Liar

Liar

3.5 61
by Justine Larbalestier
     
 

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Micah is a liar. Thats the one thing she wont lie about. Over the years, shes duped her classmates, her teachers, and even her parents. But when her boyfriend Zach dies under brutal circumstances, Micah sets out to tell the truth. At first the truth comes easily-because it is a lie. Other truths are so unbelievable, so outside the realm of normal, they must be a lie.…  See more details below

Overview

Micah is a liar. Thats the one thing she wont lie about. Over the years, shes duped her classmates, her teachers, and even her parents. But when her boyfriend Zach dies under brutal circumstances, Micah sets out to tell the truth. At first the truth comes easily-because it is a lie. Other truths are so unbelievable, so outside the realm of normal, they must be a lie. And the honest truth is buried so deep in Micahs mind even she doesnt know if its real.

The ultimate unreliable narrator takes readers on a thrill ride in this highly acclaimed novel. Prepare to grasp for truth until the very last page.

"Readers will get chills . . . [and] be guessing and theorizing long after theyve finished this gripping story." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

"[Micahs] suspenseful, supernatural tale is engrossing. . . . The chilling story she spins will have readers hearts racing." -School Library Journal, starred review

"An engrossing story of teenage life on the margins." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Readers will get chills paging through Larbalestier's (How to Ditch Your Fairy) suspenseful novel about a compulsive liar who becomes a suspect in her boyfriend's murder. Micah admits it is hard to believe a girl who has pretended “she's a boy, a hermaphrodite, or that her daddy's an arms dealer,” but when Zach, the popular boy who was secretly seeing her “after hours,” is found dead, Micah claims innocence, promising to tell readers her story with “No lies, no omissions.” But the supernatural tale she tells may be her wildest yet. Micah composes her story in short sections labeled “Before” and “After” (the murder), as well as “History of Me,” “Family History” and other categories. This is a well-paced novel with a masterfully constructed unreliable narrator, confessing to lies she has told readers along the way (“You buy everything, don't you? You make it too easy”) and explaining how she makes lies believable. Could Micah really be innocent, or is she a confused girl who killed out of jealousy? Is she even human? Readers will be guessing and theorizing long after they've finished this gripping story. Ages 14–up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Jennifer Lehmann
Micah Wilkins is a compulsive liar. She has gotten herself into plenty of trouble in the past with her lies. Her parents do not trust her, her teachers do not trust her, and her classmates keep her at a distance. But to us, fellow reader, she will give the truth. Or so she claims. Micah tells the story of her boyfriend's disappearance in the first person, intertwined with stories from her background and, particularly, her family history. Despite her repeated confessions of dishonesty as she relates the events, Micah has a voice that you want to believe. This unique, unreliable narrator catches even a skeptical reader in her web of lies and is convincing in her quest for honesty. The clarity of thought and emotion masterfully make this unappealing character into someone you want to love. The truth of this story remains a question, even at the end of the book. There are several possible lines of truth, and it is up to the reader to decide which to believe. Micah's story is one that will linger long after the final page. This book is ripe for discussion. It will appeal to readers of both realistic fiction and fantasy. Reviewer: Jennifer Lehmann
VOYA - Laura Panter
Micah is different. She is a loner, an enigma, and a compulsive liar. Micah lies so much that no one believes a word she says. First she is a boy, and then a hermaphrodite. Her father is an arms dealer. She has a brother. Then she never had a brother. Micah's boyfriend Zach disappears and turns up dead. Micah was the last person to see him alive. Or was she? Zach had a girlfriend, and it was not Micah—or so everyone claims. When Micah becomes a suspect in Zach's death, she decides to tell the total truth about her life, but even Micah's truth has lies. As Micah's story unfolds, the "truth" still contains small lies and omissions of what really happened. Micah claims the real truth is that she is a werewolf that transformations once a month and that she indirectly killed Zach. The police claim Zach was attacked by wild dogs. The thin line between truth and lies blurs continuously through Larbalestier's novel. Readers are enthralled, and then confused, but Micah's character is too engrossing to stop reading. Larbalestier spins a novel of twists and turns so dense that the reader never knows if Micah is lying about being a werewolf or not. The decision is left up to the reader as to what truly happened. The story flashes among the present, the past, and Micah's family history. As Micah's character admits to lies once more, readers are again exasperated but curious to find out how her story ends. It is an original read for teens who enjoy psychological thrillers. Reviewer: Laura Panter
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—That Micah Wilkins is a self-professed liar is about the only thing you can be sure of in this gripping, engrossing novel (Bloomsbury, 2009) by Justine Larbalestier that begs for discussion. Micah's life is irrevocably changed when the boy she had a secret relationship with is found brutally murdered and she is considered a suspect. The narrative shifts between "Before" and "After" the murder with occasional breaks for "Family History" and "History of Me," detailing, among other things, the family illness that she claims is at the heart of all her lies. Micah takes the unreliable narrator to new heights, keeping listeners off balance by sometimes sticking to the "truth" for long stretches before coming clean and, at others times, admitting to lies only moments after telling them. Channie Waites delivers a very strong and believable performance as the complex and often frustrating teen protagonist, shifting moods as seamlessly as Micah does and revealing all of her attitude, emotion, and vulnerability. By the end of this extraordinary book, listeners will either be desperate to discuss it with others or ready to delve right back in to listen again in an effort to figure out the truth—and most will probably want to do both.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, Douglass Branch, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Micah declares herself a liar and calls her own reliability as a narrator into question on the first page of this dark, gripping page-turner. When Zach, the boy with whom she might or might not be romantically involved, goes missing, Micah tries to tell the story of her tortured relationships with Zach and her classmates, teachers and family. Is Micah a killer? Quite possibly yes, but she weaves lies and truths together so artfully that even as she admits her deceptions, she becomes an increasingly compelling and sympathetic character. Micah's fractured first-person narrative skips around chronologically, further deepening the confusion about what has really happened in her life. The constant reversals keep readers guessing, a plot device that threatens to wear thin by the halfway point of the novel, but Larbalestier moves the plot nimbly past this moment, creating such an engrossing story of teenage life on the margins that even readers familiar with her Magic or Madness trilogy might not see the supernatural twist (or not) coming. In the end, it calls to mind I Am the Cheese with its hermetic wiliness. (Fiction. 14 & up)
From the Publisher

“Readers will get chills paging through Larbalestier’s suspenseful novel about a compulsive liar who becomes a suspect in her boyfriend’s murder. Micah admits it is hard to believe a girl who has pretended “she’s a boy, a hermaphrodite, or that her daddy’s an arms dealer,” but when Zach, the popular boy who was secretly seeing her “after hours,” is found dead, Micah claims innocence, promising to tell readers her story with “No lies, no omissions.” But the supernatural tale she tells may be her wildest yet. Micah composes her story in short sections labeled “Before” and “After” (the murder), as well as “History of Me,” “Family History” and other categories. This is a well-paced novel with a masterfully constructed unreliable narrator, confessing to lies she has told readers along the way (“You buy everything, don’t you? You make it too easy”) and explaining how she makes lies believable. Could Micah really be innocent, or is she a confused girl who killed out of jealousy? Is she even human? Readers will be guessing and theorizing long after they’ve finished this gripping story.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Micah declares herself a liar and calls her own reliability as a narrator into question on the first page of this dark, gripping page-turner. When Zach, the boy with whom she might or might not be romantically involved, goes missing, Micah tries to tell the story of her tortured relationships with Zach and her classmates, teachers and family. Is Micah a killer? Quite possibly yes, but she weaves lies and truths together so artfully that even as she admits her deceptions, she becomes an increasingly compelling and sympathetic character. Micah’s fractured first-person narrative skips around chronologically, further deepening the confusion about what has really happened in her life. The constant reversals keep readers guessing, a plot device that threatens to wear thin by the halfway point of the novel, but Larbalestier moves the plot nimbly past this moment, creating such an engrossing story of teenage life on the margins that even readers familiar with her Magic or Madness trilogy might not see the supernatural twist (or not) coming. In the end, it calls to mind I Am the Cheese with its hermetic wiliness.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“* Biracial Micah Wilkins, 17, is the quintessential unreliable narrator. On the first page, she readily admits she's a liar though now she wants to tell her story straight. She attends a progressive private high school in New York City. She's a bit peculiar, with extra-human speed and sense of smell, and has few friends. After another student, a popular senior named Zach, is found brutally murdered, it comes to light that he and Micah had a relationship outside of school. Now she is considered a suspect. Her suspenseful, supernatural tale is engrossing and readers will be tempted to fly through it, though the wise will be wary of her spin and read carefully for subtle slipups and foreshadowing. The chilling story that she spins will have readers' hearts racing as in three sections she goes from "Telling the Truth," to "Telling the True Truth," to "Telling the Actual Real Truth," uncovering previous lies and revealing bizarre occurrences in the process. Micah's narrative is convincing, and in the end readers will delve into the psyche of a troubled teen and decide for themselves the truths and lies. This one is sure to generate discussion.” —School Library Journal, starred review

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781599905716
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
05/18/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
165,416
File size:
850 KB
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Justine Larbalestier [Lar-bah-LUS-tee-ay] is the author of How to Ditch Your Fairy and the award-winning Magic or Madness trilogy. She was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, and divides her time between Sydney and New York City. She is married to author Scott Westerfeld. www.justinelarbalestier.com
Justine Larbalestier is the author of Liar, How To Ditch Your Fairy, and the acclaimed Magic or Madness trilogy. She was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, and divides her time between Sydney and New York City. www.justinelarbalestier.com

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Liar 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
jeffrey_stump More than 1 year ago
After reading the reviews posted here, I was compelled to write one of my own. Many readers are frustrated with the presence of lies within the writing, but then they say the characters are unbelievable. A little oxymoronic, no? You expect a believable liar to tell you the whole truth. Interesting. The book was engaging, intelligent, and it held me to keep reading--solely because I wanted to know the truth. When I found that she lied, I always read faithfully on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the book "LIAR" by justine Larbalestier the main character, Micah, promises to tell you the truth about her life. But Micah's never told the truth to anyone, not her parents, not her friends, not anyone, and sometimes she has trouble remembering what the truth really is.At the beginning of the Micah tells you how she came to find out that her secret boyfriend, Zach, has been savagely murdered. She then introduces two characters that come up later in the book, Sarah,Zach's other girlfriend; and Tayshawn, Zach's best friend. She then goes on to switching back and forth from telling you about her past to her present, explaining her time spent with Zach and her "family ilness", which is another main part of the plot. This story overall does not have much of a climax as the character is never in any real threat of danger. However, if there were two main events that had an effect on the plot, it would be the first and second time that she reveals that she has not told you the honest truth. The first time makes you think that she will now be telling you what really happened, but when she then reveals for the second time that she has not told you the truth, you start to doubt whether anything she is telling you is true. I thought this book was as a whole, ok, but there were many thing that it would have been better without. One of these is the constant alternating between her explaining her past and her present every two pages or so. I found this made it very difficult to really get into the story, which made reading it a less enjoyable experience. I think it would have been better had it been in chapters of 5 or 6 pages each. I liked the idea that the author was going for, that you had an unreliable narrator telling you what she knew about the murder and having to figure out the truth, but the way it was executed kept me from fully appreciating it. It may have been the fact that when I picked up this book, I expected it to be a mystery book, but instead it was more of a blend between fiction and fantasy with a slight a bit of a mystery to drive the story. I also disliked the way it portrayed the relationship between her and Zach. She claims that she loves him but the way she describes him does not make him a very like-able character. He takes to having another girlfriend, Sarah, because he's afraid he'd lose his popularity if he admitted to dating Micah and on top of that does not treat her very well. I'm not sure whether the author was trying to portray their relationship as romantic, but if so, it did not come off that way. Truthfully, I wish i had not spent my money on this book and I'd be rather reluctant to recommend this book to someone. If you still truly desire to read this book, i suggest going to a library or borrowing it from a friend.
NiKKi_Dee More than 1 year ago
I love book. I love reading. And this is one book i wish i never picked up. It was well written and had an O.k. plot.....but truly i wish i never read the book. Its weird but not in a weird good book kind of way. Just take my advise this truly is a book you do not ever want to read. I dreaded trying to finish the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is.......AWESOME!!! I Love how everthing seem so connected!!! Everytime you saw a chapter that said"After", it's a continuation for the next "After" you just read. (If i'm saying that right. LOL:) At first, you would think Micah was telling you the truth the whole time,but she was lying!! The thing that got me the most,and which they could have better on,was the werewolf thing. They could have made something else up,cuz really a werewolf. It doesn't even fit in with the whole concept. But on other hands, the novel was very good and it kept me on the edge of my seat (Like it literally did. Like i gasped and everything.......LOL). I highly recommend this book,hands down and i hope you enjoy it as much as i did. THX!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book to review for my library and I have to say, although there is some sex, it is an awsome book. The unexpected paranormal twist that is so popular right now flows relly well with the story and Micah just can't tell the truth, which keeps you guessing the entire way. Overall, great book. I Would definitly recommend it.
veronica moran More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It is a little slow paced at first and some parts are weird but it is a really good book once you start reading it in my opinion.
epicrat More than 1 year ago
Micah has a problem - and it has nothing to do with her being allergic to the truth. Her not-boyfriend-although-secretly-sneaking-around-with-him boy friend has been murdered, and she may or may not know the who and the why and the how. But that's not the problem. No, the problem is that lying has become natural to Micah as breathing - and so no one will even believe her if she comes forward with anything close to the truth. As far as Micah is concerned, the truth gets hairier by the second. You may remember my less-than-stellar review of Justine Larbalestier's debut How To Ditch Your Fairy, so pardon me when I admit that I waited a while before I dived into LIAR despite seeing positive reviews. Boy, did I miss out! LIAR reminded me of FIGHT CLUB or A BEAUTIFUL MIND where nothing is what they seem - and you have a less-than-reliable narrator who will keep you guessing until the end. Except Justine Larbalestier leaves readers with a BETTER Gordian knot to unravel. There were some slow moments, but they were deliciously intertwined with more complicated happenings that will give readers some time to digest the lies and truths Micah admits - particularly when they take an unexpected detour to the paranormal.
chickadeeRD More than 1 year ago
Sorry about the headline, I was trying not to give anything away. I read this for our school librarian to see if it was accepable for circulation at a high school library. It had an origionality about it that I liked. The cover is great it will get their attention. Though sex is mentioned it does not go into great detail about it. I believe they see worse on prime time tv. I think that the teens will enjoy Micha and some may be able to relate to her feeling like an outsider at school and relate with how she deals with death. It is a good story about accepting yourself.
Holly Armstrong More than 1 year ago
I loved it! It was awesome. The whole meaning of the book blends together in her lies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Poop
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you thought this book was wonderful....wow.... It was written pretty okay at first. But i just had one tiny little problem with this book. THE PLOT WENT TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET!!!! How do you go from any ordinary plot to werewolves!! DUMB
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Started out ok. Wasn't my cup of tea
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt as if i was the character or if i was talking to her as a friend. This book is more realistic than any other i have read and i loved it so much that this is the only book i have ever written a review for( and i read a lot of books).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book but I can't say it was much of a thrillar.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I personaly dont know wat u people are talking about this is a really great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked it in the bgening but then i didn't like the way it turned out. It was just tring to do to much. But if you are into the whole supernatural drama thing good book for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HE BOYFRIEND WHO DIED IS AWESOME I SHOULD DATE HIM CUZ IM AN ANGEL
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lol :)
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book but i think you need to be a certain level of deep to understand it. Great read and very cute!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't let the kids read this since there are some REALLYbad parts in the book.
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