Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Review: Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Liar by Justine Larbalestier
Published by Bloomsbury
Date Published: May 18, 2010
Rating: 3.5/5

Micah freely admits that she's a compulsive liar. And that may be the one honest thing she'll ever tell you. Over the years she's duped her classmates, her teachers, and even her parents. But when her boyfriend, Zach, dies under brutal circumstances, the shock might be enough to set her straight. Or maybe not. Especially when lying comes as naturally to her as breathing. Was Micah dating Zach? Or was Sarah his real girlfriend? And are the stories Micah tells about inheriting a "family gene" real or are they something that only exists in her mind?

Breathtaking in its plotting, and narrated by one of the most psychologically complex young women to emerge since Sybil, Liar is a roller-coaster that will have listeners grasping for the truth. Honestly.
Are you ready for a completely unreliable narrator? Are you sure?
The title Liar should give you a pretty fair warning if my question didn’t. The thing about Micah is that never actually is called a “compulsive liar” (which I have known a few, devastating people, I promise you) and is really more of a liar due to circumstances in her life.

When this book started out, the premise and the way it was written was really interesting and intriguing but then a few hundred pages in, it shifted. I will tell you this much: this book HAS a supernatural element in it. You don’t get that from the summary on the back. You don’t get that from the cover. You don’t even get from where it is shelved in the local bookstore. So whether or not she’s really lying about it, it plays it out as truth. However if you know Justine Larbalestier’s work (How to Ditch Your Fairy and Zombies vs Unicorns) this would NOT be a surprise.

I don’t want to say that after that twist it gets confusing it just gets a little more sporadic. The lies become bigger and it gets difficult on what you actually believe is real. Or not.

Overall, I liked it enough. I thought it was an interesting take and nothing, if but a strange main character with some rather annoying minor characters as well. And really, I finished it a few days ago, but it’s still squirreling around in my head as though part of me expects to find something new while pondering. However I don’t think it’s really that, I think it’s more that the ending wasn’t quite as satisfying as I thought. I mean, in the words of a liar, who promises to tell you the truth, but doesn’t, how do you even believe her?

It was a different read, however, I would recommend this to anyone who wants the challenge of figuring out what is truth, what is not and the confusing little world Micah creates.

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