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Dirty Liar

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  339 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
A heartbreaking breakthrough novel about coming to grips with a tortured past from acclaimed PUSH novelist Brian James

Benji has to escape his home. His mother's boyfriend has crossed the line, and Benji can't deal with it anymore. So he leaves behind everything he knows to go live with his father and stepmother in Portland. His stepmother is nice, but he doesn't trust her.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 1st 2006 by Push
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 907)
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Aug 12, 2013 Lydia rated it it was amazing
I've been waiting for years to write a review of this book because I wanted to get the wording just right and this feels like the best time. This book is the best book I have ever read. Now, I've read a lot of books in my short 17 years and no other book has impacted me to the extent that this work has. I've read this book two or three times since my first read simply because I have such an incredible experience reading it time and time again.

The story is a companion novel to James's previous w
Oct 25, 2007 Tenaya rated it it was amazing
I was actually given this book as a gift from someone. It's really good. It's kinda emo but you know me, the emo person hahaha. Anyway, the main character deals with his family that is falling apart and he is on a thin line with love, life, and staying sane. I think this book is the kinda book you read as a guilty pleasure on like a rainy day or something. I recommend it.
Nov 04, 2010 Danielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction
This I just didn't think anyone or anything could be so like me..
I loved it.
Mar 21, 2012 Helene rated it it was amazing
I admit that I have a weakness for books that make me cry. And even a stronger weakness for books that make me cringe at the level of vulnerability that an author is willing to allow themselves to feel in order to write a book.

So Dirty Liar, which I tripped over while looking for something else at the library floored me. I have a rule. If I take something out of the library and dog-ear more than 5 pages, I usually buy the book (sorry Nashville library system). Let's just say that I've already or
Olivia Panzer
Oct 07, 2015 Olivia Panzer rated it liked it
Dirty Liar is written by Brian James and is an intriguing novel written for sad or depressed teenagers. It is more focused for teens and since this is based on the author’s childhood, it could be relatable to kids in the same situations. The story is about a boy named Benji, that has had a rough childhood with his mother and stepfather. When his stepfather crosses the line for one last time, Bengi has had enough and moves away to live with his father, stepmother, and stepsister in their sleepy s ...more
Jan 25, 2009 Jaemi rated it it was amazing
Benji sees the world in shades of angel and demon, which makes it, more often than not, a rather scary place. While his father may be less trouble than his mother, less abusive, less of a demon-magnet, in order to live with him Benji had to leave his personal angel, Lacie, behind.

Being in a new school suits him, though, as it's easier to disappear when no one knew you were there to begin with. Being labeled a freak is fine with him. As long as no one takes any notice. As long as no one tries to
May 07, 2012 Sara rated it it was ok
I really disliked this book. I don't know how to describe it other than it was all just words. I never got into the story and I never felt a connection with any of the characters. I could see Brian James trying to write from a deeply troubled, abused boy's perspective, but he just missed the mark. There's no action in the book... just the main character keeping a secret and then telling the secret and then moving on... all interspersed with some strange dreams and imagery. Waste of my time.
Nov 14, 2011 Amy rated it liked it
Brian James has a unique writing style that's very character driven, so much that I find myself immersed in the dark ramblings of his MC's.
If you are looking for a story packed with plot Dirty Liar is not for you, but if you want a disturbing peek inside the head of a teenage boy who has probably seen more bad things in his short life than most do in a lifetime, check this out.
Felicia Burriss
Mar 08, 2010 Felicia Burriss rated it really liked it
this book is basically a teenage read. but parts of it are really profound.
in the beginning of the book, it reads:

"i am nothing to them.
i'm only a list of differences....a list of adjectives to describe what they see when they look at me...
a collection of words to define themselves as whatever i am not.
strange because they say so.
weird because they say so."
Katelyn Porter
Feb 05, 2013 Katelyn Porter rated it it was amazing
Amazing book ! I felt like I was right there watching it all happen as I was reading ! Breathtaking book , just absolutely fantastic !
Aug 15, 2010 Summer rated it it was amazing
Very good book. It seems so real, as if the author knew EXACTLY how the character felt.
Susane Colasanti
A powerful story packed with raw, unfiltered emotion.
Aug 03, 2011 Megan rated it really liked it
it's great, but be prepared. it hits you.
Jun 30, 2014 Amy rated it it was ok
This book was just okay. Benji has a group of "friends" if you could call them that, and they're a poor influence on him. He gets involved in some toxic habits, but it appears he never really lets them get out of hand. Benji always carries a notebook around and doodles/writes conversations down that he hears going on around him. He left his alcoholic mother to move in with his dad in Oregon. Benji has a really hard time adapting and getting along with his father, who left him when he was little. ...more
Aug 02, 2015 Kalie rated it it was amazing
ive read this book too many times to count, over and over again finding new things to love about it. each time i read it i find new meaning to each concept James presents. i adore this book. 10/10 would recommend
Paige [eastIndies.]
This is a simple story of brokenness and healing. While it sounds like something I'd write, there are also aspects of it that I can learn from both as a writer and a reader. Through letting it out and learning to be himself, Benji learns how to get rid of the "demons" and resolve his past. I really enjoyed the ending. Some books like this have endings that are very cliche and are way too short and sweet for their genre. I think Brian James does a wonderful job at making the theme and what Benji ...more
Jul 03, 2009 Hannah rated it liked it
Recommends it for: teenagers, young adults
This was a tale of an understandably angry young man. It is a journal of his life after escaping from his abusive mother and boyfriend and it's proof that damage done long ago can still reap repercussions in the present moment. The raw anger that jumped out of the pages was so vibrant and loud that I got the feeling the author was not just describing some random character but himself. The self-destructive tone in the beginning of the book definitely sets a pace. I liked the book but I didn't lov ...more
Nov 30, 2011 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
so far i can already tell that this book is going to be filled with a lot of drugs,alcohol, and swearing but so far i have learned that Benji is not normal to his friends at school. They all think he is some weird freak but on the inside he is a nice kid just in with the wrong people. Right now he is smoking like every day with his dad and friend but its not cigarettes it like crystal meth and stuff like that so this book should be very interesting to keep reading.
Apr 11, 2011 Gina rated it really liked it
Benji is a young teen boy who has fled from his alcoholic mother's home to live with his father and stepmother outside Portland, OR. He was happy to leave his mother's home, but sad about leaving his girlfriend. He has a hard time fitting in at school and adjusting to life with his dad. This is a good story about overcoming difficult obstacles and learning how to depend on other people.
Jun 30, 2009 Danielle rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, work
Read for work, otherwise I wouldn't have picked it up on my own because it is a very rough realistic novel. Teenage Benji was abused by his mother and her boyfriend, and his story is told with flashbacks to his horrible experiences with his mother, and with his current, uncomfortable life with his father and stepmother. Good story.
Feb 29, 2016 Liz rated it it was ok
Pretty good- had to reach the end to really enjoy it though
Sep 03, 2008 Annie rated it really liked it
I love Brian James' language/style and especially his characters. Since I'm still young, I felt more of a connection with the main character. I think the way I was able to relate to the situations and the character in this book was what made it that much more enjoyable to read.
Jan 26, 2014 Lisa rated it liked it
Dec 21, 2012 Amanda rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 06, 2011 Nadine rated it it was ok
I didnt really enjoy reading this book. I was eager to read Dirty Liar after finishing Perfect World but I was really disapointed and I just couldn't quite connect with the "new" Benji.
Brittany Pickard
Jul 29, 2011 Brittany Pickard rated it it was amazing
This book was really good!! I liked how benji was so lost and hurt and at the end he knew everything would b oki . Cuz he knew who he was and noone would stop that !
Nov 18, 2007 Bre rated it it was amazing
Let people know how you're feeling because having your emotions pent up inside of you can't lead to anything good.
Feb 01, 2013 Diana rated it did not like it
To be honest, I wasn't really into the book. I read better. Total waste of my time. Sorry.
Jul 06, 2010 Dara rated it it was ok
This was a dark read. Be ready.
Sep 13, 2011 Liam rated it it was amazing
grait book
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I've written numerous children's books, including the Pirate School series and the Catkid series. I'm also the author of several novels: Pure Sunshine; Tomorrow, Maybe; Perfect World; Dirty Liar; Thief; Zombie Blondes; The Heights.

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