Friday, March 27, 2015

Review: Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

Title: Liars, Inc
Author: Paula Stokes
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: 24 March, 2015
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

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.
Review by Nara

Note: this is a review of the ARC (advanced reader copy) of the book, to which the author apparently made a whole heap of changes. So the final edition of the book may actually have solved some of the problems I've listed here.

While on the whole, it was quite enjoyable, upon finishing Liars, Inc, I felt like there was a little something missing for the book to be labelled an absolutely fantastic one. I briefly thought about what this thing could have been and I realised that it was most probably believability. The story of Liars, Inc is a thrilling one and a relatively well developed one and even a clever one, but it is most definitely not a realistic one.

I was set out to expect a tale that maybe stretched the boundaries of my abilty to suspend disbelief, seeing as though the book is about a boy charged for the murder of his classmate due to being part of an organisation that makes up lies/excuses for people (read the blurb, it has a better explanation than this). But I really didn't expect the story to take such a turn into the weird and, frankly, crazy. There are certain events that definitely have you raising your eyebrows- some of which even happen in the first chapter of the book.

Despite this element of unbelievability, I still really enjoyed Liars, Inc overall. It was a story that definitely had you second guessing everything especially who the culprit is and who you can really trust. Some elements of the plot twists were ridiculously obvious, but others were complete surprises (mostly because they were so ridiculously insane that you honestly could not guess them unless you thought so far out the box that you fall off the edge of the Earth...) The characters are all pretty interesting and well developed- although there are really only three main characters (Max, Preston, Parvati), each of their backgrounds are quite well fleshed out, with these backgrounds playing a major role in the main plot of the book.

So, all in all, I would probably recommend this book. Despite problems with believability, Liars, Inc still offers a very action-packed, twisting tale that has you doubting everything. I'll definitely be looking out for more books by Paula Stokes.

Really liked it

Overall: 8/10
Plot: 3/5
Romance: 4/5
Writing: 3.5/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Cover: 2/5

This post is a part of Contemporary Conversations, hosted by The Thousand Lives and Talking Bookworm.
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