28 November 2011

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Justine Larbalestier
Audiobook read by Channie Waites

I got this book because I liked the premise: Micah has been hiding her true identity for years but when her boyfriend is killed, she decides to come clean (to the reader at least) about the fact that she is a werewolf.
Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out as I’d planned.  But I’ll get to that later.
As I said, the book is about Micah – a girl who doesn’t fit in anywhere.  The truth is she’s a werewolf.  Her family on her father’s side are all werewolves, and she inherited the “family illness”.  The book starts off with Micah telling us about all the ways she’s lied in the past – pretending she’s a boy, not telling her parents where she’s going or with whom.  Then her boyfriend (secret boyfriend) turns up missing and since everyone knows she lies all the time, they assume she did or knows something.  When it turns out her boyfriend was mauled by wild dogs, Micah has to figure out who really killed Zach and convince her parents it wasn’t her so they won’t ship her off to live with her crazy, red-neck were-relatives.
As I said, the book ended up being very different from what I imagined.  For one, Larbalestier does an amazing job of weaving lies and truth together.  She does such an amazing job, in the end, you have no idea what is lie and what is the truth.  Truth be told, I think I need to go back and re-read the end of the book because I really don’t know what was true and what was fiction, and I can’t decide whether that is a plus or a minus for the book.
I’m also not sure how I feel about this book because I listened to it on audiobook and, well, I pretty much hated it.  It was read very slowly and the different accents the narrator attempted were forgotten relatively quickly or just plain bad*.  Usually when I don’t like an audio book I quit listening and finish reading the book in print and that often helps.  However in this case, by the time I got the print book, I’d listened to so much of the book, I only had about a chapter and a half left – not enough to be redemptive.
I would recommend this book to high school aged students who are fans of science fiction and romance – anyone who likes secrets, werewolves and “forbidden love”.  It’s definitely a girl book, and the language and violence are a bit much for the average middle school student.  I will not give up on Justine Larbalestier because of this one book though!  Mostly because she’s married to Scott Westerfield (one of my favs), and because the title of her other book – How to Ditch Your Fairy – is just entirely too tempting!

*I say this with all due respect to Ms. Waites.  I couldn’t do her job no matter how hard I tried.  Just ask my friends.  Last year I tried reading a passage from a book aloud to them and it was crapski.

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