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.Hardcover, 368 pages
Four and a half stars: A twisty, suspenseful YA thriller that will have you flipping pages to the end.
Max doesn't realize the long term consequences the simple act of trying to earn detention will hold for him down the road. Every week, Max lands himself in detention in order to spend time with his girlfriend, Parvati. When he takes responsibility for someone else's cell phone ringing in class to get detention, Liars Inc. is born. Max along with his two friends, Parvati and Preston, start a money making enterprise where they lie for a price to help fellow classmates. Business booms and things are going well, until Preston asks Max to cover for him and then disappears. Now the cops are calling, and all signs are pointing to Max. He doesn't have a leg to stand on when he is the founder of the Liars Inc. because who will believe a liar? Can Max uncover the truth before it is too late?
What I Liked:
- It isn't often you get an entertaining, interesting and believable YA thriller, but thankfully, Liars, Inc. delivers all that and more. This is an addictive page turner with suspense and a solid mystery. I flew through this one! If you are in need of a great thriller, pick up Liars, Inc. This is a book perfect for mature teens and adults.
- What drives this book are the characters. It is a read where you don't know who to trust or who to like, if anyone. Even though you would think a book where you can't completely engage with a character would be a tough read, it isn't because the characters are well written and the story line is riveting. I did sympathize with Max, and I was cheering for him, but I also held him at arms length because I wasn't sure if I should like him, and he makes some poor decisions, and that went for the rest of the cast as well. Parvati, Max's girlfriend, was the character I struggled with the most. I didn't like her and didn't trust her at all. I loved that the characters presented were flawed and realistic.
- The story line starts out simple enough with three high school teens taking advantage of their fellow classmates by charging them for lies. However, things quickly take a dark turn when Preston goes missing and Max is the prime suspect. The plot thickens and the pace picks up to a fast and furious speed. This is a book with some big surprises and twists and a stunning finale that will catch you by surprise. If you are a fan of thrillers this is a must read. I especially appreciated that the story line maintained a realistic feel, and that it didn't stray into the far fetched area.
- If you are an adult and thinking this isn't for you because it is YA, think again. This is a smart and sophisticated tale that avoids the well worn cliches of YA. There is minimal romance, and the romance that exists is already established, so that means no love triangles, insta love and all that irritating stuff. The characters are mature and so there isn't a bunch of teenage angst or unnecessary drama. Finally, this is a stand alone. You get a thrilling ending that puts to rest all of the questions, no cliffhanger! Seriously, this is a terrific book that moves into the adult realm once it gets out of the first few chapters. Don't hesitate, grab this if you want an entertaining thriller.
And The Not So Much:
- I think for me, the one hang up with the story was the whole story line centered around one of the character's motivation for revenge. I thought his reasons were a tiny bit weak. I can't go into details, but I just didn't buy that he was attached to the adoptive family like he claimed. Not a big deal, just my personal opinion, it didn't detract from the story.
- Even though I struggled with not liking any of the characters, especially Parvati, it works. I recently read another thriller where I didn't like any of the characters, and even though it is hard to read a book where you can't completely connect, it makes the story better because you aren't emotionally attached to the characters. You expect someone to do something bad at any moment. So it is best to go into this one with no expectations as far as liking or connecting with a character.
- Even though this is a book written for teens, I think it is best suited for older, mature teens and adults. It takes on adult themes and there is drinking, drugs, sex and murder.
Liars, Inc. was a terrific read. I picked this one up and flew through it. This is a twisty, suspenseful and shocking story. Definitely one of the best YA thrillers I have ever read. Again, don't hesitate to read this one if you are an adult. It is smart, mature and well written. Highly recommend!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.