Before I get into my review, I have to admit something. I am not sure I can be a fair judge of this novel because Justine and I are close friends. There. It’s out.
It’s not something I usually broadcast, since I know you all would be really envious - especially because often when we meet (usually along some major highway, so we can feel the wind in our hair), she brings her husband Scott Westerfeld (not pictured) and we drink these awesomely delicious chai tea lattes Justine whips up and have the most amazing conversations.
The last time Justine and I met up (very near US Interstate 95), she pressed a copy of LIAR into my hands and winked at me – pointing at the inscription she had just written:
Dear Lenore –
Give bad reviews when deserved.
Justine and I laughed together until our bellies ached about that. We were both thinking how truly unlikely it would be that one of her novels should deserve anything less than 5 stars.
Before I started LIAR, I read the rave reviews where everyone was saying how surprising, how original, how exceptional the book was. So wouldn't it be funny if I then really did give it a bad review?
Now you're thinking, "but don’t best friends usually HAVE to say good things about each other?"
Well, ok…. Don’t think less of me…but I might not have told the WHOLE truth before….
I'm going to come clean about a little white lie I told you earlier. You see, Justine’s chai tea lattes really aren’t that great (I prefer Starbucks to be honest – but please don’t tell her that. I don’t want to hurt her feelings…you know us being besties and all.)
But trust me, that’s the only lie I’ve told you.
So anyway, then I read LIAR. In case you don’t know already, it’s about this girl Micah who lies all the time. From what I understand, she lies to protect a secret no one would believe anyway. And even though she says she’s telling you the truth, she also admits to lying sometimes until you really don’t know what to believe.
And Micah knows how to lie. Here’s what she says about it:
Details. They are the key to lying.
The more detailed you are, the more people believe. […]
Verisimilitude, one of my English teachers called it. The details that give something the appearance of being real. It’s at the heart of a good lie, a story that has wings.
That and your overwhelming desire not to be lied to. You believe me because you want what I tell you to be the truth. No matter how crazy. (p 245-246 ARC, may vary from final published version)
Even though, honestly, I think LIAR sometimes seems more like a writing exercise (TOPIC: Unreliable narrator) than a fully formed narrative, it is riveting stuff. You hang on Micah’s every word.
And now you’re thinking, “Oh, now Justine’s best friend is telling us the novel is awesome. Why should we believe that?”
Well, because it IS awesome. Oh, and also because I just might have exaggerated my friendship with Justine a teeny, tiny bit…
LIAR is out in hardcover now. You can find out more about it at Justine’s website.
*This is true. Mainly.