Thursday, September 1, 2011

From the mouth of the narrator we get lies--who do we trust now?

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

I’m going to write today about a book I finished not too long ago. It was about a vampire growing up in New York City. No, I lied. Actually, there are no vampires in this book (I’m sure some of you are heaving a sigh of relief at that). The book is actually about a popular girl at a school in New York. Her secret boyfriend just died under unusual circumstances, and she’s left dealing with the loss. That’s another lie. She’s really not popular at all. You know why? Because she lies all the time. Is withholding the truth considered lying? If it is, Micah, the narrator of Liar, keeps a whopper from the reader. Of course, having an inquisitive mind, I read about the secret in a review before I read about it in the book. I think it would have been more fun to discover the secret while reading, so I won’t mention it here. But I tried to give you a sense of what it’s like to read Liar. The protagonist talks directly to the reader, then goes back and corrects herself when she lies. Unique? You bettcha! Disarming? A bit. The reviews mentioned how, if nothing else, this will get readers talking after they read it. I mean, I guess. I personally found Micah and her lying a bit annoying, so that by the end, when the reader is left speculating as to what really happened, I just had a “meh” sort of attitude. It’s important to like the narrator, because then the ending can affect us. With no connection to who we’re reading about, we walk away not very vested in the character’s life, and therefore the story itself. Don't you agree? Okay, okay, so if you haven’t figured out by now, this is a young adult novel. I guess I could have been more forthcoming with that. And maybe I didn’t connect because I’m not of the author’s intended audience. It’s just that the book jacket promised me a thriller, and all I came away with was an idea for a slightly offbeat blog. I’m just sayin’.

"Liar! Liar! Liar!" -3 Dog Night, "Liar." If you have never heard this song, you are probably the correct audience for this book.

Next up, how I became entangled in a series that is at least 10 books long. Will I feel the need to finish, or will I be able to stop myself? We'll just have to wait and see...

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