jay tee's Reviews > Liar

Liar by Justine Larbalestier
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Oct 18, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult-fiction, australian-author

In order for their readers to be able to immerse themselves in a story authors have to establish a relationship of trust with them, for example, by following the conventions of structure and voice. Liar by Justine Larbalestier is told in the first person by a narrator who destabilises our trust from the first page by telling us she is a liar. Later on she brags about it, “I wanted to see if you would buy it. And you did. You buy everything, don’t you? You make it too easy.”

This is a polarising novel and unsophisticated or impatient readers could easily become irritated enough to throw it in the bin. Initially, it appears to be the reader ‘s job to try to figure out whether the narrator, Micah, who tells us she’s a seventeen year old social outcast, is telling the truth about her life or not. For the first 150 pages or so she appears to be hiding a secret, although she drops so many clues that by Part two, she readily admits that we’ve probably guessed the secret. Here are a few clues for you so you don’t feel left out: she is a fast runner, she has a great sense of smell, and she has inherited the family illness.

The author/narrator has thrown her readers a challenge to read below the surface of what she tells them. Part of being a grown up is not to take everything at face value; to look more closely at the world and the people around you. On the surface Micah’s story revolves around the horrible murder of her secret boyfriend, Zach, and her first experiences with love and sex, but Liar is actually about an alienated teenager’s attempts to find her place in the world and to overcome her deep feelings of rejection.

She lies to us and to herself because “the world is better the way I tell it.”

This is a complex, ambitious novel which was shortlisted for the 2010 Children’s Book Council of Australia awards.
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Liar.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.