Monday, 19 March 2012

Justine Larbalestier - Liar

Title: Liar
Author: Justine Larbalestier
Pub. year: 2009
Pages: 376
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing

Summary: Micah Wilkins is a liar. 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? Did they kiss? Did she see him the night he died? And is she really hiding a family secret? Where does the actual truth lie?

First of all, we have bad news for you: you shouldn't read this review. It's not us saying it but the author herself, explaing why you should not be spoiled. So now, you are warned. We'll do our best not to spoil you and only refer to the general feeling, but if you can read the book first and come back afterwards, it would probably be best.

Was the story good?

Lily: Ah, well, I don't know. I'm not sure this is the kind of story really suited for me. As the author says, it's that sort of book which has many reads, and no one is right or wrong, and everyone sees it as they want to. I don't like that, I want to be told a story from start to end, not guessing what's true or not. I guess the story is good, and many people will find amazing how the reader can decide what to believe in, but I don't. Ok, so I was clearly bored with all the questioning, truth and untruth, and more questioning... bleh.

Lyra: I personnaly enjoyed it. The "many reads, no one's right or wrong" aspect didn't bother me. I was expecting a lot more messing with my head, so actually it wasn't that disturbing. Plus, open ends tends to both annoy me (I want to know what the author thought) and make me glad that I can imagine what happens next (because the story also belong to the reader), so I'm okay with them. Then, I liked the questioning even if sometimes it was a bit redundant because it made me thought about some stuff about myself and how I see things. So it's always a good point.

Were the characters moving?

Lily: No. It pains me to say it as plainly as that but THE character is Micah—the narrator—who only talks about herself or her dead boyfriend (and sometimes, friends and family, but they are only "helping" characters). The dead boyfriend could have been nice if he wasn't, like, dead. But Micah? Gosh, this girl... so she's a liar, ok, no surprise there. But beyond this (I don't care so much about the lying part) she's always, always asking questions, reflecting on herself, on others, bathing in self pity and mourning and complaining and oh-gosh-kill-me-now do I have to be with her for 376 pages?! I wish I would have liked her, because that would mean I would have liked the book. Well, that didn't happen.

Lyra: I agree on the "not moving" part, and the fact that sometimes you just want to slap Micah so she stops with the self pity. But other than that, I enjoyed her character. I liked to see the picture from the liar, get to know what she is thinking and why. I liked the fact that I felt I was in her mind (with limited access of course), not reading a book. We don't really have time to discover the other characters, so, not moving either. I felt like this book was shorter than it was, as if it was a short story, when it comes to what we know about the others.

So altogether... a must read or not?

Lily: I don't really need to explain more than I already did, right? This book is great, it's original, it's worth re-reading many times if you like making theories and chasing clues, but I never got into it. I'm just too old fashion, waiting for the story to come out by itself—if I need to dig for it, all is lost. I think anyone curious should read it because somehow, it's worth doing it, the mix of reality, fantasy and craziness is really something else. But well... it didn't work for me. Too bad!

Lyra: I can't really say. I think it's a very personnal appreciation (as always, I know, but especially here) because as you can see, this book devides. I hope our explanations of our perceptions helped you to position yourself about whether you could like it or not. Also, it's better if you have the paper version because if you want to be able to go back to check something (and trust me, it happens a lot), it's easier if it's not an ebook.

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