Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Book Review: Liar by Justine Larbalestier

I don't believe in giving bad reviews. People work hard on books, and what writer needs more criticism, seriously. So the following is just personal preference.
I liked the voice in this book. Loved the idea of a narrator we're not sure if we can trust because she lies. It's a great premise. Her boyfriend, who is/isn't really her boyfriend, dying mysteriously is really good stuff, too.
Here's the personal preference part: I don't like tons of language. If it's there, I need it to feel authentic (think Tree Grows in Brooklyn kind of necessity.) So I struggled with the many uses of the F word. It's obvious I don't like that in teen books. But to me it seemed forced an unnecessary, even though the author was trying for a gritty, New York City feel.
So I was already struggling to decide if I liked it enough to overlook the language, but the idea of a girl who had a reason for telling lies, a reason that went back to her father and grandmother getting so good at lies that they sometimes forgot what the truth had originally been, kept me reading.
And I wanted more of that. Instead, 1/3 of the way through, I got a werewolf book. I wasn't expecting a werewolf book, especially this far in. I thought all the psychological secrets were plenty for a plot. So for me, it didn't work.
It isn't a bad book at all. But I struggled to like and understand the characters, and for me, that was enough for me to skip to the end, find out what happened, and put it down.
Maybe I should have kept reading. Then maybe I would have liked it more. So personal preference, as I said.

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