Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Review: Liar by Justine Larbalestier


Tags: YA, lying, murder, NYC

Rating: 4 out of 5


Summary

Micah is a pathological liar, but she’s through with lies—it’s the truth from now on. Honestly. After all, with all the suspicion surrounding around her with the terrible death of her boyfriend, Zach, the last thing she wants is to lie and continue to have people think she’s a horrible person. After all, she loved Zach: why would she have been involved in his death? Besides, Micah has plenty of other secrets she has to worry about… But which ones are real and which ones are false?

Review

Readers will be swept away from Micah’s narration from page one. LIAR is as compulsively readable as its protagonist is a compulsive liar. You will jump into this book, aware of Micah’s lying tendencies, and then struggle desperately to try—and fail—at staying one step ahead of this girl, this story.

Having a story told by a pathological liar brings to light the all-too-easily-dismissed problems of first-person narrator: that this POV is, in fact, completely at the mercy of the narrator, and thus can be a total fabrication without you knowing it. Justine Larbalestier explores just this paradox in LIAR: how much of Micah’s story can believe when we know she is a liar and her side of the story is the only one we get?

Interesting premise and paradox aside, however, Micah is also an intriguingly complex character. She’s flawed, and has viewpoints that make you want to shake her until she sees things clearly, and yet Micah is so fully convinced of her unchangeable situation that you can’t help but go along with her, no matter how much you want to disagree with her. Micah’s narration jumps rapidly from past to present and back again, which is a surprisingly effective way of slowly doling out the story to readers, as well as consistent with Micah’s personality.

LIAR is a remarkable book where the story and its form complement one another for maximal success. It’s a story that will probably leave you with more questions and answers, but it absolutely proves the old edict right that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

Similar Authors
E. Lockhart
Gabrielle Zevin
Pam Bachorz

Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Plot: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5


Bloomsbury USA / Sept. 29, 2009 / Hardcover / $16.99

Thank you, Anna, for sending me a copy for review!

8 comments:

  1. I've been hearing a lot about this and it sounds great! Your review put me over the edge, I have to read it now!

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  2. Can't wait to read this! I heard Larbalestier talk about it and it sounds awesome. I am yet to read one of her books!!

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  3. Ooooh, you make it sound so fascinating! Now I must read this *drops into her endlessly long TBR list* I have a review of Psych Major Syndrome up if you'd like to read it :) And oh, you're reading the new Lauren Myracle book! I finally met her and she's so down-to-earth. Very awesome in her genuine-ness.

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  4. I don't think I can't wait any longer to devour this book.

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  5. Oh, I really enjoyed this book and I'm glad you did too. Interesting point you made, too, on the fact that a first person narrator's POV can never be fully trusted.

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  6. I'm really Glad i found this web site.Added stephsureads.blogspot.com to my bookmark!

    ReplyDelete

Hello! I'm so excited to read what you have to say. Due to high amounts of spam, I'm forced to disabled anonymous comments for the time being. Sorry for any inconvenience this causes, and I hope you can understand and still appreciate the content here!

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