February 28, 2010

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Date Started: Feb 27
Date Finished:
Feb 28

Summary: Micah is a liar. That is the only truth she has ever told. When her secret boyfriend, Zach, is found dead, the lies start to unravel and the truth is uncovered. As Micah tells more lies, a dangerous family secret threatens to be revealed.

Likes: When I read about this book online, I was intrigued. I'm also intrigued by books by unreliable narrators and Micah is as unreliable as they come. It takes a lot of craft to write a novel like this. First of all, you have to be a good liar to know when to lie and when not to lie and in a novel, you have to get inside your character's head to know why they lie. This is something the author does very well. She gets inside Micah's head and makes up the lies, contradicts the lies, and lies again. By the end of the novel, you wonder if this is all true or just some made up story.

The twist was unexpected, but the author knew that we'd be at this conclusion and lampshades it. About the middle of the first part, I figured out the twist and I wondered how it was going to play out in the rest of the book. The book is told between before and after, family history, and the history of me, and weaves the past and the present, lies and truth. We finally learn the truth, or what we believe to be the truth, and all the evidence points to Micah. She finds a way to clear her name, but the stakes are high. The ending was tied up a bit too neatly, and normally that would go under my dislikes, but since the narrator was unreliable, it makes you wonder whether that was the true ending or not.

Dislikes: Micah was frustrating to read about when she revealed lies that we thought to be truths. I didn't really believe her most of the time and it was hard to separate from the truth unless the character says it's a lie and exposes the truth.

Overall: I liked this book, though it vaguely reminds me of another story with a similar premise. It was an engaging read and I really didn't want to put it down. I can see what the fuss was all about. I highly recommend this book for people who like unreliable narrators, but if you don't, I'd still read it anyway for it's craft in weaving between past and present, fact and fiction.

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