Liars, Inc

Liars, Inc

Liars, Inc.

by Paula Stokes

Genre: YA Mystery, YA Thriller
Published: March 24th 2015
by HarperTeen




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?


It all starts with one little lie…

Liars, Inc is exactly what the title suggests it is – a tale of lies, betrayal, and twists like no other. Especially considering it’s a young adult novel, Liars, Inc is especially grim and dark, which made me adore it even more.

When Max’s best friend Preston asks for Max to help cover for him so he can go meet a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice before helping him. Until, two days later, Preston is still not home. When the police go on to investigate, it’s a series of clues that lead them to find Preston’s body. A series of clues that make it look like Max is the murderer…

I found Max to be a protagonist I was a bit indifferent about. In terms of his narration, I fond it really enjoyable. It’s rare to find something in YA written from the perspective of a teenage boy, but Paula Stokes does it in a way that feels realistic and authentic. However, despite his strong narration, I did find some of his actions to be a bit reckless and unnecessary. Throughout the story he continually tampers with the evidence, refuses to talk to the FBI, and makes himself look extremely guilty – especially for a boy so innocent. This mindless behavior definitely ran on me a bit of the wrong way.

In terms of the actual mystery, I found it to be pretty mediocre. It is neither mind-blowing like Dangerous Girls nor horribly predictable like I Hunt Killers, but rather somewhat in between the two. The red herrings are decently placed and do their job of throwing us off the true culprit, and the clues are subtle and well-placed.

As you slowly unravel lie after lie throughout the story, you’ll soon realize that nothing here is what it seems. A decent novel; if only the main character was a bit less reckless in his actions.


20 thoughts on “Liars, Inc

  1. Hmm, I had heard great things about this one. The premise does sound interesting. It’s funny because I read a blog post the other day where they talked about the rarity of male protagonists in YA novels. I am sorry you didn’t enjoy this one more. I think I may still give this one a chance.

  2. I WANT TO READ THIS. Although I’m sad it’s not Dangerous Girls worthy (although, I have yet to read a book that totally messes with me like DG did. xD) I actually read a lot of male protagonist books *shrugs* But I prefer when they’re intelligent about their decisions. -_-

  3. ahahah ah well, I don’t think anything can live up to Dangerous Girls, can it? I’m looking forward to reading this as well! Sad to see that the main character is only mediocre, hopefully everything else makes up for it! Glad you enjoyed the book Zoe. AND AWESOME REVIEW!!!!

  4. It’s been a while since I’ve come by so I’ve just noticed your new blog design/rename! It looks lovely – and the colors work perfectly!

    I didn’t really enjoy Dangerous Girls as much as I was hoping to, so I don’t think I will like this much either, especially with a protagonist who does such lame things. Great review though Zoe!

  5. I love books that have webs of lies and deceit and betrayal. It’s quite my cup of tea 😉 I don’t like when characters act so irrationally and frankly unrealistically! I would have talked to the FBI, it’s like this guy’s trying to make people think he killed Preston. Lovely review, Z <33

  6. I enjoy reckless characters when their actions actually lead to a point. Max seems to be doing it for no purpose and why would anyone innocent try and hinder themselves further with the investigation. So stupid. I do enjoy my mysteries though so I hope this one can surprise me! Lovely review Zoe! Sorry I haven’t been on your blog in so long, didn’t realise you were off your hiatus eep! <3 <3

  7. Ahh reckless and unnecessary, basically everything I am not and everything I avoid in YA books. So yeah I will avoid this one, but too bad as I would love to read a good book told from boy’s POV. Maybe one day. Great review, Zoe 🙂

  8. EEEP. I’m glad you like this one! Although the reckless behavior would DEFINITELY throw me off a bit–I kind of hate those characters :/ AT THE SAME TIME I ADOREEEE PAULA STOKES/FIONA PAUL BOOKS. Fantastic review!

  9. You know I do like a dark, twisty mystery, and Liars Inc sounds up my alley. Even though some of those twists look pretty suspicious (it kind of reminds me of the guy throwing suspicion on himself in Gone Girl), it sounds like the twists were quite good. Wonderful review Zoe! I miss your reviews <3

  10. Thanks for your insights, Zoe! Like you, I enjoyed the authentic narration, but the mystery did lack for me for some reason. And that speech by the perp at the end! It was so cheesy for me how that was done… if you really intended to kill them, you wouldn’t have made a goodbye speech detailing every thing in your life. I found that lame, honestly. Haha.

  11. I so need to read this. But (shocker alert) I still haven’t read Dangerous Girls. I think I need to read that first, since I’ve heard by EVERYONE just how amazing it is. Or maybe I should read this first? Decisions, decisions… 🙂

  12. I personally loved this a bit more than you did. Max did make some idiotic decisions every now and then, but I would probably have acted the same way if I was being hunted down by the FBI. I wouldn’t have much of a choice, anyway. But that’s just me. 🙂

  13. UGH. I can’t really stand it when characters do stupid and reckless things, because it always annoys me, and really just seems like a plot device.

    I do like the premise of this story, though. Lies intrigue me – especially if the truth is hidden from the reader so you go back and forth on what you think is real.

    Greta review, lovely! <3

  14. I’m not usually a fan of thrillers, but I’ve heard good things about this one, so I’m planning to read it. And I really like the cover, but that’s only about 50% of my decision. 😀 Glad you liked it, and I approve of the Flynn Rider gif haha.

  15. This novel does sound very intriguing and your review has me even more excited for it 🙂 I have a copy of this so I hope to read it soon – awesome review ! <3

  16. I have serious problems with male perspectives, especially written by female authors, most of the time for me, they come off cheesy, though there are exceptions, and this one was. Loved it! Haha, yeah, he wasn’t really helping himself much, was he? I did get the “twist” right around 50% in, but I didn’t get the why right, so that was fun. Shame you didn’t enjoy it as much, I just really loved this one. 🙂

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