Liar

by Justine Larbalestier

Note: This post will be much shorter than my normal ones. Mostly because if I say more than, like, 100 words about this book, it is spoiled. And I don’t feel like throwing spoiler warnings around everything I type. And besides, this is a book that should NOT be spoiled.

Brief Summary: Micah is a compulsive liar. And she is completely and totally upfront about this. Just like she’s upfront about the disappearance of her boyfriend. Just like when she’s talking about her family’s history. Just like when she tells you the last few things she told you were lies.

She’s trying her best to be honest with you. But her compulsiveness is working against her.

(I told you I wouldn’t reveal too much!)

Kell’s Chatty Review: Positive upfront part of this review: I loved Liar. There are twists and turns like no other. Seriously. Not only is it a fantastic premise, but the writing is gorgeous. How Larbalestier kept all these threads straight is beyond me. (Most reviews focus on the big first twist, but seriously, I found some of the ones after to be far more jarring)

On the negative side: (and this one is really no one’s fault) because I knew going in (who doesn’t) that Micah was an unreliable narrator (compulsive liar and all that) I think the first half of the book I was just waiting for the twists to start. So that got in the way a bit.

Loving Micah: Honestly, I was not particularly attached to Micah in this story. I mean, think about it, would you like your guide if they were constantly running you into walls?  And by the time she started to pull on my heartstrings, I was too angry with her! Regardless, I didn’t need to love Micah. I loved Micah’s story – whatever the hell that might be!

A Quick Note On Unreliable Narrators: I think this is only the second book I’ve read with an unreliable narrator. The first I can’t mention because it literally gives away the whole book. There’s a lot of discussion about what went down in Liar. I mean, there’s a whole page set up for people to discuss it without giving away spoilers. (And no! I will not link there! If you want the spoilers so badly, go google it yourself!)

For me, it comes to this: Either by the end of the book you’ve decided to trust the narrator – unreliable or not – or you don’t. And this, obviously, comes down to personal interpretation. How you read the narrator’s descriptions. How you picture them. Whether you trust them. Larbalestier came right out and said that the ending was written so it could be interpreted AT LEAST two ways. There is no right ending.

So did I trust Micah? I don’t necessarily think it’s a spoiler if I put if I did or I didn’t, but I’m going to post it in the comments to be on the safe side.

What life lesson I learned from this book: I can’t say due to aforementioned spoilers. But it did remind me how much I do not like running. I was exhausted just READING about it.

What I most wanted to do after reading this book: Find a list of books with unreliable narrators.

Re-Readability Ratings: Ugh. I don’t know. Part of me says 5 to try and find clues again. Part of me is still mad at Micah and is giving her the silent treatment.

Where this book came from: The library! (Seriously, right out of the box! I love my librarians!)

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3 responses to “Liar

  1. I have an ARC of this that I picked up this summer at ALA and the more I hear about it, the more I want to make sure it’s one of my Readathon books.

  2. Oh. I did say that I would post whether I trusted Micah or not.

    So maybe I should.

    I have personally decided to mostly trust her. There are a few things that I think she blatantly was lying about. But on the whole (esp. considering the stuff at the very end), I trust her.
    ~Kell

  3. Pingback: Liar, by Justine Larbalestier « The Zen Leaf

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