Micah freely admits that she's a compulsive liar. And that may be the one honest thing she'll ever tell you. Over the years she's duped her classmates, her teachers, and even her parents. But when her boyfriend, Zach, dies under brutal circumstances, the shock might be enough to set her straight. Or maybe not. Especially when lying comes as naturally to her as breathing. ...more Micah freely admits that she's a compulsive liar. And that may be the one honest thing she'll ever tell you. Over the years she's duped her classmates, her teachers, and even her parents. But when her boyfriend, Zach, dies under brutal circumstances, the shock might be enough to set her straight. Or maybe not. Especially when lying comes as naturally to her as breathing. Was Micah dating Zach? Or was Sarah his real girlfriend? And are the stories Micah tells about inheriting a "family gene" real or are they something that only exists in her mind?
Breathtaking in its plotting, and narrated by one of the most psychologically complex young women to emerge since Sybil, Liar is a roller-coaster that will have listeners grasping for the truth. Honestly.
Details: Liar by Justine Larbalestier, 376 pages, 3.48 stars on Goodreads
My Thoughts: My friends and I make jokes, sometimes, that all writers are compulsive liars, and that - compulsive and pathological liars - is something I've always taken rather lightly. So when I picked up this book, I wasn't sure what to expect, but it wasn't this. I didn't anticipate being completely swept in to the point where I had to struggle to put it down. I never thought there would be passages that were so honest and heartbreaking and confusing that I would read them over and over again until the words were ingrained in my skull. And it definitely never occurred to me that this would became my favorite book, ever.
I have long been a fan of the psychological kinds of books - novels, even movies, that take you on mindbending journeys and make you think and cringe and cry and your pulse quicken. I don't like horror movies/books, so it's hard for me to find that perfect kind of book, but Liar is just that - the perfect kind of book for me. Micah is the best kind of character, complex and real. Sometimes I just wanted to take her by the shoulders and shake her and tell her to start telling the truth, to stop lying, but that was a part of her. Being a compulsive liar not only made her a unique character, it added so many complicated (but in a great way!) layers to the story, because you don't know if what she says is true or not.
And that was the most amazing facet of the story, simply that you can't tell what part of the narration is true. Towards the end of the book, she begins to count the lies she's told during the narration, and they could be horrifying and strange and sometimes, oddly enough, heart-twisting. But there are still parts - especially one very large part, the "family illness" as she calls it in the beginning, that you just don't know. She doesn't count it among the lies she says she's told, but how can you know? Micah is, after all, a compulsive liar. But then again, she tells about the frustration of when you're telling the truth and people don't believe you because it's the boy who cried wolf all over again.
The ending blew my mind. I would honestly count this ending as the best ending I have ever read in a book. It's been two months since I read this, and I still think about that ending. The last line echoes in my mind over and over again. I'm itching to say it in this review, but if you choose to read this book - and you absolutely, absolutely, absolutely should - it's better to read it for the first time yourself, after all the build-up of the previous pages. It's wonderful and spectacular and startling and grim, and it's so, so perfect. It's the kind of last line that I imagine the author, upon first thinking of it, must have squealed at the perfection of it. (Maybe Justine Larbalestier doesn't squeal. But I would have. Definitely.)
I wish more people I know would read this book because I need to discuss it with someone so badly. I want to debate it, to figure out together if Micah is telling the truth or lying or if maybe we're just not meant to know. So, I absolutely, one hundred percent, definitely think that everyone else should read it.
Plot - 5/5
Characters - 5/5
Writing - 5/5
Impact - 5/5
Inability to put it down - 4.5/5
Overall - 98% = A+