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.
Description taken from Goodreads. An advance copy of this book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.
I think my biggest issue with this book was the sex.
I knew from the beginning that LIARS was darker and more intense than The Art of Lainey, and not just in an action/adventure type way.
In a O_O NA type of way.
When I say that though, LIARS definitely isn’t some sort of graphic nonsense, it’s more of a subject matter type of thing. Honestly, it’s hard to talk about this without giving away spoilers, but long story short: this isn’t a book I would give to anyone under the age of, at least, 14, but I would give it to some 14 year olds. It’s nothing that kids these days don’t see in some PG-13 movies, and it’s certainly not that graphic.
If you’re still concerned about the content of LIARS and who it would be appropriate for, I would direct you to Paula’s post on her blog about LIARS.
In some ways, I do think those aspects of this book were necessary. I think for everything with Parvati and Preston and Max to happen the way it did and make the not necessarily happy but good ending possible. Things just led to one another in this story, and in many ways I could really feel how Max and Parvati really just had to react to what was happening to them and hope their decisions were for the better. I don’t agree with everything they did, but the mistakes they made weren’t nearly as bad as what they could’ve done. Part of the genius of this story lies in how Max not only grows so much in his relationships over the course of the plot, but also how the reader is shown how different he can be in different situations when most people would just see him as a slacker on first glance.
I came to love Max throughout LIARS, and not because he’s particularly cool or sweet or admirable even, but because he’s real. He’s snarky and sarcastic and downright rude or weird sometimes, but he’s also considerate or pitiful.
Then there was Parvati. There were times when I didn’t like her. I did think that she flirts way too much and that she’s downright annoying at times, but there was PARVATI. PARVATI. She was awesome at many moments, and I loved her because of those moments. Parvati time. My favorite time. *cries*
If you’re going to believe anything about LIARS going in, I would definitely suggest to believe that it is intense. It’s thriller intense, but it’s not always intense in the way that John Wick was. Sometimes, it’s intense in the way that Silver Linings Playbook or even Titanic was. In order to get a glimpse into what I’m talking about, I would suggest reading Paula’s post on the many sides of Max Cantrell.
Compared to VENOM, by the same author under a pseudonym, where the main characters have sex as well, this story was way more understandable in terms of heart, plot, context, today’s society, significance and feeling.
Overall, as a thriller, this book was an amazing ride. There were very few moments where I felt like the book was slowing down, and when it did it picked right back up again. I didn’t always agree with Max’s choices, but I could understand them–and I think he did the right things in the end.
All things considered, this was an amazing story. I loved so much about it, despite the sex parts. I have to admit I lowered my rating because of that–but I will be recommending this book. To the right person, of course. 4.3 stars.