Liars, Inc.

Liars, Inc.

by Paula Stokes


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A dark and twisted psychological tale, which Kirkus Reviews called "captivating to the very end" in a starred review—perfect for fans of I Hunt Killers and Gone Girl.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money. So with the help of his friend Preston and his girlfriend, Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something, and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn't think twice about it. But then Preston never comes home. And the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead to Preston's body.

Terrifying clues that point to Max as the killer….

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062323286
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/24/2015
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 776,888
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile: HL730L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Paula Stokes is the author of Hidden Pieces; This Is How It Happened; Girl Against the Universe; Liars, Inc.; and The Art of Lainey. Paula lives in Portland, Oregon. You can find her online at or on Twitter and Instagram @pstokesbooks.

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Liars, Inc. 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
AndrewAnJc More than 1 year ago
When I first picked up Liars, Inc. I was expecting a good story, but it was even better than what I expected it to be. The story follows Max, Parvati and Preston, a group of friends that decide to star a "lying" business in their high school. Things were going great until one of them disappeared, and from that moment, things became a mess, lie after lie. I'm not going to spoil this story, but I assure you, this book is worth it in every way possible. The author (which is loved by many, based on the reviews I read on her various books) maintains suspense and thrills in every chapter. The book is constanly changing into many things, you don't get bored, not even a second, everything is a mystery waiting to be solved. This was the first book I read that had an insane amount of plot twists, and don't get me wrong, this was awesome! Even when you think you solved the crime, unexpected things happen. This was a great read and I'll definitely check out other books by Paula Stokes. (And if you don't  really like this genre of books, I would still recommend giving it a try, it's awesome!)
angelica0 More than 1 year ago
I do not like reading at all, I fall asleep when I read. The only reason why I read Liars, Inc was because I had to for English class. I am so glad I did! I fell in love with it! It would be the middle of the night and I would still be reading trying to find out what happened. I hate romantic things, I always have. The book didn’t focus too much on the love story, it had the perfect amount of romance in it. It always kept you on your feet trying to figure out what was going to happen next. There is an amazing plot twist at the end that I would have never guessed. The plot twist was so unexpected, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. If you don’t read you should at least read this book, I promise you will not be disappointed.
Gabmore More than 1 year ago
I read Liars, Inc. along with my goodreads book club, Better Read Than Dead, and it was easily one of my most anticipated releases of 2015. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Paula Stokes weaves together a great mystery with twists you may not see coming. You might find yourself saying, "What?!" several times throughout. I personally had a ton of fun trying to figure out who killed Preston. I even thought I had it figured out in the middle of the book only to be wrong and change my theory. The characters are not some happy go lucky teenagers and they shouldn't be. Their lives are complicated, messy, and real. I really appreciated that about them. The main character Max is labeled a suspect and he freaks out like any normal person would. Even though he's a "Liar" he's not all cool and collected as the odds are stacking against him. As I read this book, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I needed to know what was going to happen next and I needed more clues. I wanted to figure out who had done it before the cops did. This is what makes a good mystery. The thrill and the need to know. There is so much more that I wish to say, but I'll let you find out for yourself so I don't spoil any of the fun. I am looking forward to reading more of Paula's work in the future, especially if it's a mystery/thriller.
BookLoversLife1 More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome!! I flew through the pages and didn't want it to end.  I absolutely loved Max. He is flawed which I think was the best thing about him. He just seemed so real. He is a typical normal teen who is bored at school and a kind of outcast. He has 2 friends, both of whom are rich but they hit it off straight away and become firm friends. Max has gone from foster care to foster care and eventually landed with the best ones he has ever had. He is sullen and afraid to get close to them in case they get rid of him and my heart broke for him because of it. He didn't have an easy life.  Parvati is Maxs' girlfriend and along with Preston and Max, comes up with the idea of Liars, Inc. A kind of tag team effort to provide alibis or forge notes for anyone who can pay. Parvati and Preston don't need the money but Max does. When Preston comes to Max looking for an Alibi for a weekend in Vegas with a girl, Max doesn't hesitate, but when Preston turns up dead and Max is the main suspect, his life changes forever!!  I loved Max and Parvatis relationship. She is a strong female and not afraid to show it but she really does care for Max. He doesn't understand what she sees in him but he knows they worl well together. I loved them together and loved the fact that Parvati was so sure of her self and her sexuality.  This book is chock full of suspense and twists that you don't see coming. It had me on the edge of my seat and biting my nails. How can Max prove his innocence when the evidence against him is so overwhelming? Right from the start, I was captivated with the voice of Max and the tone of the story. It's a story of lies, deception and betrayal that will grip you and leave you reeling. Paula Stokes has created some very relatable and enigmatic characters and a world of lies and intrigue. Everything about this book was fantastic and while this is a standalone, I do hope we see more from these characters. A stunningly written and engaging story and one I'd recommend to everyone. 
lindsaycummings More than 1 year ago
Loved this fast, punchy mystery! It's a more "tomboyish" version for fans of Pretty Little Liars, and the boy voice is fantastic. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always feel like I can guess what is going to happen in a mystery novel pretty early on. Liars, inc. kept me guessing. By the last section, I thought I had it figured out, but I was only partially correct. Complex, flawed, and we'll developed characters made this a great read. Max's voice was authentic and I felt like I knew him by the end of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read, I read the book in 2 sittings!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed it smd read in 2 sittings
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to admit I wasn't expecting much when I started reading this book, but it surpassed my expectations. It was a great read, I barely put it down. The story line is great, details and characters are all interesting. 2 thumbs up!
kozbisa More than 1 year ago
Rating: 4.5 stars Oh what a tangled web we weave! Max and his friends develop a business of selling lies to their classmates, and when Max's best friend, Preston, asks for a cover story, Max has no problem helping him out. One lie leads to another, until Max is the prime suspect in Preston's murder. I loved all the twists and turns! Every time I thought I had it figured out, there was another plot twist. This book gave me exactly what I love about thrillers: the fun of trying to figure out what happens next. I also liked some of the idea that it's never too late to forgive or to give someone a chance. Definitely not my last Paula Stokes book.
SarhMack More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love Paula Stokes’ books. The first time I read The Art of Lainey, I fell in love with her writing and decided that every book she wrote in the future I would have to buy and subsequently read. Liars, Inc. was no different. I was lucky enough to get and ARC of the book and read it early and boy am I even happier now that I did. The story of Liars, Inc. is one that definitely keeps you glued to the book until you are finished. The writing is just fantastic and selling lies? How awesome/potentially problematic does that sound? All the action and mystery of Liars really pays off and keeps you guessing through every twist and turn until the end of the book. I loved reading it, although it left me wishing there was more to the book, because I did not want it to end. The characters of Max, Parvati and Preston are really well written and complex. It was a lot of fun to see how they grew and developed throughout the book, in wake of Preston’s murder. All of the characters were really well written, which I know is redundant, but it's true! They were all fleshed out so well, and they felt like real people. Learning about each character and what motivated them and made them tick as really interesting. The story itself was very compelling and evry time I had to leave the book to do something, I always rushed right back to reading it as soon as I could. All the different plot twists were so good and kept me guessing throughout the entire book, it was impossible to guess what was going to happen next, which I loved. Liars, Inc. is just an amazingly captivating story about lies, secrets and all we do to keep them. Paula Stokes has written an amazing story (and really, it’s pretty awesome how she went from YA contemporary to this creepy, twisty murder-y story and both are pulled off SO WELL) and I personally cannot wait to reread this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read could not put it down!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well worth the time.
Amber_Elise More than 1 year ago
Plot: Max seems to be the odd man out. He doesn't quite fit in with his football star of a best friend and people usually turn their heads when they see him and his hot girlfriend Parvati together. Their relationships come under more strange when Preston goes missing and Max learns that he didn't know his best friend and his girlfriend as well as they think. From the get-go Liars, Inc. caught my attention. You see, it starts in the middle and so of course you want to know how Max got himself in the situation that he's currently in. Even though the book is almost 400 pages, it was quite a page turner. I would devour 50 pages without even blinking. Paula Stokes does not bog her writing down with tedious descriptions of people, we get the basics and hit the ground running which really works for this mystery. Throughout the novel I had an inkling of which direction I thought the mystery was going in, and I'm happy to announce that I was still taken aback by the ending. You won't be able to guess this one from page 25 my friends! Characters: Max is a hard character to understand. He was orphaned as a child and spent time being homeless and living in a group home before he was finally adopted by the "perfect" family. He's an outcast and doesn't run in the same circles as his friends which makes you wonder what really holds them together. His girlfriend, Parvati, is a piece of work as well. Throughout the novel I questioned her motives and found myself analyzing her behavior and reactions throughout the novel. I liked that Paula didn't give away too much information so each character has an air of mystery to him. World Building: I mentioned that I was going to start analyzing world building in contemporary novels by the amount of diversity there is and Liars, Inc. is a solid "B." There are people of color throughout the novel and the world seems pretty believable. This is due in part to the characters, they act like teenagers would: they drink, they curse, they have sex and they do other unsavory things. Short N Sweet: Liars, Inc. is a great read for anyone who is a fan of mysteries. With questionable characters and even more questionable ethics, you won't be able to guess what happens next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liars, Inc. grabbed me from the first page and didn't let go. I almost always see the end of a book coming but not so with this book! Max Cantrell was a strong, believable lead and the secondary characters were all well developed and enjoyable. If you like YA or adult thrillers/mysteries then I highly recommend Liars, Inc. It has definite crossover appeal to the adult market.
Artzicarol More than 1 year ago
This book explores the complex layers of lies and deception people can get mired into. I loved the twists and turns—they kept me guessing. Even though I figured out one thing, I was still surprised at the reveal of the total, final truth. A bit too detailed for me regarding teen sex, which I would’ve rather not had as much of, but it could’ve been worse. Great flow of pacing and tension, with amusing dialogue.
quibecca More than 1 year ago
I finished this a couple of days ago, and I still don't know how to put my thoughts into words.  This book was intense. Who would have thought about making money of alibis in high school.  I have to admit when I was in High School I probably would have used this ;)  Especially the notes from home, and calling in to excuse me from school...hehe.  Of course now, as an adult I know that lying never ever gets you anywhere but in trouble.   Exactly what happens in this book.  I loved this book from the very first page until the very last.  I was blown away by the plot twist.  I think I saw some of it coming, but the whole shebang...not a clue.  I was totally surprised and it was AWESOME!   The characters in this book are great.  Max, is awesome even with his troubled past.  Parvati, I don't quite know what to think about her, but she was great at being who the author wanted her to be.   Preston was also good at what the author wanted him to be.  I did not know what to think of him in the book.  I don't like spoiled, rich kids with no respect, and that is just who Preston was.   When Max's friend Preston needs to use Liars, Inc. Max's life spirals out of control.  Preston goes missing, assumed dead, and Max is the prime suspect.  How this unfolds is AWESOME.  I mean, AWESOME.  My head is still spinning.   These are some seriously messed up kids.   I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.  Especially at the ending.  Seriously. 
Frankie_Ash More than 1 year ago
I wonder how many readers had the same feeling that I did after reading this book?  I thought I knew what was happening, but Stokes sold the characters so completely that I argued my own conclusions the whole way through. I loved this book. I gave it five stars because it did what I expect from any five star rating: it kept me turning the page. Stokes put these characters in a mess, and from the very beginning scene I thought the MC was screwed. Which, BTW, is why this book is so good. The first three pages force you to keep reading. Thanks, Paula! I had to know how this story would play out. Stokes wrote a great MC in Max and I loved his thought process throughout the story. It mirrored mine, actually.  When he was pissed, I was pissed. It’s totally justified. When I pick up a book knowing that it’s a “who done it” type deal, I’m always apprehensive. I’m not easily tricked and usually see the twist coming long before the reveal. But this is not the case here. It caught me off-guard and reminded me of the feeling I had when I read GONE GIRL. Like someone blasted an air gun in my ear hole. Again, thanks, Paula!
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
Liars, Inc is not only a murder mystery, but it explores relationships with family, friends and romantics. Max, his girlfriend Parvati, and his best friend Preston start a business call Liars, Inc., which sells lies such as excuses, forged parental signatures, and alibis for teens who want to spend uninterrupted time with their boyfriend or girlfriend. The business is going well up until Preston disappears and later turns up dead. Worse yet, the evidence points to Max as the killer. Max’s mom died in childbirth, and his dad died when he was young. He went through a foster home, ran away, and ends up in a boy's orphanage where he is adopted by his current family. Parvati is the daughter of a Colonel and a defense attorney who are over-protective parents. She is smart, rude, and rebellious. Preston is the son of Senator DeWitt. He is cute, funny, and the football star of the school. Nobody hates him,except for the local bookie (because of Preston's gambling addiction). I like how the author shows three different sets of parents and how these three teens have grown up under these parenting styles. I also like the character growth shown throughout the novel. At first, Max makes some mistakes, holds back information, and makes bad decisions out of fear. The lies that he tells are like a tangled web. The more you try to lie, the tighter they wrap around you. Liars, Inc starts with one single white lie, and it ends up getting Max in serious trouble. If he told the truth from the beginning Max wouldn’t have dug himself into such a deep hole. Rather than burying himself in it, however, he learns from his experiences and gradually recognizes that he needs help. Trusting yourself and others is not easy. It takes a lot of time and patience, especially if you have a broken past. I really love the dynamics between Max and his family. It proves that you don't have to be blood-related to be true family. I also enjoyed the journey to uncover all of the secrets surrounding Preston: the videos found from his computer, the situations with Parvati, and the secrets surrounding Preston’s family. It makes one wonder if we can ever really know the people around us, like our neighbors, friends, and colleagues. Overall, Liars, Inc. is a great novel. I can't wait for Paula Stokes' next book. Review by Alice @Imaginary Reads
Raenne More than 1 year ago
3,25 stars. The beginning of this book was okay, but I felt like it was rushing a bit. I would've liked to know more about the friendship between Parvatti, Preston and Max. I also missed knowing more about Liars Inc., like some of their cases and what they told people to gian customers. The middle was amazingly fast paced. It was breathtaking and I was fangirling so hard at some points that I needed breakes just to catch my breath. I've been waiting for this book in such a long time and the middle was so worth it! I came up with three different suspects, so I think Paula Stokes did an amazing job at plotting this one. The end was very disappointing to me, mostly because I wasn't surprised. I'm not saying that I know who did it, but I wasn't surprised like I thought I'd be. That was a little disappointing to me.  As for the writing, I really think the author did a good job writing this from a male's POV. It was refreshing to read and it felt very true. I'm glad I got to know Max like this - his thoughts, not just his actions.  All in all I'd say that Paula knows how to plot a mystery novel, but the comparison to Gone Girl took something away from my experience with this book. Is it fair to blame that on the book/author? No, it probably isn't. I just don't know how I would've liked this book if the comparison wasn't there. You should definitely read this book if you're into mysteries and thrillers on TV, because the middle makes this book so great!
melanielost More than 1 year ago
Max, his girlfriend Parvati and friend Preston found a way to get money by lying.  Selling forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, they created Liars, Inc. When Preston need his own cover up story, Max helps him. Next day, Preston never comes back home. Clues leads to Preston's body and Max as his murderer. It all starts with a little lie. Can Max find the real killer before going to jail for a crime he didn't do? Let's start by saying that, this book is excellent. I loved it and I hated it sometimes because it got me nervous and screaming and OMG moments all the time. It's  a real hookup. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. I loved that is a twisted story with twisted but amazing characters. Just the kind of stories I like. Liars,Inc is told in first person from Max's perspective, and it's great because he is the only character you will know if it's lying or not. His girlfriend, Parvati, I loved her twisted character and how it is developed until the end. At one point, I wanted to hate her but I could understand her motives and feelings. Twisted characters always get my attention and admiration. She's not the female character we are use to read, I warn you, you will hate her and love her. Plus, her chemistry with Max is explosive. I wrote down every theory I had in mind for the ending but none of them happened. The ending is totally unexpected. And this is how far I'll go because, I don't want to spoil anything. I didn't read reviews before reading this book because I didn't wanted to create any expectations or see a spoiler, and it was the best thing I did. Just be prepare to get tangled up in every posible feeling.
SnugglyOranges More than 1 year ago
Mysteries and thrillers usually aren’t my thing. I won’t lie to you about that. No, the reason why I picked up Liars, Inc. is simply because of the author. Paula Stokes is amazing and wonderful and so so friendly, and I just adored The Art of Lainey, so in spite of this book being a little out of my comfort zone, I had to have it. Well, I regret nothing – because I really enjoyed this book! Liars, Inc. is a murder mystery. I don’t feel like I’m spoiling it – because it’s in the blurb – but Max’s best friend, Preston, disappears and later turns up dead, and all the evidence points to Max as the one who’s done it. It’s a whodunnit and whydidtheydoit, and honestly, it’s really compelling. There are so many lies and hidden motives, which really keep you guessing. I had 10 different running theories and I still didn’t get it all figured out before the end. At one point I thought I did, but then there was a final plot twist that completely took me by surprise. By the last couple of chapters, I was on the edge of my seat, turning the pages as fast as I could, which means it’s a mystery done well. Though I didn’t have the whole thing figured out by the end, and there were some twists and elements to the mystery that surprised me, I never really truly felt afraid. And it’s weird to say that I was hoping to be? But yeah, though the stakes are certainly high at the climax, I never really feared for Max’s life. I guess I was lacking some kind of suspense (which certainly wasn’t helped by knowing Preston would turn up dead from the synopsis, but this not becoming apparent until about halfway through the book). Now, I don’t read books from this genre often, so it might not really be fair for me to say it, but it is what it is. Instead of the usual romantic feels (because, yeah, I didn’t really care much for Max and Parvati), I wanted the frightening feels, but didn’t really get them – perhaps because the bad guy’s psychopathic nature just wasn’t “in your face” enough. Where Paula Stokes really succeeds though, like she always does, is in her characters. Honestly, I was impressed by how large a role characterization played in a mystery/thriller book – because it’s not really something you would ordinarily expect. But within this mystery that kept me on my toes, there was a heaping scoop of meaningful diversity – from ethnic diversity (Parvati), to social class, to familial structures… I particularly loved the adoption aspect which challenged me to think about something completely unfamiliar to me. How does living in a group home, then suddenly having “new parents” affect you? It made Max so much more human to know what he was struggling with there, and I loved how his family truly is a family in spite of not actually being related. (Honestly, Max and his little sister were too adorbs for words.) And, incidentally, I think Stokes wrote excellently and believably from a teenage guy’s POV. There’s also a lot of character growth that makes these characters jump off the page and feel so much more real. Max starts out with a complete distrust of authority figures. He makes some mistakes, sure, in holding back information, but he’s desperate to clear his name and obviously makes certain rash decisions out of fear. But he learns from this, and gradually he understands that he is in over his head and needs help. I love that because it really stands up to certain YA clichés, where the authority figures are always absent, and the characters are stubborn and withdrawn for seemingly no reason. There are clear reasons for everything Max, Parvati, and Preston do and how little they trust other people, and they learn and grow from this as the story progresses. Summing Up: I don’t usually read mysteries, but I absolutely enjoyed Liars, Inc. – mostly because of Paula Stokes’s excellent and compelling writing and her realistic and well-developed characters. I’m not sure how mystery fans would fare with this one, but at the end of the day, it kept me on the edge of my seat and truly surprised me. It’s a well-crafted story, even if it isn’t the most frightening or the most feelsy. Recommended To: Anyone in the mood for a little mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book wished it never ended. So twisted it will draw in and you would not be able to put it down. Bravo!
AdrianaC More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars This a very good YA thriller that kept me on the edge of the seat, throughout the book, is really captivating, with a good pace (I devour it), with a believable plot and that gradually unfolds until it shows what is happening and it´s great as everything were interwoven The story is told from the point of view of Max Cantrell, a average guy in his senior year of high school, he´s best friend of Preston, the most popular and richest kid in school and boyfriend of Parvati an impulsive girl, but that appears to be the student perfect and perfect daughter, so only Max and Preston really know her. And they decide to profit with lies, so they create Liars Inc., where charge their classmates for making false permissions or alibis or any other kind of lie that their peers need to stay out of trouble at school and business is doing well. So when Preston asks Max to cover him for the weekend, he accepts without question, but when comes Monday and Preston hasn´t returned and soon after he´s being questioned by the FBI because he was the last person to see him, so Max lies, which brings him problems because as the investigation progresses evidence begins to emerge that incriminates Max and once that he lied, he doesn´t know how to untangle his lies without looking guilty. Which generates him more problems and Max does not know how to get out of it. About the characters: Max is a 17 year old boy that lives with his adoptive parents and younger sisters, he is of those who regularly complains when he has to help at home, so he prefer to receive school detention than babysit his sisters; but I liked his interactions with his mother and one of his sisters. Preston is Max's best friend, he´s the son of a US senator, he´s rich and very popular. And Parvati, is Max´s girlfriend, she´s the daughter of a Colonel and has aspirations to work in the CIA, so she know things that later are helpful when Max gets in trouble. Liars, Inc. is fast-paced and engrossing story. I loved it!. This is the second book I read of Paula Stokes and I´ve greatly enjoyed both, so I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.