Daily Archives: October 8, 2009


liarJustine Larbalestier’s Liar is a one-of-a-kind book. It will shock you, confound you, captivate you and leave you with the feeling you’ve read something truly original and thought-provoking. I couldn’t put it down.

Micah is a liar. She doesn’t pretend to be anything else. There’s a reason she lies, she claims, and let me tell you, it’s big. You’d lie too if you had this secret. (Then again, you can never be sure if the secret Micah’s hiding is actually true…) Micah tell us lies are easier than the truth and explains, “If you’ve got a big secret, it’s best to paper it over with lots of little ones.” In Liar, Micah narrates her experiences before and after the disappearance of Zach, a fellow-senior at her high school. She claims to have inherited her lying problem, as well as a family illness, the real reason for her constant lies. But even when she says this story she’s telling is the truth, pages later she’ll admits she wasn’t always sticking to the facts, and then when she ‘fesses up, sometimes even then she’s lying. I dare you to sort it all out.

In the FAQ section on LIAR at Justine’s site, she writes, “I deliberately wrote the book to be read in at least two different ways, which means that there is no one ending, and thus no way I can tell you what really happens. You’re on your own.” I love this. It doesn’t drive me crazy, the ambiguity. Rather, it delights me with the possibilities it offers. The themes in Liar change depending on your reading of the book. Is it about identity? Sexual identity? Mental Illness? (There are lots more options, but I can’t go there without giving things away!) I think it’s going to be impossible to reach consensus on one reading on this book. People who like neat and tidy and endings with everything sorted out nicely will probably freak out if they read Liar. The completely unreliable narrator makes reading Liar an intensely personal experience and also makes you itch to talk about the book with other people. Luckily, the author has provided a forum for this discussion at her blog. Go ahead and share your POV at Justine’s Liar Spoiler Thread.

There are many other rave reviews out there. Here are just a few:

bookshelves of doom (watch out for spoilers)
Reading Rants