Monday, March 23, 2015

Review ~ Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

Series: standalone
Genre: YA mystery/thriller
Pages: 368
Publication Date: March 24th, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Goodreads Description: 
It all starts with one little lie…

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell lies 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 a business providing forged permission slips and cover stories for the students of Vista Palisades High. Liars, Inc. they call it. 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? Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters. 
Source: I received an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I had high expectations for Liars, Inc. because I loved Paula Stokes' cute YA contemporary romance, The Art of Lainey. I really like her characters and her writing, and all of her upcoming books sound so good, so I was definitely expecting to enjoy reading this one. I'm so happy to say that I did like it!

The first half of the book was good, but the mystery didn't seem like anything special. The biggest thing I liked in that part was the romance. The second half was when I truly started enjoying the book. It was hard to pull away in the second half because there was a higher pace, higher stakes, and more clues. Things got more exciting and complicated. Threads in the web of lies were revealed and weaved together. I really liked how the mystery was formed. 

I love that Max already had a girlfriend at the start of the book. I've gotten so used to two character meeting, forming romantic feelings for each other, and starting a relationship. It was nice to see the couple of the book already together and way past the beginning stages (well, physically). They're relationship made the book a sex positive one, which was refreshing to read in a YA. I loved the two together. They just fit together well, and I was happy with how their relationship progressed.

I liked the characters. They felt real. Believable. Max, especially, felt like this. There was something about his characterization and his POV that made him feel more real than a lot of characters I've met in other books recently. He seemed normal, average. I liked that.

There were a few other things that I appreciated. There was some diversity in the characters. Parvati was Indian and Max's twin sisters were Korean. It was just a nice to see that. There was a focus on family and appreciating what you have, which was great. I also really liked the focus on lies and their consequences.

Overall, I was very happy with Liars, Inc. Although the mystery started out not feeling like much, it got a lot more interesting later on in the book. It wasn't very predictable, which was another plus. There was a lot of lies and excitement along with a great cast of characters and a nice romance. It was a great read!

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