Review: Liars Inc. by Paula Stokes

    Image via Liarsincbook.com
    Image via Liarsincbook.com

    “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.”

     

    The first thing I have to say about this book is that it cannot be trusted. I had many theories about the ending, and I actually managed to decipher the main villain/protagonist way before it. This book has been suggested for fans of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, but I don’t necessarily agree because the latter obviously stands on a higher level. While Gone Girl takes you by surprise because of its thoroughly planned crimes, Liars, Inc. is more of a book where everything you find out is accidental. I wouldn’t call this story believable or realistic. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it very much.

    The story’s main trio, Max, Preston, and Parvati, are big fat liars. They earn money by coming up with little white lies. Exemptions from school, cover stories for parents — all the little things that teens need to enjoy their youth. Nothing serious or criminal. But how far can you take a lie?

    When they organized Liars, Inc., they could not have possibly fathomed the cruel joke that deception would play on them. One day, Preston asks his friend to come up with a cover story to temporarily escape from home; and, everything would have been fine, but he just… disappears. Being from a wealthy family, his disappearance immediately becomes a major concern for the police. And naturally, who’s considered a suspect if not the main liar of the city? As you might have guessed, all the evidence points to Max.

    As it often happens, no one believes Max’s innocence, except for his girlfriend, Parvati. Together, they’re determined to find their friend and clear Max’s good name. But, in the process, they will learn an unexpected truth.

    A little bit about the characters themselves: Max is an orphan. The first part of his life was spent in a shelter. He knows how to survive on the streets and knows the price of family comfort. He’s a regular guy who dreams of a peaceful and quiet life with Parvati. However, he’s concerned about her past, as she and Preston were friends long before he appeared on the scene, and he can’t help but be suspicious and jealous.

    Speaking subjectively, Max is a very plain character. He has no special traits, unlike other heroes; he does not stand out, except that he is the main narrative. Perhaps that way it is easier to connect with his character. He’s also antisocial, though his two best friends mean the world to him. But what if they are not who they seem to be?

    As a character, Parvati already stands out by the fact that she is Indian. Hello, diversity! I couldn’t help but think of Parvati Patil from the Harry Potter series. This Parvati is not a witch, however; she’s a spoiled girl from a rich family who learned how to lie before she could walk. However, of all the liars, I liked her the most. Parvati is strange, unusual, clever, sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes mysterious, sometimes sincere. You don`t know what to expect from her. This girl can also kick some ass, so score one for girl power. She made a lot of mistakes in life, and she’s not perfect, as it might seem at first glance. But who likes perfect?

    Now onto Preston, though he doesn’t appear in the book as often as other characters. He’s a boy from a wealthy family and the star of the school, and everybody loves him. And why not? He’s cute, funny, and sociable. But is it all simply a beautiful facade? After all, it’s impossible to know a person 100%, especially if he has something to hide.

    As far as Liars, Inc. goes, it’s certainly very interesting and worth your attention. It’s easy to read, and it captures you from the very first pages. It has intrigue, love, unexpected plot twists, and an epic ending. I really liked how the author approached the topic of how important is it to be loved by your family. She presents us with three different kinds of parents and shows the outcome of their parenting styles through their children. For me this book is a one-time-read, but it was a very pleasant experience. I would recommend it to the fans of Pretty Little Liars.

    Steysha Kravits is nineteen and lives in Kiev, Ukraine. She is starting her third year at university, where she studies Ukrainian philology, but in her heart she has always dreamed of being a writer. She also dreams of moving to England or America to work for a publishing house. Currently, she works as a translator and freelance photographer. She’s a book nerd, loves rock music, and adventures.

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