Liar by Justine Larbalestier

20 Nov

“You buy everything don’t you?”

Micah is a pathological liar-she will lie about anything to anyone. Why? Because she can. Even when her secret boyfriend is murdered in Central Park it is near impossible for her to tell the truth. Except, of course, to the reader. Why would she lie to you?

But she does, repeatedly. As the story continues Micah weaves together a picture of her life before Zach’s murder, after Zach’s murder, her family life and history of her family.  All the while alluding to the great family secret.  Once invested in a version of the truth another one comes along and then another one until at the end of the book you have no idea what, if anything, was true.

This book drove me nuts.  I say that because I believe it is an important thing to note for advising a potential reader. Liar is a frustrating read that relies on that reader frustration to fuel the story. Readers who enjoy that manipulation of belief with no clear answers will probably enjoy it. For those that appreciate closure, they might go stark raving mad.  Those two camps of readers will help determine pacing and characterization. If you enjoy the frustration it will fly. If you find yourself unable to connect with an unreliable narrator take Nancy Pearl’s advice and let this one go. Life is too short! 2009, 376 pages.

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Posted by on November 20, 2009 in Young Adult


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