the longest one of my life.” Did you know Evie was one step ahead of Mr. Smith the whole time? When did you realize who George was? Did you expect any of the reveals throughout the book?

8. Mr. Smith suggests that he and Evie are more alike than she might wish: they both con and manipulate others. Do you think Evie is aware of how much they actually resemble each other? At the end, it looks like Evie will take over Mr. Smith’s business. Do you think that’s really what she wants? Can she do that job and also live happily ever after with Ryan?

First Lie Wins
by Ashley Elston