Title: Liars, Inc.
Author: Paula Stokes
Publication date: March 24th 2015
Buy at: BookDepository
For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV’s How to Get Away with Murder.
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.
Wow. I did not see that coming. I did not see nearly anything in this book coming. And if that is not praise enough for this kind of book, I don’t know what is.
Indeed, I was second guessing every move and every word of every single character until the very last page. When the big reveal came about, I was still shocked. Even if I did not particularly enjoy the “villain monologue” included in it (they feel rather overused by now), I must give it to Liars Inc. It is a brilliant thriller that more than does its job of keeping you entertained and on your toes the whole way through. The fact that the characters keep making some very bad, if not questionable decisions only helps fuel both doubts and the necessity to keep reading.
But it’s not just when it comes to twists, turns, lies, and surprises that Liars Inc. is a blessing from the thriller gods. Although it is one of its biggest strengths, one of the things I loved the most about the book were the characters and their relationships, in particular that of Max and his family. It’s not often that family gets acknowledged in YA books. Usually, they only show up once or twice and are mostly forgotten by the teen characters. Here, although still without great physical presence, the family is important. Max does not forget them, and refers to them every so often. How refreshing is that? Not to mention that the family itself is absolutely lovely.
What’s more, all characters feel very real. From a boy’s duplicity, to a mother’s exhaustion, it’s too easy to see them walking in our world, carrying out the story they undertake in the book. In the end, that’s what you want from a good book.
The author has mentioned that there were quite a few changes made to the book between the ARC’s and book’s releases. Changes that, from what I’ve heard, were for the better. If the ARC was such a wild ride, I can’t imagine how fantastic the final book must be. For all lovers of thrills and lies, this is an unmissable book.
The book in a quote
“When you care about someone, you can’t just turn that off because you learn they betrayed you.”