Sunday, January 10, 2010

Review: Liar by Justine Larbalestier

This was not my favorite book. I was kind of looking forward to a book with an unreliable narrator and the hype and the buzz surrounding this book should have made it a total shoo-in. I did find myself somewhat interested in the first part of the book, but then it started taking all kinds of turns that....I just didn't like. They weren't interesting to me, they pulled the story in directions that made me not care. In fact, I had to force myself to finish the book because I just didn't care.

So overall, I felt disappointed with it. But you're probably wondering what it was about. It's about a girl named Micah. And that's maybe the only truth you'll ever manage to pull from the book, because she's a liar. She lies all the time. She lies as the narrator and she lies to everyone in her life. The boy she's sort of seeing winds up dead and it's this big mystery as to how it happened. What happened? That's what you will try to get to heart of in Liar.

I feel like...the story could have been so much more subtle that it didn't need to go to the extremes it went to and I wished that I had been seduced into caring about Micah so that when the lies became apparent I would have felt something other than being annoyed. So on that level...of really connecting and communicating to me what it's like to find yourself lied to, the book failed.

My opinion is just one, though. Others found it fascinating and well written. To each their own.

Rating: 2/5
Things You Might Want to Know: Crass language, and some interesting kissing scenes
Source of Book: ARC picked up at BEA
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books



brizmus said...

:-( that you didn't like this book. I hate it when too much happens before you can actually care about the character.

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Sorry you didn't enjoy this one! It's always a little sad when we don't enjoy a book that has been so hyped. In most reviews I have seen, most people seem to either love or not this book; I personally liked it though.

Sandy Nawrot said...

You are right, there has been so much hype over this book. I like unreliable narrators, because it keeps my mind always on edge and always guessing and second-guessing. Like extra exercise for the old coconut. Maybe this one tried too hard?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

One of my best friends in high school was a compulsive liar. Those people do become annoying after a while.
The main character sounds like an 'anti-hero.' Those types of stories work for some, but not for all.

Amanda said...

"interesting kissing scenes" - Okay that makes me curious.

I've had this book on my shelf since this summer (in fact, I have it in ARC form that I picked up at ALA and it has the old cover on it), but haven't gotten around to it. I've seen very mixed reviews and it sounds fascinating, but I hope it doesn't have the sorts of things in it that make me really sick.

Beth F said...

It seems that the people who liked The Lace Reader liked Liar. Since I didn't like The Lace Reader, I'm not expecting to like Liar, though I do plan on giving it a try -- I picked up an ARC at BEA.

bermudaonion said...

I've read lots of great reviews of this book and now I'm wondering if I'll like it or not.

caite said...

There was so much hype...but actually, most of the hype that I remember was about the cover, not so much the book.
I am a great fan of subtle. So often, less is more and more seems like the easy way out in telling a story.

But as you said, many liked it and to each their own.

Bella said...

Sorry you didn't like it. I was going to pick it up, but I think I'll pass now.

Debbie's World of Books said...

I've seen mixed reviews about this book so it's gone far down on my list of books to read.

Jenny said...

I read a lot about this book when they had all the uproar over the cover - I loved the idea, but the other books I've read by this author haven't lived up to their concept. So I'll probably be giving it a miss.

Lenore said...

I understand your frustrations, but I personally was fascinated by this one. It wasn't like, the best book EVER, but I found it worth reading.

Michelle said...

I think I fell kind of in the middle on this one. I certainly didn't love it but I didn't loathe it either. I believe I likely fell off the bandwagon right at the spot you did, where it went from me wondering what she was really lying about to thinking everything was just so outlandish that it couldn't possibly be true. Now I know that this was the intention and the author wrote the book awesomely but for me, I would have prefered it stay subtle as compared to taking that turn.

At first I wasn't a fan of the ending but after conversations I was brought closer to the not loathing it side than I was in the moments that I finished it.

A good book I think people interested in the questionable reliability factor but if ambiguity isn't your thing it might not be the best choice.

naida said...

Sorry you were dissapointed with this one, there has been lots of hype about it.
Great review.

Jenny Girl said...

I hate it when books disappoint. I can understand not liking a story, but when everything is just so...blah...good job finishing it, becasue I sure wouldn't :)

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