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BOOK REVIEW: Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

| 24 March 2015 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

HarperTeen
March 2015
Hardcover, $17.99 USD
Reviewed by Aly Locatelli

7.5/10

18009950

“To me, Mother Nature isn’t nearly as scary as human nature.”

What a crazy, wild, compelling read! Liars, Inc is one of those books that sucks you in just by the summary itself. Compared to Gillian Flynn’s Gone GirlLiars, Inc messes with the reader’s head in every way possible. If it looks like a predictable plot twist, be prepared to have the rug yanked out from under your feet, because you will not see the other twist coming.

Seventeen year old Max Cantrell is adopted. After living rough for a long year of his life, he’s finally got a place he can call home and people he can call a family and two of those people are his best friend, Preston DeWitt, and his girlfriend Parvati Amos. However, since Parvati’s parents have forbidden her from seeing Max (because he’s from the “wrong side of the tracks” and not good enough for her), for months they have been sneaking out together every Saturday. When Max inadvertently takes the fall for a girl in his class, and the resulting detention, after her phone goes off, the girl pays Max as a thank-you. Preston, ever the politician’s son, sees a chance for business, and so “Liars, Inc.” is born.

It made me think about Liars, Inc. again. About alibis. I wasn’t the only guy in school who struggled to be alone with his girlfriend. Would I have paid for the opportunity Preston just gave us? Hell yeah. Suddenly the idea of coming up with cover stories for classmates in the same situation made a whole lot of sense. After all, it wasn’t like I was hurting anybody.

What starts off as an innocent business to help their classmates out quickly turns dangerous when Preston asks for an alibi from Max so he can run off to Las Vegas for the weekend and meet up with a girl he met online. Max doesn’t think twice about saying yes. What could possibly go wrong?

But Preston never returns from Vegas, and suddenly the FBI are involved and Max is looking at a lengthy prison sentence… for murder.

“Where’s Preston?” McGhee again.
“I don’t know.”
“Did you kill him?” Gonzalez sounds like he’s already made up his mind.
“No. Of course not.”

He knows he’s innocent. His girlfriend knows he’s innocent, but somehow, in some way, everything keeps pointing directly at him.

“… I feel like time is running out, you know? I’m the only suspect and McGhee and Gonzalez seem sure I did it.”

I’m usually weary when it comes to reading a book written from a male character’s point of view, mostly because those I’ve read in the past were really hard to like and sympathise with. Stokes does a brilliant job of bringing Max to life, though, and she creates a character who is so quirky and likeable that it’s hard to not like him. Especially since he’s the typical guy I would befriend in a heartbeat in real life. Being inside Max’s head was a wild ride, full of second-guessing, double-checking and curveballs that would give a normal person a severe case of whiplash.

Liars, Inc. is an incredibly well-written, fast-paced story about finding out and fighting for the truth, no matter the cost.

Aly Locatelli

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

About the Author ()

21. A reader, a writer, a reviewer and a full-time sloth lover. I am addicted to coffee and my laptop, and love reading especially when it's rainy outside.

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