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peringkat:
3.5/5 (87 peringkat)
Panjangnya:
303 pages
5 hours
Dirilis:
May 18, 2010
ISBN:
9781599905716
Format:
Buku

Deskripsi

The ultimate unreliable narrator takes readers on a thrill ride in this highly acclaimed novel. Prepare to grasp for truth until the very last page.

Micah is a liar. That's the one thing she won't lie about. Over the years, she's duped her classmates, her teachers, and even her parents. But when her boyfriend Zach dies under brutal circumstances, Micah sets out to tell the truth. At first the truth comes easily. Other truths are so unbelievable, so outside the realm of normal, they must be a lie. And the honest truth is buried so deep in Micah's mind even she doesn't know if it's real.

"Readers will get chills . . . [and] be guessing and theorizing long after they've finished this gripping story." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

"[Micah's] suspenseful, supernatural tale is engrossing. . . . The chilling story she spins will have readers' hearts racing." -School Library Journal, starred review

"An engrossing story of teenage life on the margins." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Young Adult Book of 2009
Dirilis:
May 18, 2010
ISBN:
9781599905716
Format:
Buku

Tentang penulis

Justine Larbalestier is the author of Liar, How To Ditch Your Fairy, and the acclaimed Magic or Madness trilogy. She was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, and divides her time between Sydney and New York City. www.justinelarbalestier.com

Pratinjau Buku

Liar - Justine Larbalestier

LIAR

Justine Larbalestier

For my father, John Bern

Table of Contents

Part One: Telling the Truth

Part Two: Telling the True Truth

Part Three: The Actual Real Truth

Acknowledgments

PART ONE

Telling the Truth

PROMISE

I was born with a light covering of fur.

After three days it had all fallen off, but the damage was done. My mother stopped trusting my father because it was a family condition he had not told her about. One of many omissions and lies.

My father is a liar and so am I.

But I’m going to stop. I have to stop.

I will tell you my story and I will tell it straight. No lies, no omissions.

That’s my promise.

This time I truly mean it.

AFTER

When Zach isn’t in school Tuesday morning I am worried. He said he’d call me Monday night. But didn’t. Friday night was the last time I saw him. That isn’t usual.

Zachary Rubin is my boyfriend. He isn’t the best boyfriend in the world, but he usually does what he says he will.

If he was going to skip school he’d have taken me with him. We could’ve gone running in the park. Or ridden around on the subway all day laughing at the crazies, which is mostly everyone.

Once we walked from the Staten Island Ferry all the way up to Inwood, right next to the big hospital and the bridge that leads to the Bronx. It took us all day. We’d get sidetracked, checking things out, looking around. Enjoying the novelty of walking instead of running.

Broadway was our path north through the island. Zach said it used to be an Indian trail, which made it the oldest street in Manhattan. That’s why it twists and turns, sometimes on the diagonal, sometimes straight like an avenue.

Me and Zach had an argument about what the water under the bridge to the Bronx was called. Was it the Hudson or the East River? Or did they meet in the middle under the bridge? Whatever it was called, the water was gray brown and nasty-looking. So it could’ve been either one.

That was our best day together.

I hope Zach isn’t doing anything that cool without me. I’ll kill him if he is.

I eat lunch on my own. A cold steak sandwich. The bread is gray and wet, soggy with meat juice. I eat the steak and throw the rest away.

In class I stare at the window, watch the reflection of my classmates superimposed in mottled glass over gray steel bars. I think about what Zach looks like when he smiles at me.

AFTER

The second day Zach isn’t at school, I wear a mask. I keep it on for three days. I forge a note from my dad to say I have a gruesome rash and the doctor told me to keep it covered. I carry the note with me from class to class. They all buy it.

My dad brought the mask back from Venice. It’s black leather painted with silver and unfurls at each corner like a fern. The silver is real.

Under it, my skin itches.

They tell us Zach is dead during third period on Thursday.

Principal Paul Jones comes into our classroom. He isn’t smiling. There are murmurs. I hear Zach’s name. I look away.

I have bad news, the principal says unnecessarily. I can smell the bad news all over him.

Now we all look at him. Everyone is quiet. His eyes are slightly red. I wonder if he is going to all the classes or just us seniors. Surely we would be first. Zach is a senior.

I can hear the minute hand of the clock over the whiteboard. It doesn’t tick, it clicks. Click, click, click, click. No ticks. No tocks.

There is a fly in the room. The fan slices through the air. A murky sliver of sunlight cuts across the front of the classroom right where the principal is standing. It makes visible the dust in the air, the lines around his eyes, across his forehead, at the corners of his mouth.

Sarah Washington shifts in her chair and its legs squeak painfully loud across the wooden floor. I turn, stare at her. Everyone else does, too. She looks away.

Zachary Rubin is no longer missing. His body has been found. Principal Paul’s lips move into something between a grimace and a snarl.

A sound moves around the classroom. It takes me a moment to realize that half the girls are crying. A few of the boys, too. Sarah Washington is rocking back and forth, her eyes enormous.

Mine are dry. I take off the mask.

BEFORE

The first two days of my freshman year I was a boy.

It started in the first class of my first day of high school. English. The teacher, Indira Gupta, reprimanded me for not paying attention. She called me Mr. Wilkins. No one calls anyone Mr. or Ms. or anything like that at our school. Gupta was pissed. I stopped staring out the window, turned to look at her, wondering if there was another Wilkins in the room.

Yes, you, Mr. Micah Wilkins. When I am talking I expect your full and undivided attention. To me, not to the traffic outside.

No one giggled or said, She’s a girl.

I’d been mistaken for a boy before. Not often, but enough that I wasn’t completely surprised. I have nappy hair. I wear it natural and short, cut close to my scalp. That way I don’t have to bother with relaxing or straightening or combing it out. My chest is flat and my hips narrow. I don’t wear makeup or jewelry. None of them—neither students nor teachers—had ever seen me before.

Is that clear? Gupta said, still glaring at me.

I nodded, and mumbled in as low a voice as I could, Yes, ma’am. They were the first words I spoke at my new school. This time I wanted to keep a low profile, be invisible, not be the one everyone pointed at when I walked along the corridor: "See that one? That’s Micah. She’s a liar. No, seriously, she lies about everything." I’d never lied about everything. Just about my parents (Somali pirates, professional gamblers, drug dealers, spies), where I was from (Liechtenstein, Aruba, Australia, Zimbabwe), what I’d done (grifted, won bravery medals, been kidnapped). Stuff like that.

I’d never lied about what I was before.

Why not be a boy? A quiet sullen boy is hardly weird at all. A boy who runs, doesn’t shop, isn’t interested in clothes or shows on TV. A boy like that is normal. What could be more invisible than a normal boy?

I would be a better boy than I’d ever been a girl.

At lunch I sat at the same table as three boys I’d seen in class: Tayshawn Williams, Will Daniels, and Zachary Rubin. I’d love to say that one look at Zach and I knew but that would be a lie and I’m not doing that anymore. Remember? He was just another guy, an olive-skinned white boy, looking pale and weedy compared to Tayshawn, whose skin is darker than my dad’s.

They nodded. I nodded. They already knew each other. Their conversation was littered with names they all knew, places, teams.

I ate my meatballs and tomato sauce and decided that after school I’d run all the way to Central Park. I’d keep my sweatshirt on. It was baggy.

You play ball? Tayshawn asked me.

I nodded because it was safer than asking which kind. Boys always knew stuff like that.

We got a pickup going after, he said.

I grunted as boyishly as I could. It came out lower than I’d expected, like a wolf had moved into my throat.

You in? Zach asked, punching me lightly on the shoulder.

Sure, I said. Where?

There. He jerked his thumb in the direction of the park next to the school. The one with a gravel basketball court and a stunted baseball diamond, and a merry-go-round too close to be much use when a game was in progress. I’d run past it dozens of times. There was pretty much always a game going on.

The bell rang. Tayshawn stood up and slapped my back. See you later.

I grinned at how easy it was.

Being a boy was fast becoming my favorite lie.

SCHOOL HISTORY

All the white kids sit together. All the white kids with money, I mean.

Our high school is small and progressive and costs money. Not expensive like the uptown schools, but it’s not free. Except for the scholarship kids who mostly aren’t white. They’re here tuition free, only having to pay for their books. They mostly don’t go on field trips.

Most of the white kids don’t believe in God; most of us black kids do.

I’m undecided, stuck somewhere in between, same way I am with everything: half black, half white; half girl, half boy; coasting on half a scholarship.

I’m half of everything.

AFTER

We are all sent to counseling. There are individual sessions and group ones. The group session is first. It’s a nightmare.

Jill Wang (yes, really) makes us move the desks and arrange the chairs in a large circle. I’ve been forced to see Wang before. She is achingly sincere. She believes most everything you tell her. Even my lies.

We sit in the chairs with no desks to hide behind. I wish I were in the library studying.

Brandon Duncan stares at the boobs I barely have.

Sarah Washington turns to look at me, too. Her gaze rests somewhere below my eyes, but not so low as Brandon’s. Why do you lie all the time? she asks softly.

Why do you? I say, though I’ve never known her to lie. I say it quiet as her, staring right back, fierce as I can, pushing my gaze through the pores of her dark skin. I imagine I can feel the blood moving in her veins, the sound of breath in her lungs, the movement of the synapses in her brain. She is all buzzes and clicks. Everyone lies.

We’re here to talk about what’s happened, about how we feel, the counselor says. Is there anything you want to share about—

Don’t say his name! Sarah shouts.

Now everyone is staring at her. Her heart pumps faster, pushing the blood through her veins.

I won’t, Jill Wang says. Not if you don’t want me to.

Counselors always say stuff like that. I’ve seen lots of counselors. Psychologists, shrinks, therapists. They’re all the same. They’re supposed to stop me lying, yet they believe everything I tell them.

We don’t, Sarah mumbles.

I haven’t met most of you before. Tell me about yourselves. Let’s go around the circle. Say the first word you can think of to describe yourself. Jill Wang nods at me.

Fierce, I say.

Sarah shivers.

Cool, Brandon says. Several people laugh.

Hot, Tayshawn says. He’s the most popular guy in school so there’s laughter. But I’m pretty sure he doesn’t mean it that way. Not sexy hot. More like prickly hot. Like he needs to loosen his collar. Mine itches at me. The heat is up too high. The steam pipes clank and groan, shouting their own words.

Each student says a word. None of them is right.

The door is behind me, less than six feet away. I imagine vaulting out of the circle, over Sarah in her chair, glaring at her own knees. I can run away.

I will run away.

Gray, Sarah says, closing the circle of words. A tear eases down her cheek to match it, clings to her chin for less than a second before falling onto the wool cloth of her pants and disappearing.

Does anyone want to talk about . . . Jill pauses, swallowing Zach’s name. I hear he was very popular.

You should ask Micah, Brandon says. She was his girlfriend.

There’s laughter. They are all staring at me now, everyone except Sarah. Her head is bowed further, her breaths shallow as she tries to stop crying. She is close to losing control. I hope she will.

Very funny, Tayshawn says, glaring at Brandon. I can see he doesn’t believe it. Tayshawn is Zach’s best friend. Has been since the third grade.

I want to kill Brandon. I know why he told them: to make trouble. That’s what Brandon does. But how did he know?

Everyone is still staring. I hold my chin high and stare back at them. When people look at me my skin crawls. But I never let them see it.

Do you want to say something, Micah? Jill Wang asks.

No, I say.

She wasn’t his girlfriend, Sarah says. I was.

Tayshawn and Chantal and others agree with her.

You were his at-school girlfriend, Brandon tells Sarah. Micah was for after hours.

Sarah goes back to her crying. Tayshawn looks like he might kill Brandon. I’d be happy to help.

Jill Wang looks from Brandon to Sarah to me. I can see her weighing what to say.

I have a question, Alejandro says.

She nods for him to continue.

Everyone’s talking about grieving and all that shit—sorry, stuff. Whatever. But no one’s saying what happened to him. We keep hearing rumors and there are cops and that. But no one’s saying what’s up. Not really. So is the rumor true? Was he murdered?

The counselor spreads her hands wide, makes eye contact with all of us, to reassure us that what she is about to say is true. I know as much as you do. The police are investigating to determine whether a crime has taken place.

Alejandro doesn’t say anything else. But he doesn’t look satisfied. No one does.

AFTER

When the counseling session ends I go into one of the stalls in the bathroom, lock the door, lower the lid, and sit down, thoughts beating loud in my head, drowning the noise of toilets flushing, faucets turning on and off, air dryers louder than a generator, and, more distantly, the sound of steam in the pipes, traffic. I hold my head with my hands to keep it from exploding. My thoughts are all Zach—all about him being dead. No air in his lungs, no blood in his veins.

Or would it still be there? But not moving? Stale air, congealed blood.

Zach is dead.

I will never see him again. Never hear his voice. Never run with him. Never kiss him.

He is gone.

I know you’re in there, Sarah Washington calls, knocking on the stall door. I saw you come in.

What do you want?

Is it true? she calls.

I open the door. Sarah steps back from me, her eyes wide—she’s afraid of me, I realize—and accidentally sets off one of the dryers. She startles. I go to the sink, squeeze soap out of metal onto my palms, put my hands under the tap and, when no water appears, go to the next sink. This time the sensor works. I wash my hands thoroughly. Under fingernails, between fingers, backs of my hands, wrists. Then rinse until each sud is gone and the slimy feel of soap erased.

Above the sink are windows. Opaque with wire set into the glass, nailed shut, with metal bars on the other side, facing the street. My hands hover over the sink dripping.

You should be in class, Sarah says.

So should you.

"Study period. So is it true?" She’s come to a rest by the door, leaning against it, staring at me. The question is eating at her. She’s much prettier than I am. Why would Zach spend time with me?

Is what true? I ask. Why is she asking me about the truth? She knows I’m a liar. They all do.

Were you and him . . . ? She stops, takes a few steps toward me and then away.

Why don’t you ask Brandon? I ask. He seems to know everything. Why ask me?

Because, she begins, takes another step, and then pauses. How does Brandon know about you and him? How would Brandon know and me not? Zach was my boyfriend. He told me everything, she says, but her voice falters. No one tells anyone everything.

I stick my hands under the nearest dryer, wincing at the noise and hot air. Back, front, wrists, palms. It’s better than listening to Sarah.

So is it true? she asks, raising her voice to compete with the roar.

Why would I tell you? I say softly. There’s no moisture left on my hands, they are starting to roast, but I keep turning them back and forth.

"He was my boyfriend, she says. Everyone knew that. Why would Brandon say that you were?"

Why don’t you ask him?

She shakes her head. I did. It didn’t help. He’s still dead. She slumps, wavering between me and the door, her eyes heavy with tears. I wonder how there can be any water left in her. Brandon loves to make trouble.

I step away from the dryer, ignore the stinging of my hands. True, I say.

After-hours girlfriend? she says, echoing Brandon’s tone of voice. I never even saw him look at you. Not once.

There you go then.

He didn’t come to school sometimes. And you—you’re always skipping class, skipping whole days. Is that where he went? Was he with you?

No, I say. He wasn’t my boyfriend.

I don’t believe you. You never tell the truth.

Then why ask?

She steps away, leans against the wall again. As though standing is too hard, too much effort. She cries harder. I want to know what happened to him. His parents won’t even let me see his body. How do I know he’s dead if they won’t let me see?

I can’t imagine her wanting to see a dead body. She won’t even cut up rats in biology. Well, I heard he was shot, I say, even though I haven’t heard any such thing. That can’t look good. I try to imagine. But I can only see the whole Zach. Smiling at me, laughing.

I saw my grandma dead, Sarah says. She was lying in a coffin, all bundled in white silky fabric. Her hands around this big bunch of white lilies. Open casket, they call it. All I could think of was how much she hated flowers. Cut ones, I mean. Always said they were pointless and a waste. ‘What are they gonna do?’ she’d ask. ‘Rot. That’s what. Best leave ’em growing.’ That’s what happens when you die—you rot.

Sarah doesn’t bother to wipe away her tears. I can’t believe he’s dead. Everyone liked him. Who would kill him? Who would hate him that much? Do you know?

I don’t, but I want to know. I never saw Zach hurt anyone. Not on purpose. He preferred things to slide by, for everyone to be easy. He didn’t like to argue or fight or even mildly disagree. He’d shrug and say, Sure. Whatever. It wasn’t that he was a pushover. He mostly got things to bend his way, but without any obvious effort.

His kisses were sure and easy, too. I put my hand to my mouth, remembering what he tasted like.

"You were with him, Sarah says, staring at my mouth. Weren’t you?"

AFTER

The day I find out Zach is dead is the longest day of my life. School has always sucked. Now it’s hell.

Everyone is staring at me. Not just Sarah, not just everyone from the counseling session, but every student in the entire school, even the freshmen, the teachers, the administrative staff, the janitors.

It’s much worse than when they found out I wasn’t really a boy.

Zach is dead.

I cannot make sense of that. How can he be dead? I saw him Friday night. We climbed a tree in Central Park. We kissed. We ran. Principal Paul must have it wrong.

I wish everyone would stop looking at me. They think they know something about me and Zach, that we were—whatever it is that we were—that somehow they have something on me.

They don’t.

I keep my head down. Try to block my ears to the slut coughs. Try to focus on my remaining classes. Distract myself studying in the library. Try not to think about Zach. Try not to think about anything other than my studies.

Brandon mouths a word at me as the final bell rings.

Killer.

At least I think that’s what it is.

I push my way out of class, down the corridor, down the front steps, quick as I can with backpack slung over shoulder, hands gripping the straps tight, away from school, from people I know. When I turn the corner onto West Broadway I take off.

I run all the way to Central Park and once I get there I run harder and faster, lifting knees high, pumping arms hard. I run distance at a sprint. I pass even the fastest joggers. No one is as fast and fevered as me. I’m going to run all the poison and whispers and grief out of my veins.

I don’t go home until I’m run into the ground and taking another step would kill me.

FAMILY HISTORY

You probably think I’m weird with the mask and the sort-of-but-not-really boyfriend who’s dead and all the lies.

Past lies, I mean. I haven’t lied to you and I won’t. Saying that Zach was my boyfriend when he was mostly Sarah’s is not a lie. He was mine. Like Brandon said—after hours.

You want to know why I used to lie?

Let me tell you about my family:

My parents are still together. Living in the same house. When they aren’t arguing, they’re doting. I can never decide which is worse.

My dad’s name is Isaiah Wilkins. He’s black like me. My mom is Maude Bourgault, or was, she’s Maude Wilkins now. She’s white. Though Dad doesn’t believe it. Dad can see the black in anyone even when it isn’t there. He tells the world the way he wishes, not the way it is. Dad says Mom’s hair is near as nappy as his own and doubts that her full lips came from anywhere white. Mom laughs. How would she know? She’s adopted and hated her family. She ran away.

I’ve never met my mother’s family. Just Dad’s.

Dad’s dad was black, but his mom is white. Grandmother’s our whole family. She and Great-Aunt Dorothy, and, when he was alive, Great-Uncle Hilliard. The oldest ones left are Grandmother and Great-Aunt. I call them the Greats.

To say the Wilkins are reclusive would be to understate it. They take keeping to your own a long way past crazy. They stay on their farm. All two hundred acres of it. They are self-sufficient. They don’t understand

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Pendapat orang tentang Liar

3.7
87 peringkat / 67 Ulasan
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  • (5/5)
    If you haven't read it, I highly recommend that you do.I'm not sure what to say because I really don't want to spoil anyone. This book would be no fun otherwise. Well, a little fun, but it wouldn't be the same. I am weirdly a fan of unreliable narrator books which is funny because they are no fun in real life. But I digress. Micah is a piece of work. I felt so sorry for her, but at the same time, I almost couldn't stand her. Larbalestier did a brilliant job of writing an almost sympathetic unreliable narrator. She did a brilliant job of making me believe multiple things at once and of convincing me each and every time that she was telling the truth. A-maz-ing.The Little Bookworm
  • (5/5)
    The premise: ganked from BN.com: Micah will freely admit she’s a compulsive liar, but that may be the one honest thing she’ll ever tell you. Over the years she’s fooled everyone: her classmates, her teachers, even her parents. And she’s always managed to stay one step ahead of her lies. That is, until her boyfriend dies under brutal circumstances and her dishonesty begins to catch up with her. But is it possible to tell the truth when lying comes as easily as breathing? Taking listeners deep into the psyche of a young woman who will say just about anything to convince them — and herself — that she’s finally come clean, Liar is a bone-chilling thriller that will have listeners seesawing between truths and lies right up to the end. Honestly.My RatingKeeper Shelf: there are very, very, VERY few books that I want to keep around to re-read over and over and over, but this is definitely one of them. The book engaged me on so many levels that I can't wait to read it again and see how the story changes. And because of the book's deliberate yet delightful ambiguity, this is a book I can enjoy over and over and come away with a different interpretation every time. If you're a reader who absolutely MUST HAVE a DEFINITE ENDING with DEFINITE ANSWERS, you may want to shy away from this one. But oh, that'd be a shame. This book is so well-crafted that you'd be missing out on a really great story. Like I said, whether you read YA or not, if you only ever read ONE novel in your life that's targeted to YA, you should read this one. Because it transcends age. It transcends genre. It's a memorable book that I won't soon forget, and once you read it, you won't either.Review style: short and sweet and ABSOLUTELY NO SPOILERS. You will RUIN this book if you spoil it for yourself, even if you spoil yourself a little bit. The full review just lists five reasons why you should give this book a shot, so if you're interested, feel free to click the link below to my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)REVIEW: Justine Larbalestier's LIARHappy Reading! :)
  • (4/5)
    There's no review here only because I can't think of any way I can review this without spoilers. You want to go into this book knowing as little about it as possible beforehand. And then enjoy the ride.
  • (4/5)
    Micah is a pathological liar - this is the only reliable aspect about the book. She is such an unreliable narrator, that I was uncomfortable all the way through wondering if she was telling me the truth or not. Even now, although I've finished the book, I'm still not sure what the exact truth is. An interesting psychological thriller.
  • (5/5)
    I first heard of Liar when everyone was talking about the controversy surrounding the original cover. I filed it away in the back of my mind, thinking of picking the book up when it came out. I was reminded of it recently when friends started to talk about it again -- through having read it, now -- and put it on my last minute Christmas list. Cue me getting it in the mail yesterday, and being almost unable to resist the lure of the first page, which starts with the hook, "I was born with a light covering of fur."

    If you don't enjoy unreliable narrators, step away right now. Micah is as unreliable as you can get, and the whole book peels back -- or layers on -- more of her lies.

    For the first part of the book, it could be the story of a normal teenager -- one who has had bad things happen to her, and who is a loner, yes, but one who is essentially like those around her. It doesn't stay like that, though: if you're not a fan of fantastical elements, you probably want to step back now.

    The thing with this book is that there are at least two ways of reading it. It's a delicate balance to walk, but Larbalestier does, in my opinion, walk it well. It wasn't wholly unpredictable, but I have been spoiled a little by reading other people's reviews. If you can, and this book sounds interesting to you, then try to go into it knowing as little as possible -- just knowing that Micah is a liar (not a spoiler: it's in the title).

    The other thing that pleased me was the fact that the book has non-white characters -- chiefly non-white characters, in fact -- and LGBT content, plus a generally sex-positive attitude. There's totally non-explicit sexual references, there's an understanding of teenagers feeling and dealing with desire, and I didn't get a 'sex is bad, hush, we don't talk about sex' vibe from it.

    (It irks me that there are likely people reading this review thinking, 'I'd better not give this to my teenage daughter.' There's nothing in this that would have damaged my fragile fourteen year old psyche. It's just people.)

    I realise this doesn't tell you much about how I, personally, felt about this book: I read it within the space of an afternoon, and kept stopping myself after every fifty pages so I could drag it out more and enjoy it for that bit longer. When I put it down, I already had a list of people I want to recommend it to.
  • (3/5)
    This is such an unusual book. An unreliable narrator starts the tale which becomes a murder mystery and then a supernatural story. It works!
  • (4/5)
    I did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did but it came heartily recommended. I was not disappointed.Cleverly written in spare, efficient prose, this book offers twist and turns inside the life and mind of Michah, a 17 year old attending a private school. Teachers are called by their first names and one class she takes is "Dangerous Words". Each chapter holds your interest and pulls you in deeper and deeper as she slowly reveals details about her family, her relatives, her home life, her past, her behavior. And then she tells you the truth. Or she tells you a lie. You are being manipulated and it's a fun, brisk ride. Why is there a cage in her bedroom? Why won't she open her DNA results? Why did her father marry a french woman? Why is her Great Uncle dead? Who is "the white boy"? Where is Erin? I guessed the major twist ahead of time but this won't dampen one's appreciation of this little gem. Highly recommended.
  • (5/5)
    Micah has a secret. It's so big, so strange, that she's been a habitual liar all her life. As she tells her story, she begins to let the reader in on her secret, but only in spurts and with enough lies and retractions that it's hard to know where the truth is. Absorbing and well laid out, this book should appeal to high schoolers, especially girls.
  • (5/5)
    Very good. As they say 'keeps you guessing'? But in this case, it really does! The unreliable narrator seems to get more unreliable as time goes on, even though it's less. Well, probably less. At the end, I didn't know what to believe. Fortunately the author will let us believe whatever we want.I'll be seeking out more of Larbalestier's books.
  • (4/5)
    **SPOILER** Micah admits to being a liar but promises in this book to tell the truth. And maybe she has...or maybe not. She tells her story of being born a werewolf through lies of omission, lies of convenience, and then clarifying those lies by stating what really happened...but then turning her statements back on their heads. It makes for an interesting unspooling of a fantasy/mystery but I expected an ending to mess with my head, which it didn't really. This is the book that had the furor over the original cover art, which was a picture of a white girl, although in the story Micah clearly describes her father as black. My only issue with the current cover is that the model looks feminine, not boyish. (Micah describes passing as a boy for several days when she starts high school.)
  • (2/5)
    I was not a huge fan of this book. I like to have a little bit of story to hang onto, and there was none here.
  • (5/5)
    Liar is about a girl named Micah, who is dated a guy named Zach. During school she tries to contact him because he's been missing for a few days now. After, during a class in school, the Principal walks into Micah's class room and annouces Zach is dead. Micah is a liar so she lies a lot in this book. After a few weeks of Zach's funeral, things started to change and then the Real truth comes out in the end.I give this book a 10/10 because its a very suspenseful book and has lots of stories and details of what things happened and how life is like for her.
  • (4/5)
    Micah lies almost constantly, to almost everyone. This is her attempt to tell her story without lying.In many ways, this book was exactly what I was expecting. In other ways, it wasn't what I was expecting at all, and I feel struck by a sort of mental whiplash caused by trying to figure out and keep track of what was true and what wasn't.It is skillfully written and utterly fascinating.
  • (3/5)
    Started off brilliantly but as soon as the werewolf fantasy makes an appearance the book begins to unravel. The idea that the chief protagonist is unbelievable is the hook that had me engaged, but in fantasy anything is possible, so my interest waned at this point.
  • (3/5)
    generally well-written but I tired of it before it ended
  • (2/5)
    Ugh.

    Spoiler alert.

    I didn't realize this was a paranormal story. I should have figured it out sooner, there were plenty of clues in the narrative. I've quit reading at about 50%, I'm just not interested in werewolves.
  • (3/5)
    It's been a Long Time since I was a young adult - or whatever it was that they called us in those days. I should declare I'm not 100% sure I know why I was reading a book that's so obviously for young adults as LIAR is. I should also declare that I'm profoundly and very dogmatically allergic to some aspects of the "fantastic". I am, however, not completely opposed to the entire "other", the mystical or inexplicable (otherwise a couple of my all time favourite books are completely unfathomable), but I am twitchy about these things. Very very twitchy.LIAR is therefore not the book for me. Having said that, I could see how it might work for lots (okay well probably most) other readers. It's an interesting idea. It's presented well (I'm sure that sinking feeling of the obvious that I felt as things started to reveal themselves was just my problem). It's well written, I can see how it would be extremely engaging. In it's favour - there's no swooning romance in sight, that vampire / sighing romance thing that's around at the moment being my most particular pet-loathing. There was an attraction between two young kids that works, and is oddly realistic (in terms of the rest of the stuff that's going on). The way the truth is revealed is elegantly done and I can really see how this book would appeal to anybody without a pathological barf reflex at the central premise.
  • (4/5)
    I absolutely loved the first half of this: the twists and turns as Micah teases out bits of fact from fiction, admits that some of what she's confessed to is a lie. She's reliably unreliable in what she says her truths are, so when she gets to the major one, you still don't know if you can actually trust her. She does admit that small lies pile up, so... who knows what's true and what's an elaborate story she's telling herself.

    That said, I wasn't really on board with the Big Reveal--but it's easy enough to convince myself that Micah was lying about it anyway.

    I can see why this is getting so much hype, and I'm honestly surprised there's no Rosebud-is-a-sled spoiling around the internet. yet. Maybe you should read this fast, before word gets out.
  • (5/5)
    Micah is a freak and a compulsive liar - that much you can trust. When her boyfriend dies under suspicious circumstances, she starts to lose it. Suddenly there is more focus on her at school than ever - Nobody knew Micah was dating popular basketball player, Zach. His real girlfriend, Sarah, has a lot of questions, and so do the police. Home life isn't any better, which isn't a surprise, since that's where Micah learned the trade of lying so well. Not to mention she is cursed by a "family gene" that she can't control. But what is it about this gene that makes Micah so different? Or is it just something else she made up? This book is 100% riveting, and it's a thrill you won't soon forget.
  • (5/5)
    Exquisite. A perfect balancing act. Just how unreliable is this narrator? Who knows? I'm not sure Larbalestier knows. The cover is too overtly feminine for Micah, but thank the stars they changed the image.
  • (3/5)
    This was written well...interesting premise, but really, the moment the whole "Werewolf" thing came about, I was immediately turned off. I understand that she's a liar and can not be believed, but just the fact that it was in consideration....ugh.
  • (5/5)
    A great story, especially for those of us who are compulsive and pathological liar's ourselves. With the truth, or what we percieve to be the truth, changing so often it is hard to grasp the truth in this book. It is a good book, in the end I am still unsure of what is lies and what is fact, but as Micah tells us early on..."fragments of the truth can often be found in lies."
  • (5/5)
    Don't let the YA tag stop you, this is the best kind of young adult literature, compelling and unique.Micah is a liar. She's lied all her life, but now she's telling the truth. Her boyfriend - her secret boyfriend - has died under mysterious and brutal circumstances, and she wants to set the record straight.This time she's telling the truth. She promises.
  • (3/5)
    Micah Wilkens, a senior at a "hippie" high school, narrates Justine Larbalestier's book, Liar. Micah, as suggested by the book's title, is a pathological liar. She begins her story by promising to tell the reader the truth about her life. She weaves what seems to be an incredibly unbelievable story and explains that she lies because of the horrible truth of her life. During the course of this story, Micah is battling with the fact she has the "family illness." At the same time, she is trying to grieve the death of her secret lover, Zach, who was found murdered in Central Park. Micah's peers suspect she is involved in Zach's death. They know she's spun wild lies before, and there are rumors she and Zach had a "special" relationship. Readers must decide whether Micah is telling the truth and if she is to blame for Zach's violent murder.
  • (4/5)
    Micah is a compulsive liar who has earned herself a reputation at every school she's attended. She can't seem to help making up crazy stories about herself and her family. Her excuse is that she has a huge secret that she absolutely must keep, so she surrounds it with lots of little lies to keep it safe. Micah narrates her story and has promised to come clean to us, the readers. She jumps back and forth in time to before and after her "boyfriend" turned up missing and was found violently murdered. As her story goes on, Micah reveals the lies she has been telling in spite of her promise. Some of these lies are small, but many are incredible and simply not the kind of thing someone would lie about. As she reveals her deepest secret and the mysterious plot continues to unfold, readers will have to decide for themselves whether or not to believe what the Liar is saying.This is a psychologically disturbing and compelling novel that makes effective use of the unreliable narrator. Some readers may find her big secret to be a bit of a stretch, but it fits well within the body of contemporary teen novels. Language is rich and descriptive, painting a vivid picture of Micah's world and its complexity. The ending is rather chaotic, but it is an enjoyable and memorable read overall.Liar is highly recommended for high school and public libraries, and will be particularly enjoyed by teens who are interested in mystery, mind games, and complex characters.
  • (4/5)
    Crazy-odd book written by Micah, the protagonist, who is a pathological liar. There are curveballs all the way to the end. Where is Micah now? What is she doing? Depends on who you believe. This is a fun read with lots of twists and turns. If you think you can spot a liar - or when a friend or your child is lying - give this book a read; it will shatter your confidence. The story dragged for me in the beginning to where I put it down. When I resumed reading this liar's tale it became a page-turner.I recommend this for teens and adults. Good fun.
  • (4/5)
    When Micah's boyfriend is found dead, Micah tells us her story. She meshes lies and truths to create an interesting story that will keep you thinking even after you finish the book. This is a good read for adults and young adults alike. The main character is a compulsive liar that lies about everything from her gender to family background. What makes this book interesting is that Micah, the main character, is so adept at lying that she dupes the reader, and the characters in the story, into believing her lies. You never know what is really going on so you find yourself turning page after page hoping to finally discover the truth. About midway through the book the constant reversals in her story become a bit weary, but this changes quickly and the plot moves nicely until the end. Did Micah kill her boyfriend? Is she a werewolf? See if you can decipher Micah's lies.
  • (5/5)
    Wow, this was much tougher, more ambiguous stuff than I was expecting. I made a note to myself, once, flagging Jo Walton's statement that if you're going to right a book in the first person, your narrator has to have a good memory. It seemed to me that you could do it otherwise. This isn't quite that - it isn't that the narrator here doesn't have a good memory for things, it's that she lies about them constantly, correcting herself later, so that you never know if you should believe what she's telling you. She has a boyfriend, she has a brother, she turns into a wolf once a month if she doesn't take her pills - which of these are true, and which should you not believe?
  • (1/5)
    4Q, 3PThis was my audiobook choice for this course, and I have to admit it was quite the difficult experience for me. I was warned, both by the narrator and the people I know who've read the book, about the lying involved, but I was wholly unprepared for the extent of it. Did anything in this book really happen? It's so hard to say. It was very difficult to be wrapped up in this first-person narrative, inside Micah's compulsive liar mind. She/he/it, in my opinion, is an absolutely horrible person/thing. Wow, what an emotional roller coaster! I do have to say, though, that I think this would be a great choice for a book group discussion. I can see some people really liking the exploration of the loose ends this this book leaves unanswered, and others really hating them. I think that this polarizing effect could make for some great discussion.Some notes on the audio part of this book. I found the performer's accents (the French mother, several Latin American characters, to name a few) to be really poor. They were also distracting. Another thing that I notice was that when I listened to the discs in my car, the ends of each "chapter" were cut off, which was very disorienting. When I listened to it in iTunes, however, this problem was eliminated.
  • (5/5)
    Reading this is like peeling an onion. Where it is going is not where you expect from page to page. This teen has problems that seem "normal" on the surface but the deeper she goes into telling her story, the more bizarre they become, and because she is a self-confessed liar, she changes the truth from chapter to chapter. When her secret boyfriend is announced at school as missing and then murdered, the mystery begins as to what her role may have been, at least the versions she slowly, reveals through layers of truth and lies. Saying more would be an extreme spoiler. Very-well written with pacing that keeps the reader turning pages just to figure out what happened and what her fate will be.