Publisher- Harper Teen
Published- March 24th 2015
Pre-Order- Amazon / B & N
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.My Thoughts:
Wow, I never saw that coming! Liars, Inc., is a very well done mystery laced with thrilling suspense of the whodunit variety. I've read Stokes, The Art of Lainey, and knew this was an author to look out for. She has a knack for telling her stories with sharp witty characters and an intriguing plot concept. I liked that she pushes the boundaries a little bit more then your average young adult novel. These characters are 18 years old, reckless and living large and Stokes really captures these moments boldly but tastefully.
The mystery surrounding Preston was very impressive and filled with all kinds of twist and turns and while I predicted some, I didn't predict it all and was pretty surprised once we got the whole story. I liked that Stokes took her time crafting all the little details. It started out simple enough but then it went from complicated to deadly with only enough clues to keep us guessing and a lot of lingering doubt that made the experience even more fun to try to guess what was going on and who was behind it all.
I don't know why but I love reading from a male point of view. It's refreshing and interesting and I enjoyed seeing this story unfold through Max. He's got a great voice. True, he's a little rough around the edges, but he's still a really good guy. He was orphaned and on the streets for almost a year before he found a good family to adopt him, but Max never lost his street-smart-slacker-way-attitude that makes him want to bend the rules where he can. Starting Liars, Inc., wasn't exactly all his idea but he went along for the fun of it and hey, the profit didn't hurt. That is till one little lie created a whirlwind of suspicions, conspiracies and betrayal. He's not a very trusting person either, which I guess, he was kinda on the money about, but still, when push comes to shove, Max is a stand-up guy that has a lot of determination and heart.
Parvati was a little hard to like at the beginning. She doesn't do anything wrong exactly, but she has this cold interior that seemed to rattle me at times and she would say something that would rub me the wrong way. She's pretty and popular and rich and she seemed to be genuine when she was with Max, but a little voice in the back of my head felt like something was off, missing or fake. I was right about a few things concerning Parvati's character and yet she still ended up surprising me the most.
At first I wasn't sure how to feel about Preston, we didn't get a lot of screen time with him to feel a huge connection before he went missing, but Stokes' crafty writing really made his mystery stand-out. I will say that the one thing all these characters do have in common is they all seem lost, like they don't know where they fit in, in their own lives. It makes what happens feel both understandable and messed up. I liked the romance, but it was kinda like background noise, it was always consistent, but never played lead to the plot. But what we did get was dame sexy.
All in all, I really enjoyed myself with this one. They mystery was unpredictable and smart, the writing has incredible energy and these characters will have you on your toes from the first moment till its riveting conclusion. Well done! I can't wait to see what Stokes comes up with next.