Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

Release Date: March 24, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

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.

I really enjoyed reading The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes (read my review), and while Liars, Inc. was by no means a cute romantic comedy, I'm a sucker for psychological thrillers, so I was ALL IN. Of course, anything with with words like lying or liars or never comes home is an immediate DING DING DING in my head, so when I finally decided to pick this one up–as part of my scheme to try to read older books for review–thankfully I was not disappointed.

It's difficult to execute a plot that has a plausible twist that still manages to shock people. The downfall of psychological thrillers or ANY kind of thriller is that the ending falls flat. That just ruins the entire story for people, and it's not hard to see why. This mystery had me guessing till the very end. I was absolutely blown away by that climax, because even though I generally have had a good record with predicting the ends of mysteries, I only managed to piece together a small part of what actually turns out to be the truth. Say what you want about the characters–the plot is very well put together.

Speaking of the characters, they're part of the same category that I find most characters in thrillers fall into–I didn't like them. Not a bad thing with thrillers, considering how you don't know how it plays out until the very end and you can't like certain characters in fear that they might be behind it all. I liked Max well enough, but Preston and Parvati were kind of meh. Meh as in they were alright, but they weren't amazing. I enjoyed the interactions with Max's family though–those moments were really cute and humanised Max's characters, which is probably why he was the best character out of the three of them.

Liars, Inc. presents a deadly mystery that becomes more complex as the plot thickens, and concludes in an ending that blew me away. I was delightfully surprised by how gripping this novel was, and by how much I needed to know how it all ended. Paula Stokes's certainly has a knack for writing in a variety of genres, and I'm looking forward to reading more from her.

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  1. This was my first Stokes book, and now I am a super-fan. Great review!

  2. I just wrote a whole post last week about how I follow Paula Stokes so closely that I feel like I've read her books---even though I haven't. Need to change that and read this one!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  3. Thrillers and mysteries are my FAVORITE genre hands down but because I read so many of them, I have a horrible 6th sense and can figure out whodunit pretty early on. It always makes me a little mad at how easily I can guess it too. It has nothing to do with the author, I just am good at guessing I guess. I imagine it's really hard to write these kind of stories though because you want it to be a surprise but you also don't want to pull a Pretty Little Liars and grab the mystery person out of thin air. It needs to be someone you've seen throughout the book. All that to say though is yay for an ending that surprised you!! I hate that the characters were very meh. That's disappointed, but the fact you enjoyed the ending has me intrigued. I think I'll have to try this one just because of that fact alone!


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