Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Review: Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

Title: Liars, Inc.
Author: Paula Stokes
Release date: March 24th 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Thriller
Format: eARC
Pages: 237

Source: Edelweiss

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.

Liars, Inc. is Paula Stokes' second YA novel, and I enjoyed the writing style just as much as I did in her first. It's an intriguing story, with a light-hearted feel in the beginning that quickly turns into something like the beginning of a horror movie. Okay, maybe that's a little dramatic. But I liked how the story develops in this book.

Max and his best (and only) friends, Preston and Parvati, decide to start a business called Liars, Inc., where they forge permission slips, create alibis, etc. for other students. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure why the book is called 'Liars, Inc.' or why this was introduced in the first place, because it has nothing to do with the plot or anything else in the novel. We barely get to see it in action. But basically Max gives Preston an alibi when he wants to go to Vegas for the weekend, but Preston never returns and Max becomes a prime suspect. He needs to figure out what happened to his best friend before he's locked up for a crime he didn't commit.

I couldn't connect too well with Max or Parvati as they searched for clues to find Preston. I don't know what it was about them, but they seemed a little two-dimensional to me. Especially Parvati, even after finishing the book I don't know what to think of her. She and Max are together in secret but I also couldn't see any chemistry between them at all. I think they would have worked together as two friends trying to find the third member of their trio.

I definitely liked the plot twists in this, because though they're hinted at by the characters themselves, you never know for sure what's happening. And I really didn't expect some of them, so that was exciting! Max and Parvati follow a trail that leads them to what happened to Preston, and it was fun going along with them. Although I have another point about disconnection with the characters - I didn't feel anything when Preston's body was discovered, and it didn't seem like Max felt much either. I guess I was just expecting more emotion at that point, but I found it lacking.

Overall I enjoyed Liars, Inc., particularly the crime/thriller aspect and the conclusion of the mystery. I had a couple issues with it, but none too great, so I'd definitely recommend this one - especially if you enjoy this genre, or if you've read The Art of Lainey, Paula's first YA book.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 3/5


  1. Hmmm, three stars isn't too bad. I haven't read this one yet (though I will be, next week, according to my schedule lol), so I didn't read your review too closely. I'm curious about the characters you didn't connect to - I guess I'll find out for myself if I like them myself. Parvati implies Indian girl, and already she's going to be scrutinized heavily by me since I'm Indian LOL. So we shall see. Excellent review, Richa!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  2. This book sounds pretty original, I cannot wait to read it!! *-*


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