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I Belong


Early Review: Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

Liars, Inc.Title: Liars, Inc.

Author: Paula Stokes

Genre: YA Mystery

Series: N/A

Publication Date: March 24, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062323288 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062323286 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV’s How to Get Away with Murder.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called “Captivating to the very end,” Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

Quick & Dirty: Amazing dark and sexy mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end. I was instantly hooked and found it almost impossible to put this down!

Opening Sentence: I DON’T MAKE TO-DO LISTS, but if I did, today’s would have gone something like this: 1. get drunk, 2. get laid, 3. go surfing (not necessarily in that order).

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Max Cantrell is an average teenage boy in his senior year of high school. He has an amazing girlfriend, an awesome best friend, and a great new family.  His real parents are dead and he was lucky to get adopted by a really nice couple. He is an average student and not really athletic, but there is one thing he is exceptionally good at and that is lying. When an opportunity comes along where he can make some fast cash by creating alibi’s for his rich classmates he can’t pass it up. Together with his best friend Preston, and his girlfriend Parvati, they form Liars Inc., a place students can go to for forged permission slips, cover stories, or whatever they may need for a small payment. Soon business is booming and the money is flowing in.

Then Preston asks Max for a cover story so he can go visit a girl who lives in Vegas that he met online. Max doesn’t hesitate to help out his best friend, but then something goes terribly wrong. Preston doesn’t come home and Max is the main suspect in his disappearance. Soon they find Preston’s body and all the clues point to Max as the killer. Max would never hurt anyone especially, Preston, but the evidence says different. Will Max be able to clear his name before it is too late or will he end up in prison for a crime he didn’t commit?

I adored Max and found it really refreshing to be inside his head. I will admit that I don’t seem to read many books that have a male protagonist and it was a really nice change for me. The main thing I loved about Max is that he is just a normal boy living a fairly normal life. He doesn’t really have any exceptional talents, but he is okay with that. He does have a tragic past, but he hasn’t let that dictate the person he has become. Instead of wallowing in pity like many people would; he has learned to move on from the pain and still be a good person. But just because Max is average doesn’t mean he’s not resourceful. He is smart and when it comes to solving Preston’s murder it is a do or die situation for him, so he refuses to give up. I love Max as a character and really enjoyed reading his story.

While I loved Max I think that Parvati was my favorite character in the book. She is so spunky and rebellious it was hard not to love her.  She has extremely strict parents and it amazes me that she still manages to be so independent. She doesn’t care what other people think of her and she is extremely intelligent. I also loved that she is a different ethnicity then Max, it adds a good diverse element to the story. Her relationship with Max is difficult at times because her parents have forbidden her from seeing him, so they have to keep their relationship a secret. In many ways they are a very unlikely couple, but I think they really complement each other well. But Parvati is far from perfect and as her flaws start to surface you realize how much she hides behind her witty personality. I loved all the different elements that were expressed through her character and I thought she was a great addition to the book.

Liar’s Inc. was such a fun story that was full of suspense, mystery, and action! From the first moment I started reading I was instantly hooked and I found it hard to put down. The plot was very intriguing and really keeps you guessing until the very end. There is also a little bit of romance in the story, and to be quite frank it is on the steamy side for a YA book, which personally I love, but I know not everyone does. I have read other books by Stokes and I can say that she is an amazing writer. She just knows how to weave all the perfect elements together to make very entertaining yet emotional stories.  This is my personal favorite from her so far, but I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next. I would highly recommend this to anyone that is looking for a dark and sexy young adult mystery!

Notable Scene:

AND JUST LIKE THAT, MY birthday went from a sleeping dream to a waking nightmare. I barely remember brandishing the gun, running from the feds, leaping from the cliff into the frigid water below.

But I’ve passed the last fifteen minutes or so in the river, mostly beneath the surface. That’s one good thing about surfing. You spend enough time getting sucked under by rogue waves, you get good at holding your breath.

My lungs finally give up the last little bits of air and I pop up into the night, just far enough to suck in a couple more deep breaths. Around me, the roar of the water sounds muffled. My ears are still throbbing from the sound of the gun going off. Hopefully it didn’t do permanent damage.

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FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Liars, Inc.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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