Midnite's Reviews > The Liar Society

The Liar Society by Lisa Roecker
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's review
Jan 16, 2011

it was ok
Read from March 26 to 30, 2011 — I own a copy

The Liar Society had a promising start, but ultimately didn't work for me. It's the story of Kate Lowry, who begins to investigate her best friend's death after receiving an email from her.

The main problem for me was that I felt no connection to the characters. They all seemed peripheral even though they were supposed to be important. We're told over and over that Grace and Maddie were Kate's best friends, and Kate was really broken up about losing them, but during the numerous flashbacks the friendship between all three girls seemed shallow to me. We're told over and over that Liam is dangerous and has a dark past, but he's little more than a wimp when Bethany, one of the book's mean girls, comes around. In every scene that Kate shared with Liam, he never came off like a bad boy, or dangerous, or even a little bit rebellious. He wore his hair long and kept his shirt unbuttoned to reveal t-shirts with rock bands on them. Except for the fact that he didn't babble about conspiracy theories and wasn't always eating, and was "hot", Liam could have been interchangeable with Kate's nerdy neighbor Seth. The depiction of Kate's parents was also frustrating. They make a few appearances, but I never had a true sense of who they were or how they felt about their daughter losing her best friend. Kate's father is disappointed in Kate - her behavior has changed since Grace's death and he wants the daughter he remembers back.

The Reynolds brothers and the Farrow siblings (wealthy legacies at the school) verged on being interesting, but there just wasn't enough of them to make full-on interesting happen. Alistair Reynolds and Bradley Farrow were especially creepy because they clearly knew something and were very good at hiding it.

I thought the book would have been better served if Kate had figured out there was a mystery to be solved on her own instead of receiving text messages that sent her after her next clue. More time spent cleverly "interviewing" all of the suspicious characters would have elevated this story and possibly rounded the characters out.

There have been a lot of teen novels that sell the idea of the bad boy love interest as if all a boy needs to be is cute and bad to be interesting and fall-in-loveable without taking into consideration that there should also be chemistry between the characters and the boy should have more to him than looks and a mean streak. In some cases, not only is there a lack of chemistry, but the boy is so bad, even his good looks shouldn't make him attractive to any girl, let alone reader. The Liar Society has the opposite problem. Kate is told by Seth and Bethany to stay away from Liam because he's dangerous, but Liam's actions never indicated that he was tough, strong, angry, rebellious, snarky, sarcastic, or any of the other hundred things a person needs to be to be labeled "dangerous" or bad. He's actually kind of boring. There's never one moment when Liam does something that would make our heroine (or us) believe he's trouble.

One hilarious aspect of The Liar Society is the mean girls' refusal to get Kate's name right. They call her Cade, Cape, Kathy, etc., when they address her and they do it in such a way that anyone listening might not realize they're purposely getting her name wrong. It made them a little more interesting to me and I wished we could have learned why they chose that particular method to taunt her.
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