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Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes • Magan Reviews

book cover and review of Liars, Inc by Paula StokesLiars, Inc. by Paula Stokes [twitterwebsite]
Publication Date: March 24, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 368
Target Audience: Young Adult
Keywords: teenager disappearance, thriller, Internet dating
Format Read: ARC from Publisher (Thank you!)

Summary: Max, Preston, and Parvati form a small underground business developing lies for their classmates to get what they want at school; business is going great until Preston asks Max to cover up for him so he can go to Las Vegas to meet his Internet girlfriend he’s never mentioned before.

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Told from an independent, tends-to-be-kind-of-a-loner’s perspective, Liars, Inc. reveals how Max and his best friend, Preston, and girlfriend, Parvati, start a small but lucrative side business creating cover-ups and forging permission slips at their school.

One thing leads to another and all of the lies build up to the moment Max finds himself camping on the beach to cover up for Preston skipping town to meet his older Internet girlfriend that no one has ever heard about before.

And Preston never returning.

Preston is a Senator’s son so his disappearance escalates quickly and is taken very seriously. Initially, Max lies to the officials because he’s positive Preston will suddenly reappear; he thinks that Preston decided to extend his stay or had just a little bit too much fun. The official’s turn their attention on Max but he’s dug himself so deep with all the lies; he follows Parvati’s advice (because of course she’d know things since she wants to be in the CIA one day) though he’s not always confident he should and he begins looking more and more suspect by the minute.

Liars, Inc. turned out to be a much different story than I was anticipating. I felt like a lot of the synopsis focused on their business venture so when that was really just a stepping stone to the greater story of Preston’s disappearance, I was pretty excited. I really get into the mystery/thriller stories trying to figure them all out, and lemme tell you, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Stokes kept me guessing and second guessing myself. I did a lot of flipping back and forth when I wasn’t sure I was remembering something correctly; the ending really surprised me because there were so many elements I just couldn’t have predicted. (Score!)

I read an ARC of Liars, Inc. and felt like things were really tight, but Paula and I connected afterward and she shared the ways with me that she’d tightened up the story even more for the final copy. That means I’ll need to get my hands on it for a re-read, of course. (Note: if you’ve read an ARC, read Paula’s article about her changes. If you haven’t read it yet, don’t click that link because of spoilers.)

Aside from feeling really entranced by a great whodunnit, I really admire that Stokes managed to weave in elements to make it a great Dive into Diversity contender as well: Parvarti taught me a lot about being interracial. Max was a foster kid who was adopted into a great, loving family. He showed me one side of what it’s like to not completely feel like you belong, but to be extremely grateful to be out of the foster system. Oh, and he has a younger (also adopted) sibling that has a disability; there’s an amazing description of him getting into some trouble because he’s protecting her, and it just made this former foster-momma so, so happy. (I mean, boo violence and those mean bullies, but yay bonding.)

I can’t really think of a reason that Liars, Inc. shouldn’t be on your to-read lists this spring. What are you waiting for, guys?

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Dive into Diversity Reading Challenge

April 7, 2015 - 8:02 am

Getting to Know Paula Stokes, Author of LIARS, INC. - […] don’t forget to add LIARS, INC. to your Goodreads, or read my review if you need a bit more convincing. […]

April 3, 2015 - 3:59 pm

Megan - I have seen this cover a few times and was curious. I didn’t know anyone who had read it, so in light of wanting to spend my money on something I knew I would likely enjoy I passed it up. After reading this though I’m really interested and might just pick it up in my next shop!

April 1, 2015 - 11:25 am

It's a Wrap • See Ya Next Year, March! - […] Start of Me and You by Emery Lord Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz One Wish by Robyn […]

March 24, 2015 - 4:25 pm

Magan - Thanks, Sophie! It’s such a fantastic one! Hope you enjoy it!

March 24, 2015 - 4:25 pm

Magan - Maggie, I wonder if you’d still have issues with the changes she’s made. You read an ARC, correct? I think things are going to feel really tight and put together in the final copy!

March 24, 2015 - 4:24 pm

Magan - Emma, I think you’d have a lot of fun analyzing LIARS, INC. for sure! Definitely check it out!

March 24, 2015 - 4:24 pm

Magan - Alexa, it’s a great read! Definitely check it out!

March 24, 2015 - 4:23 pm

Magan - You’re welcome, Brianna! Thanks for reading! 🙂

March 22, 2015 - 11:16 pm

Brianna - This sounds like another great read. Thanks for sharing your review.

March 19, 2015 - 1:48 pm

Alexa S. - I honestly wasn’t certain if I wanted to read Liars Inc. initially. But after reading your review? Heck yes, I’ll consider giving it a shot. It sounds like a really intense story with lots of twists, and I think those can be great fun sometimes!

March 18, 2015 - 4:23 pm

Emma @ Miss Print - I was intrigued by the cover and jacket copy for this one but it never really grabbed my attention to read it. But gosh this review shows I am very wrong. It sounds fantastic. Thanks also for mentioning the changes from ARC to finished copy as I find that sort of thing fascinating.

March 18, 2015 - 7:39 am

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - I didn’t like this as much as you did, but I do agree about all of the great diversity in the story. Even though I had a few issues with the story I really enjoyed all of those things. I expected the whole Liars Inc. business to be a much bigger part of the story, too, and I also liked that it wasn’t, but it kind of drove me crazy how Max kept mentioning it. Great review!

March 18, 2015 - 6:31 am

Sophie @ Seamless Reader - I simply can’t wait for this book to come out!

Great review! 🙂

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