Monday, June 14, 2010

YA Book Club: LIAR

From School Library Journal:

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 slip ups 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.

*****


And generate discussion it did!


I had a feeling this would be a controversial one, after the outcry over Bloomsbury's original cover with a white teen girl on it (you can see there's been a change).


Our book club was split between loving it and hating it (well, not really hate-maybe just frustration).


I fell on the like/love side of it. I respected the heck out of Justine and her deeply layered writing, because it took me through so many twists and turns.


I wanted to ring Micah' neck, scratch my head in confusion, curl her up in an embrace, and shake the crap out of her, at various points in the story.


And the ending (no spoilers) STILL left you guessing about her honesty.


I think this is a perfect book club book.

One of our book club members, Rachele, is a high school teacher, and she already ordered copies for her students next school year.


Here we are (I'm the picture-taker) debating it all at Joseph Beth Booksellers:

There are some book club members blogs/sites I want to give a shout out to. There's LiLa (Lisa and Laura Write), Rachele Alpine from Freckle Head, Scott Tracey and Leah Clifford from YA Rebels, Chelsea Swiggett from The Page Flipper and Niki Smith.

It was great spending time with you book club peeps! See you next month!

22 comments:

Melissa said...

My friend read this book and said it was amazing. I'm planning on borrowing it as it looks really interesting. I like books where some of it is left up to your own interpretation. They make you think. And that's always fun.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

OMG, you do hang out with some awesome people. You weren't kidding.

I'll definitely add this to my TBR pile. I have a feeling I'll be of the dislike/frustrated group. But I do love books that make me think . . . just not too hard. :D

Thanks, Christine, for the awesome review. (Yeah, I know I used awesome twice, but it's only 5:30 am, so what do ya expect? *winks*)

Jen said...

Sounds like something I might just have to look into!!! Thanks for sharing and I loved seeing your book club!

Lizzie said...

Sounds really interesting, I very much like books that make me think.

Maddy said...

Sounds like fun! I think the best book club books are the controversial ones or the ones people have mixed feelings about. BTW - looks like a fun crowd to be in a book club with!

Clara said...

That´s so cool! I wish I had a book club to meet in a fancy library!

It seems really interesting and I love stories like those: where the writer doesnt quite let it out what trully happened. Will look into it!

Andrea said...

Looks like a great book! I am heading off to the beach in a couple of days. Maybe I will try and pick it up!

Writing Without Periods! said...

Looks like a great book. I heart my book club...maybe they will read.
Mary

Bossy Betty said...

Looks really good and what a fun group you have to read with !

JustineDell said...

I haven't read it, but I want to. I've heard about the turmoil within and I'm excited to see how it plays out. However, now that you mentioned it's not clear-cut at the end, I might hate it. I hate stuff that leaves me hanging.

~JD

Chelsea said...

I had so much fun chatting about Liar (among other things!) :) Can't wait for next month!

Sharlene T. said...

One attorney I used to work with said people come in on a first visit and tell their truth; on the second visit, they clear up the truth they told; and, after the bill as it gets closer to trial, they slow down and start to tell the real truth...it's always good to debate veracity and the impulses that cause people to say what they do...thanks for sharing...will definitely suggest to my grandchildren...

Twitter: SolarChief

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

You were right, so weird we both posted on unreliable narrators. I'm looking for good books with this type of character. Why? I'm not sure...maybe because I enjoy when the plot really keeps me on my toes and I haven't read (although have seen in film) this type of narrator. It's such a risk, I think that's part of the intrigue. This one goes on TOP of my pile. Thank you for the post and the review. I'm tempted to go grab it today actually :D and probably will lol.

JEM said...

So jealous of your book club! This book sounds interesting, but I think I would fall on the frustrated side. Lying is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves in people, and dealing with a narrator who was a consummate liar would drive me nuts, especially if I never got the truth. Interesting stuff.

Tahereh said...

i really want to read this book, but i'm worried it will DRIVE ME CRAZY. i hate unreliable narrators. i wouldn't want to spend that much time with a Liar in real life, so why between the pages?

but then again, it's a BOOK, and it's supposed to make you THINK, right?

decisions decisions..

Sandy Shin said...

I've been wanting to read this book -- and it sounds amazing. I'm easily frustrated, so I'm afraid I might fall on the frustration side of it: but I'll definitely be reading it soon.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

I've not read a really great unreliable narrator book for a while. I'm adding this to my list. :)

Kristin said...

Sounds awfully interesting. Another book to add to the "I hope I can find the time to read" summer reading list. HA!

Rachele Alpine said...

Book club was great! I can't wait until next month! And I agree...I'm interested in hearing what my students have to say once they start reading the book! It got such mixed opinions, but I have to say that I was on the "like" side!

Callie Forester said...

I'll have to pick this one up as well. Did you read her Magic and Madness series? What did you think of that?

I was pretty shocked by then ending---I won't give it away. This author definitely doesn't stay on the safe side of things though, does she? :) Thanks for the info!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Holy cow - what a fun book club! You have me too intrigued not to read this book now. Onto the TBR list it goes! :-)

Florida Girl Meets the Midwest said...

ooh. I love complicated flawed characters. I may have to look into this one.