So the other day at work I was going through massive piles of mail, and there at the bottom of my pile was an ARC of Justine Larbalestier's Liar. There has been lots of chatter on the internets about the cover of this book. The ARC I received had this cover:
Here's the controversy: The main character of the book, Micah, is biracial (her mother is French-American, and her father is African-American) and has very short course, curly hair. Everyone who read the ARC (including the author herself) was outraged by the way the publisher took liberties with the cover. Because of this, the cover now looks like this:
MUCH more accurate in my opinion... it's kind of interesting to read about this controversy, but what I really want to talk about is the book itself... because it's GOOD.
Micah is a pathological liar. This is a very big problem, not just for Micah, but for us-the-readers. You see, this book is told in the first person... everything is narrated by Micah and at the beginning of the book she swears she will tell us the 100% truth-- except she lies to us right out of the gate. She's sorry she lied, but she just can't help it.
Micah believes her lying was passed down through her family genealogy, just like the mysterious body hair she grows and her remarkable running skills. Her classmates, parents, and teachers however do not agree. When the boy with whom Micah was secretly making out and going for midnight runs in central park turns up dead, all eyes are on her. This book is part mystery/thriller, part coming of age story, and a tiny sliver of fantasy.
Oh, and there is a plot twist. That's all I'm saying. I wish I could say more, because there are lots of things I feel like saying about said plot twist, but I am being nice and not spoiling it for you. It's also hard for me to explain why I liked this book so much without telling you all of the book's secrets. So I guess you're just going to have to read it to find out.
I think I liked this book so much because Micah was a truly new character. She is unique, and even though she is totally unreliable as a narrator, it's that added level of mystery that makes the story so compelling. I would recommend this book to teens who like character driven stories, mysteries, and paranormal tales.