Finished June 28
Liar by Justine Larbalestier
This teen novel presents us with a fascinating main character, who we know is an unreliable narrator right from the start (as if the book title didn't already alert us). Her name is Micah and she lives with her parents and younger brother in New York City, and goes to a private Quaker school on a scholarship. And her family has a big secret.
As the book opens, her friend, perhaps her boyfriend, Zach, has gone missing and soon is found dead. As she and the other students react to this tragedy, we learn her version of her life. She admits right away that she's known for lying, and yet she says she's going to be telling us the truth. But as a reader, you're never really sure what facts you can trust her on, and what you can't.
The nature of Zach's death is mysterious and doesn't come out until later in the novel, and it means something.
We learn about the other people in Zach's life: his best friend, Tayshawn and his girlfriend, Sarah. We learn about Micah's favourite class, biology and her teacher who encourages her. We learn about her family, both those she lives with and those she doesn't. We learn about her past lies, the supposed motivations for them, and how she deals with them being exposed.
This is a fascinating book, one in which you're never quite sure of how much to believe the narrator. This is a story of teens and their interactions, and about how they deal with difficult issues. A book that has a lot of discussion points, and would be great for a book club.