Published by HarperCollins on March 24, 2015
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
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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 and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and 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 hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.
Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called "Captivating to the very end," Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.
Liars, Inc. is one of the more diverse YA thrillers and romances that I’ve read in a while. Although it offered a lot of diverse character backgrounds, family situations and circumstances, it was the thriller part that I was really interested in, which I ended up being slightly disappointed with.
It kind of sucks having nothing to lose, but it sucks even worse having everything good taken away from you. Or to realize it was never yours in the first place.
What I did like about Liars, Inc:
- Pavarti is a beautiful black girl who is wild and liberal. She’s flirty, forward, and not afraid to take the first step when it comes to sex. She actually reminds me a lot about a friend of mine, and it was great seeing a diverse character being represented as the primary love interest. I definitely didn’t agree with some of her decisions, but overall she was different and it was refreshing to see.
- Aside from Pavarti, I liked the diverse range of families being represented as well, with Max and his siblings being adopted. His relationship with his parents definitely wasn’t perfect, but with his regrets, wishes and feelings on the matter, it felt realistic.
- I liked how Max and his friends weren’t stereotypes, and they had a lot of depth. They were popular, smart, and liked to have fun, but they bonded together because of their mutual feeling of being an outsider.
“Your past made you resilient so you don’t fall apart in a crisis. I like that.” – Pavarti
What I didn’t like about Liars, Inc:
- I didn’t like Max’s point of view. As with any teenage boy, he often thinks about sex and how hot his girlfriend is….and he seems kind of dense.
- Max’s decisions didn’t make sense. Why would you run away and hide from the cops, acting incredibly suspicious if you’re a suspect in your friends murder? Why would you not contact the cops, or FBI if you received a suspicious call directing you to do something? I know he was threatened, but he didn’t take any other safety precautions.
- I couldn’t understand how Max and Pavarti’s relationship could withstand the secrets they went through, especially since she was really evasive about some things when confronted. How could Max trust her after that? Secrets, upon secrets. But hey, that’s just me.
- The thriller part was predictable and I saw it coming from a mile away, such as the identity of the killer and about their past.
It’s a shitty feeling when you realize the two people you trusted most in the world are liars.
For a mystery thriller book, I found Liars, Inc. to be a lite version, primarily being about family, friends and romance. Although the plot was fairly predictable and I didn’t get the thrills I was looking for, I really appreciated the diversity in the story.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
I received a review copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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