By Justine Larbalestier

You might notice that I am reading a LOT of YA novels lately… and while I adore YA lit, this really isn’t about a quest for easy-to-read pleasure. I am in the midst of forming and reading a bibliography that will form the foundation of my PhD qualifying exams as well as my eventual dissertation.

This book was recommended to me by my dissertation chair and YA lit lover/scholar. He thought it would be an interesting addition to the bibliography.

This is the story of a high school girl, Micah, who, you guessed it, is a compulsive liar.

The boy that she has secretly been hooking up with has been found dead, apparently murdered. She is a social outcast because of her constant lies, including telling people that she was actually a boy, that she was born a hermaphrodite, that her father is an arms dealer… I don’t really blame them for thinking of her as someone to avoid.

Additionally, she makes repeated references to some family illness that she inherited and talks about the gaps in her family history and her parents’ obvious preference for her little brother.

Because of her strange demeanor and continual lies to the police, she almost immediately becomes a suspect in the murder.

Here’s the thing about Liar: there is a twist that happens. If you take this twist literally, this becomes one of the stupidest books I’ve ever read.

But if you don’t… then something far more interesting is going on, something complex, something worthy of being used in my PhD bibliography and dissertation.

I wish I could discuss the stupid twist and I wish I could tell you what I think is really going on… but I am not really one to ruin books. And, to be honest, I am curious if you are able to read between the lines and find truth for yourself.

Read it and let me know.

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