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Liars, Inc.

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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.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called "Captivating to the very end," Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

362 pages, Hardcover

First published March 24, 2015

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About the author

Paula Stokes

14 books1,154 followers
*** Please contact me via the contact information on my website: authorpaulastokes.com ***

Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She started out writing historical fiction under a pen name and is now branching out into other YA genres.

When she's not working (rare), she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She's petted tigers, snuggled snakes, snorkeled with stingrays, and once enjoyed the suction-cuppy feel of a baby elephant's trunk as it ate peanuts from her palm. Her future goals include diving with Great White sharks, learning Krav Maga, and writing a whole slew of novels, not necessarily in that order.

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Profile Image for Emily May.
1,990 reviews298k followers
April 30, 2015
Maybe something terrible had happened, and I was making it worse by covering things up.

Imagine this scenario. Your best friend tells you that they met someone on the internet and want to go meet up with that person in Vegas. They ask you to cover for them. So you pretend to be camping out and surfing with them. Then, the next day, it turns out that your friend never came home. They've disappeared. And even though you know they're always glued to their phone, they don't answer your call. The cops come to question you. Do you:

a) Come clean and tell them your friend has gone to meet an unknown person in Vegas?

Or b) Tell the cops you were with your friend all night and they left early but you don't know where they are now?

If you answered "b" then you are the worst friend ever. But okay... let's say you were put on the spot and thought your friend might be more pissed if you blew their cover. So you lie to the cops.

After a few days, your friend still hasn't shown up but you have found their phone, covered in blood, in the trunk of your car. Do you:

a) Inform the cops immediately and hand over the phone?

Or b) Clean the blood off the phone, hide it, and launch your own private investigation into your friend's disappearance?

And okay, let's assume you're selfish enough to be more concerned about them suspecting you than the well-being of your missing friend. If you know the cops are becoming more and more suspicious of you and have directly ordered you not to go anywhere, do you:

a) Sit tight, cooperate with them and be as honest as possible?

Or b) Continue to not tell them the full story and travel to Vegas, armed with a Glock?

You can probably tell by now what the idiot narrator of this novel does. I can't stand stupid characters whose actions make no sense. And, to be honest, I didn't find this anywhere near as fast-paced and gripping as everyone else seems to. The characters were all kind of annoying or recklessly stupid.

If you want a more enjoyable and psychological YA thriller, I'd recommend reading I Hunt Killers instead.

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April 22, 2015
As I plummet through the crisp night air, I think about whether things might have been different if I had just told the truth from the beginning.
A few weeks ago, there was a trending topic on Twitter, to my great amusement. For those who missed, it, here's a fantastic (and absolutely hilarious) summary of the highlights.


#veryrealisticYA sums up what a book's plot would be, if the inconvenient (and boring) reality of life had occurred, instead of the highly improbable events that usually occcur in Young Adult books. Granted, #veryrealisticYA would not make for very fabulous books, but it does make one laugh at the plots of some stories. But of course, some young adult novels are better, more believable, less annoying than others, regardless of the implausibility.

Some books have the ability to make us relate to the characters, believe in the characters, support the characters, regardless of the implausibility of the plot.

This book does not. Here is this book's version of #veryrealisticYA.

Murder is a pretty serious charge. You can go to jail, you can try to flee. Regardless of what TV shows and books tell you, people usually get caught. As dumb as they're made out to be in the media, you gotta admit, law enforcement does their job. If you kill someone, you will likely get caught. If you're lying, chances are very high that you will be found out.
What I should have done was just confess to the alibi. Tell them my buddy wanted to go hook up with a girl and needed someone to cover.
This entire book is a manual of: What not to do when you're in trouble with the police.

1. Lie to the cops

2. Be a little shithead asshole

3. Run away (oh, that really helps)

I get it. It's not supposed to be fucking realistic. No, I do not want to read about a highly realistic teenager who stays in bed all of her Saturdays with a stack of books, an entire package of Little Debbies' Peanut Butter Bars, and a bag of Cheetos (True story. Let's take a moment to mourn my youthful metabolism) and did ABSOLUTE NOTHING. Nobody wants to read about that. But neither do I want to read about moron teenagers whose thought process seems to be "Hmm, should I do the right thing, a, the wrong thing, b, or MAKE THE WORST CHOICE I COULD POSSIBLY MAKE? I THINK I LIKE MY CHANCES WITH THE LATTER."

In short: this book gave me a headache. I hated all the characters. The main character almost died in the prologue from jumping off the cliff. I wish he had.
Profile Image for Paula Stokes.
Author 14 books1,154 followers
March 6, 2016
NOTE TO REVIEWERS: FYI--I made a lot of changes/additions to the ARC. For more info, check out this blog post.

I first had the idea for LIARS, INC. back in 2010, but I sat on the idea for almost a year because although I knew the plot and twists, I was struggling with the character motivations. I started writing in 2011 and finished in early 2012. This is absolutely a standalone, though there are all kinds of companion novel ideas floating around in my brain. I hope you like Max Cantrell and his friends Preston and Parvati as much as I do :)
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,631 reviews34k followers
July 26, 2016
Well, well. Two good YA thrillers in one year! This one is full of nice twists, believable male POV (very fun being in Max's head), and diverse, interesting characters, most notably an atypical girlfriend who's sexually confident and would be described as anything but nice.

Very much enjoyed...review to come.
Profile Image for Kristin (KC).
251 reviews25.1k followers
September 5, 2018
*3 Stars*

The cover of this novel is brilliant.
Spot on. Intriguing, haunting, and perfectly represents a vital and very creepy aspect of this story.

While the cover gets an A+, the story, for me, never exceeded the confines of ordinary. But it very nearly almost did! And that’s what kept me reading…

Don’t get me wrong: This plot is fairly original and offers many sharp twists and turns. I found myself flipping through the pages rather quickly and the “mystery” certainly packed a punch. While I wouldn't say I was blown away with the reveal, I did juggle back and forth through my theories — which is always fun.

The characters were well-drawn out for the most part, namely the main hero, who’s perspective was down-to-earth. The dialogue felt natural, and the fact that the plot based itself around lies, deceit, and mistrust was interesting. There is romance entwined, but the mystery is largely where the focus lies.

I guess it boils down to connection. I never felt particularly connected to or enamored by this book as a whole. Something was just … missing. Although this story moved quickly through a string of intense events, I never felt it come alive. It didn't deliver. And that’s what I was waiting for.

This book has all the ingredients of a mediocre Action/Suspense movie, with a race-to-the-finish-but-my-car-won’t-start type of ending. The build up was fun and I was curious as to how things would end, but I don't see this read remaining memorable.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Book Stats:
▪  Genre/Category: Mystery/Thriller
▪ Romance: A big element but doesn't overplay the mystery.
▪  Characters: Well fleshed out. Flawed.
▪  Plot: Max is the prime suspect for his friend’s sudden murder.
▪ Writing: Decent. A great representation of a teenaged boy.
▪ POV: 1st Person: Hero
▪  Cliffhanger: None/Standalone
509 reviews2,414 followers
March 13, 2015

Instead of doing my usual review, I'll tell you why you need to read this book in a different way. I'm going to compare Liars, Inc. (and its characters, plot, etc.) with various people and objects. ;)

1. If Liars, Inc. would be a dessert, it would be dark chocolate. Rich, "creamy" in a way, with a touch of darkness... and sweetness

2. If Max (the main character) was an animal, he would be a dog. He's helpful (even if he's not completely moral...), protective (over his family, friends and girlfriend), and absolutely adorable. He's the kind of guy you want with you every step of the way.

3. If Parvati (the heroine) was a place, she would be a dark alley. Dark alleys can serve as a comforting place, but it's also quite mysterious inside... She's always been there for Max, but of course everybody has their own little secrets, no?

4. If the relationships (romance-, friends- and family-wise) in this book were people, they would be babies--you would just want to squish their cheeks and huge them forever! Just like babies, the relationships in this book were as gorgeous as little angels. They'll make you want to squeal, laugh and cry along with them.

Overall, Liars, Inc. is definitely a must read for fans of well-crafted thrillers with a touch of romance, friendship and family. Y'all are going to love Max and the rest of the gang.
Profile Image for Marga .
290 reviews319 followers
March 19, 2015
Actual Rating: 3.5/5 stars

It was just another day of school and hanging out to Max, Parvati and Preston when somebody approached Max to forged a permission slip and paid him afterwards. Then they came up with a really weird idea. They realized they could actually make so much money out of forging signatures, making up covers for other people... lying. So then Liars, Inc. was born.

"Who knows lying could be so lucrative?"

But things started getting out of hand when a friend disappeared then a body was found and all evidence pointed Max as the murderer. Will Max be able to clear his name before it's too late?

Okay. I cannot for the life of me summarized a story well. >_> But I guess, you get the picture, yeah? So moving on..

The thing about Liars, Inc. that I liked the most was that it was narrated by a guy whose voice was definitely masculine. Some books I've read have male POVs that wasn't really believable (their voice were even more girlish than female protagonists) so I'm so glad I don't have that problem with this book. It was just so fascinating to be inside Max's head. I can't remember how many times he made me laugh because of his sarcasm and jokes. At some pages, I just wanted to give him all the hugs.

" When you care about someone, you can’t just turn that off because you learn they betrayed you."

The characters are so remarkable that you can't help but feel for them. I got lost in this book so fast because when you started reading about these people, you just can't stop yourself from continuing. You can't help but want to know what the hell is going on. I was freaking tense when there's like a cop visible or when these guys are on the run from something.

I can't help but ship Max and Parvati so hard. So when a secret came out, I just kept hoping that they will fix their problems in the end and just be okay. These couple just have a way to make you root for them because they cannot not end up together. No way.

I love, love, love how this wasn't just about the mystery. The story involves dealing with your family and friendships and even romantic relationships. This book just have it all, you know? I would've loved it so much more though if I didn't find out the identity of the killer early. :(

The plot was simple enough to lose yourself into. It wasn't that complicated and even if I did figure out the culprit miles away before it was even revealed, I actually enjoyed Liars, Inc. a lot. I don't know if it was just a lucky guess but really, I didn't regret reading this book. Some things actually took me by surprise and I was gasping at some places so overall, this book was totally worth a read.

Definitely recommended to fans of YA mysteries with a hint of romance.
Profile Image for Lindsay Cummings.
Author 13 books5,103 followers
March 17, 2015
Paula Stokes is a friend of mine. In fact, she's my roommate from book tour together, last summer, when our YA books first came out. But I tell you that, to tell you this: even though I seem biased with this review...I swear on every book ever written, that I'm not! Even if I didn't know Paula Stokes, I'd still say that LIARS INC was a super fun book, with a super surprise ending.

I love murder mystery books. I'm a big fan of Pretty Little Liars (the books), Veronica Mars, and basically anything that has murder and mystery in one work. LIARS INC has a great voice, to start. Max, the narrator, has such a punchy, solid voice. He's got a great sense of humor, but he knows when the crap's about to hit the fan. And the crap hits the fan, for real, in LIARS INC.

What starts out as a fun way to make money (getting paid to come up with alibis for his classmates), soon turns incredibly dark, when Max's best friend disappears. And then ends up dead, and the blame is pinned on Max. Now it's up to him to discover the truth. And oh, by the way, the cops are chasing him down while he's trying to prove he did it.

There's a tense romantic side story, some darkness, some light, and overall, it's a very quick, easy read! Paula Stokes writes a very convincing high school dude--and I'm excited to see what she's got coming up next for YA readers!
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,917 followers
April 4, 2015
Here’s a fair warning: don’t start reading Liars Inc. right before bedtime or when you have other, more important things to do. That will not end well. This book is a thrill ride that demands your attention non-stop from start to finish, and what’s more, it absolutely deserves it. That’s not to say that Liars Inc. is free of flaws, but for the life of me, I can’t force myself to care. The important things are covered: a wonderful, believable protagonist, a well-built story, an interesting and most importantly different romance – all skillfully written and fabulously paced.

It needs to be said that Paula Stokes has an impeccable sense of pacing. Writing a story that progresses so rapidly, but also runs smoothly is a rare talent indeed. I must confess I was thoroughly impressed by her storytelling abilities.

The mystery was surprisingly well crafted. There are so many red herrings along the way, and they are so well placed that it’s almost impossible to tell which one of them is the real threat. More than anything, though, it was the romance that kept me glued to my gorgeous new reading chair (see how I casually threw that in?). From the start, Parvati seemed to be the perfect girl for Max, but there were ulterior motives behind everything she did. She was also the only one willing to help him when things really got tough. She seemed honest on one page and deceitful on the next, which made seeing what was real almost impossible.

There are so many lies told in this story and even more truths to uncover. Good YA thrillers are truly rare, but Paula Stokes definitely knows how to write them. Liars Inc. is not the most memorable of books, but it’s undoubtedly fun. I highly recommend it.

Profile Image for Evie.
714 reviews930 followers
February 7, 2015
Paula Stokes' latest literary endeavor is an expertly plotted, thoroughly engrossing, devilishly convoluted, clever and truly surprising YA thriller / mystery for the more mature crowd (older teens and adults). This book falls somewhere between Gretchen McNeil's thrillers and Gillian Flynn's mind-benders. It's intelligent and intense, and thanks to Stokes quality writing style, it makes other YA thrillers look rather silly and far-fetched by comparison.

Max, Preston and Parvati are close friends. Max isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, (and by that I mean, he can be easily influenced and blind to things that are right in front of him) but he's street-smart and knows what to do to get by. One day, in order to get detention (to hang out with his girlfriend, Parvati), he takes the blame for something he didn't do. The other person is grateful enough to pay him for the favor. Everyone's happy. This is how he and his friends come up with Liars, Inc. They offer certain "services" for money, such as forging parental signatures, etc. Finally, when Preston needs a cover story to meet his online girlfriend, Max agrees to a pretend camping trip. But when Preston doesn't come back from his randez vous, and Max discovers his blood-covered phone in the trunk of his car, the situation quickly spins completely out of control. And with the discovery of Press' burned body, it only gets worse.

Liars, Inc is a well thought out and sophisticated thriller. I was hooked after the first few chapters. Max often comes across as completely clueless - or too trusting, if you will - but I wasn't frustrated with him at all. I actually sympathized with him and felt bad for him. He was a relatable, well fleshed out character, with an interesting backstory and some seriously heavy emotional baggage to drag along. And yet here he was, getting screwed over again. It felt really unfair, and I wanted him to fight back.

Stokes is a very eclectic writer. So far, she committed a lushly imagined YA historical fiction series (under a pen name) and a heart warming YA contemporary romance (Art of Lainey). Both of which are great and worth reading, but Liars, Inc. is - in my opinion - her best book to date. The blend of mystery and drama, combined with relatable and honest voice of the main character (Max), makes for a very convincing and emotionally engaging read. It's not a fast-paced, heart pounding kind of read, it's more of a slow-building, meticulously woven web of lies and deception with a completely jaw-dropping final reveal that you kind of see coming, but it still knocks you out good, because there's just no way you could have ever expected it. I really hope Paula Stokes sticks to writing thrillers and mysteries (and not only teen but hopefully adult ones too). Liars, Inc. is complex, but also amazingly effortlessly put together, and I think the author feels at home in this genre.

Liars, Inc. is compelling and entertaining, but also quite thought provoking. It makes you wonder about things. Like, do we ever truly know the people around us? Can we tell who is lying and who is telling the truth? How well do we know our neighbors, friends from school, colleagues? Do we know what dark secrets they're hiding? What they're capable of? It's really the scariest part of this book, if you think about it. Paula Stokes did a fabulous job playing up our most basic fears. I can't wait for her next book!
Profile Image for Steysha.
111 reviews212 followers
February 19, 2015

“You ever feel like you don’t know anyone?” He looked out at the water again. “Or like no one knows you?”

So, this book really cannot be trusted. I had many theories about the ending and, unfortunately, I could decipher the main villain-protagonist way before it. I wouldn`t say that this book is for fans of Gone Girl, because the latter obviously stands on the upper level. While Gone Girl takes you by surprise because of its thoroughly planned crimes, Liars, Inc. is more of a book where everything you find out is accidental. I wouldn`t call this story believable or realistic. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it as much.

The truth doesn’t get you very far on the streets, or in a group home, or even in high school. That’s probably why the idea of Liars, Inc. appealed to me. Everybody lies. You might as well get paid for it.

Max, Preston and Parvati are big fat liars. They earn money on coming up with a fish story. Exemptions from school, cover stories for parents - all the little things that teens need to enjoy their youth. Nothing serious or criminal. But how far can take you a lie?

When they organized Liars, Inc. they could not fathom that deception will play a cruel joke on them. One day, Preston asks his friend to come up with a cover story to temporarily escape from home. And everything would have been fine, but he just... had disappeared. Being from a wealthy family, his disappearance immediately becomes a major concern of the police. And who might be considered a suspect, if not the main liar of the city? Indeed, all the evidences point on Max.

As it often happens, no one believes in his innocence. Well, except for his girlfriend Parvati. Together, they are going to find their friend and clear the good name of Max. But, in the process, they will learn an unexpected truth.

That was another thing I had learned on the streets. Being homeless was like being a shark—survival was a matter of always moving forward.

A little bit about the characters themselves:
Max is an orphan. The first part of his life was spent in a shelter. He knows how to survive on the streets, and the price of the family comfort. He's a regular guy who dreams of a peaceful and quiet life with his girlfriend Parvati. But he is concerned about her past - she and Preston were friends long before he appeared on the scene, and he can`t help but be suspicious and jealous.

Faith seems to be something people develop when their lives are going good. It’s always been in short supply for me.

Speaking subjectively - Max is a very plain character. He has no special traits, unlike other heroes; he does not stand out, except that he is the main narrative. But, perhaps, that way it is easier to connect with the character. He`s also antisocial, though his two best friends mean the world to him. But what if they are not who they seem to be?

It’s a shitty feeling when you realize the two people you trusted most in the world are liars.

Parvati already stands out by the fact that she is an Indian. Hello, diversity! I just could not help but think about her:

She is a spoiled girl from a rich family, who learned how to lie before she could walk. However, of all the liars, I liked her most. Parvati is strange, unusual, clever, sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes mysterious, sometimes sincere. You don`t know what to expect from her. Well, this girl also can kick some ass *girl power!*. She made a lot of mistakes in life, she`s not perfect, as it might seem at first glance. But who likes perfect?

And Preston, though he doesn`t appear in book as often as other characters. He`s a boy from a wealthy family, the star of the school, everybody loves him. And why not? He is cute, funny, sociable. But can`t it be a simply beautiful facade? After all, it`s impossible to know a person for 100%, especially if he has something to hide.

But no, not really, book. Yes, it’s certainly very interesting and worth your attention. Easy to read, captures from the very first pages. It has an intrigue, and love, and unexpected plot twists, and epic ending. I really liked how the author raised the topic of how important is it to be loved by your family. She presents us with three different kinds of parents and shows the outcome of their bringing up on their children. For me this book is a one-time-read, but it was a very pleasant experience. I advise it for the fans of Pretty Little Liars.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews842 followers
February 11, 2015
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: March 24, 2015
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV's How to Get Away with Murder.

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.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called "Captivating to the very end," Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

What I Liked:

This novel is very different from what Paula Stokes/Fiona Paul has written in the past. The Art of Lainey was a fun contemporary novel, a great summer read. The Secrets of the Eternal Rose trilogy was an intriguing historical fiction series with some mystery and science elements to it. This book, Liars, Inc., was straight-up whodunit mystery, part thriller as well. To be honest, I'm kind of hit-or-miss when it comes to whodunit mystery novels, but I give them their fair chance, and I've enjoyed this author's other four published novels. I enjoyed this one as well, just not as much as I'd hoped.

Max, his girlfriend Parvati, his friend Preston create Liars, Inc., a business of a sort, in which Max forges signatures, swaps tests, makes fake phone calls, etc., for a price. It doesn't take long for the money to start pouring in. One day, Preston asks Max to cover for him - pretend they're camping, when Preston is really traveling to Las Vegas to meet someone. Max goes along with it... but then Preston doesn't come back. Max is being framed for Preston's disappearance... murder... and several other charges. Max will have to find out what is really going on, before he goes to jail for crimes he never committed.

I really, really enjoyed the mystery of this book. I know I just said that mystery/whodunit stories are hit-or-miss for me, but I really enjoyed this one. I didn't guess the killer's identity (which is a surprise, because I usually pick up on these things fairly quickly). I had no idea who the killer was. I had some feelings, but nothing that would have pointed in the actual direction. Props to Stokes for creating an effective and rather twisted mystery story. I liked not being able to figure it out! Kind of. Heh.

I liked Max a lot. He seems like a plain guy, nothing special, but plenty of backstory and a past. He's adopted. His mom died in childbirth and his dad died when he was young (like, eight or nine or ten or something). He went to a foster home, ran away, and then went to a boy's orphanage, where his adoptive parents found him. Max is a good guy. He never felt like he really fit in with Preston and Parvati - they both came from a fancy prep/private school, for super rich kids. Both are filthy rich and they know it.

That being said... I thought the characterization of all the characters was well-written. I'm not saying I liked all the characters (I most certainly did not), but all of them had a good deal of depth. I liked some, I didn't like some, but all were realistic and authentic teenagers in high school.

The story was very action-packed and never stopped developing. It felt like something was happening on every page, something that threw the entire story. Constant twists and turns, heart-pounding, nonstop action. I liked the pacing of the story. It was fast, but in a good way. This story was very easy to read and very easy to get caught up in.

So... I liked the story a lot. This book probably would have gotten at least one more star if not for a few things - a few significant things. Overall, I really, really enjoyed this book. I liked it while I was reading, and I couldn't put it down.

What I Did Not Like:

Okay, here's why I didn't like this one as much as it seems I should have: I didn't like Parvati. Let me explain. I saw a review for this book at Richa's blog (City of Books). Richa said she didn't really know what to think of Parvati, which I took to mean that she didn't really like her. So I told myself, I probably won't like this girl. But I wanted to be proven wrong, especially since Parvati's Indian (like me), and I definitely could identify with at least that.

In the beginning, I actually did like her, a lot! For about 60% of the book, I was a fan of her. She and I have some specific things in common: she and I are both Indian (though she's half white, half Indian, and I'm full Indian - trust me, there is A HUGE difference in cultures). She and I both have insanely obsessive over-protective parents (I doubt I'll ever be able to date while still living in my parents' house LOL). And then we're different - she cut her hair, whereas mine is still past my waist (it's a cultural thing for an Indian girl to have her hair kept long). She's blatantly rude and rebellious, whereas I'd like to think that I'm quietly rebellious. She's impulsive, I'm not, but this didn't really bother me. Until the 60% ish point.

Up until about 60% of the book, I liked this girl. I could identify with her, especially on a cultural level.

But then 60% (ish) happened, and I didn't like her anymore. I know, I know, it's harsh of me to just up and hate her after learning about something. That's not quite what happened. I kept reading, because I knew there was some explanation as to why she did what she did (and I knew she hadn't continued doing this "thing" in the present). The author kept hinting at this, hoping readers would still be on Parvati's side. So I waited. And read. And finished the book. And liked her even less.

The thing is, when I read the initial Terrible Thing That Parvati Did, I was like, okay, she's a b**** for keeping this to herself, but it was in the past. Whatever. Then we learn certain things that she did to Max, and I was like O_O Throw in some illegal things towards the end (for those of you who read this book, think "trig book"), and I was done. The first Terrible Thing left a sour taste in my mouth, but the second Terrible Thing and third Terrible Thing, etc. made my blood boil. It kind of killed the mood for me. This is a case where if you hate one of the protagonist, you're probably not going to enjoy the book. For me, I started really disliking her closer to the end, so the story wasn't completely ruined for me.

So I didn't really like the romance either. From the start, I wasn't really buying Max and Parvati's relationship. It didn't seem like sparks were flying (in MY opinion), probably because they were already together, I don't know. There was also the matter of Max's paranoia about someone and Parvati, which killed the romance a bit. Again, in my opinion. But I wasn't reading this book for its romance. It just sucks that the romance wasn't more concrete.

***Possible allusion to a spoiler in the next paragraph***

And for those you who want to tell me that "teens will be teens and do teen things" or whatever, sure. Sure. I get that. That doesn't mean I have to like it (or the person). And I didn't. Maybe I'm not forgiving, but I don't think I could have let Parvati into my life after learning about Thing 1, 2, 3, etc. I've also grown a bit cynical towards high school relationships, so that probably contributes to my eye-rolling at the fact that all is forgiven in the end.

***End possible allusion to a spoiler***

Would I Recommend It:

Yes - because my problems with Parvati could be overlooked by other readers. I'm probably just picky and judgy or something. Or maybe too hard on her because I'd never do those things? It's hard to put yourself in someone else's shoes when that person does such extreme and crazy and cruel and hurtful and irresponsible things. But anyway - yes, I'd recommend this book, as a great whodunit mystery novel. Because I really did think that it was an awesome mystery novel. I couldn't even crack the mystery until it was resolved - and I'm usually one of those that catches on pretty quickly! So, there's that.


3 stars. Good, but not one I'll be re-reading. I'm glad I gave this one a shot - I definitely want to be more open-minded towards genres I don't read often, like mystery!
Profile Image for Dear Faye.
492 reviews2,124 followers
March 5, 2015
If you're looking for a YA mystery with an interesting premise and cast of characters, you need not look far because Liars Inc pretty much distinguishes itself from the rest effortlessly. I mean, look at the following factors and I dare you not to get excited, because I'm pretty sure you will:

✓ A male hero that actually feels like an authentic male hero
✓ A half-Indian love interest who is so comfortable with her sensuality
✓ A premise that revolves around lies and covering one's ass with more lies
✓ A whodunit murder mystery that involves getting arrested by the FBI (or, trying not to)...

Okay, maybe the last bit is something we've seen a couple of times in other books, but the first three are stuff I haven't seen yet, at least, not together in a single novel.  However, I'm kind of a hard reader to please, and although I love the fact that these ideas and concepts were here, I wasn't completely a fan of how they were executed.

Let's talk about the male hero. His name is Max Cantrell, a young high school student whose mother died when he was a born and whose father died due to a heart attack, leaving him an orphan. He was adopted once, but ran away, and found another home in the Cantrells, a couple who treated him like a part of the family but who he is wary of trusting because of what happened to him before. I really liked this guy a lot, because his narration made it easy for me to connect to him, despite my, erm, not being a dude myself. Paula Stokes gave him a voice that felt authentic, to the point that you would think Stokes herself was a boy from a previous life and channeled her inner boy-ness, if that makes any sense. He was funny, even self-deprecating at times, talked about his doubts and trust issues, and how his girlfriend made him so crazy, which was really endearing, seeing how he was so into her.

I even loved the dynamics between him and his family. They don't have the best family relationship by any means, especially since he himself held himself away from their reach, but I loved how natural their progress was when it comes to being there for each other despite years of wariness. I appreciated how it emphasized that stuff like trusting yourself and others, even if they're your step-family, doesn't come overnight. It takes a lot of time and a lot of patience, especially if you have a broken past.

Unfortunately, I was a little bit indifferent towards Parvati. Yeah, she's so in sync with her sensualityand I love how the book spreads sex-positivity and I love the fact that she was half-Indian (woohoo for diverse characters), but I just couldn't connect with her that much. Since she had an Indian background, I kind of expected some cultural insights included in here, too. This was exactly my problem with Lizzy in Dahlia Adler's Last Will and Testament, which had a half-Filipina heroine - it didn't feel like there were enough details that would make me learn more about who she were individually and culturally. I'm all for diverse characters, especially since I'm a person of color myself and it is a chance to make readers more aware and be more intimate not just with that character but with that character's culture, too, but the latter part just didn't feel there. In the end, Parvati made me feel nothing for her emotionally. Objectively, of course, I'm glad she was there, but the connection was simply nonexistent.

As for the plot itself, I liked how it was different. I mean, lies? A book about lies? You don't see that everyday, especially with an authentic teenage male voice. I liked how it was paced and how well-timed the clues were, although I could probably attribute all these things to Max's monologues and how he reacted to them and how he managed them. Unfortunately, I did find the mystery a tad bit predictable... By 60% of the book, I already had a hunch and was 100% certain I was correct, only to be proved later that I was. When the big reveal happened, it was more anti-climactic than anything else, which was further dampened with a rather long... speech... by the perpetrator, which made me cringe a bit because that long monologue pretty much detailed why he did what he did and how he did what he did, and it ended up being an info-dump for me. I don't generally have a big problem with this, but for me, a mystery is truly effective when the perp doesn't need to say step-by-step and detail-by-detail everything, and still, it makes sense for the readers. But in the end, if you don't have any problems with that, this shouldn't be a problem for you, folks.

In the end, Liars Inc was a very interesting and good read with a reliable and genuine male voice, something you don't see far too often these days in a heroine-dominated demographic. Unless you're as picky as me, I doubt you'd find anything really bad about this one. It's a book with a lot of different elements that mixed really well!
Profile Image for Zoe.
406 reviews931 followers
June 24, 2022

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.
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews908 followers
April 7, 2016
An Electronic Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review. Quotes have been pulled from an ARC and may be subject to change.

Warning: swear words are found in the book.

Blew through this book and stayed up until 2:38am to finish it. So much craziness.. So many lies..I was thoroughly invested in the story straight from the beginning. You just know that these characters are going to be making very bad decisions one right after the other. And the repercussions just add up making it even worse than before. This is the type of book where you can pretty much guarantee you'll read in one sitting because the writing flows so evenly and you just want to get to the bottom of all the lies and deception. I read this in one sitting and staying up to read it? Well it was super easy to do so.

Max is a character who you get to root for. You want him to win, you want him to have his happily ever after. I pitied him from the start because obviously I didn't trust his girlfriend or best friend. There was something shifty and shady about the way they would dodge their answers whenever Max asked them. I also didn't get how nonchalant he was when the police. I know he's had experience as a runaway orphan but still wouldn't you be freaked out if the FBI is investigating you? He doesn't even bother being careful but that's part of his character I guess. In the end, I just wanted him to get his act together and get out of the mess. I wanted more development with his family because I found his sister to be hilarious.

Can I say the pacing and the plot just kept moving like a train at high speed that I pretty much stuck my head in this book until it was over? Yep I loved the ride. I was constantly changing my theories around but never really considered the outcome because it just seemed "too easy" as a plot device. The real reason was a whole heck of complications and I can't wait until Paula writes more. She just knows how to mystery thrillers and I would love to see what else she has in store for us.



"To me, Mother Nature isn't nearly as scary as human nature."

"How did girls know exactly how far they could bend over without flashing the good stuff?"

"Life had a way of coming in and screwing shit up whenever things started going good."

"A lot of kids think high school represents the best years of their lives, but others recognize that it's mostly irrelevant bullshit, and that life doesn't even begin until afterward."

"You think it's okay to lie about stuff like that as long as you have a reason?"

"When you care about someone so much that you'll do anything-even stupid or destructive things-to protect them."

"You can't just chase wildly after every wave. You have to wait for the right one to come to you."

"It kind of sucks having nothing to lose, but it sucks even worse having everything good taken away from you. Or to realize it was never yours in the first place."

"Faith seems to be something people develop when their lives are going good."
Profile Image for Rashika (is tired).
976 reviews710 followers
February 22, 2015
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

This book is special indeed. After all the hype surrounding this book, I dived in expecting to be thoroughly charmed but I wasn’t. At least not at first. I liked it, I enjoyed it but I didn’t see why everyone loved it so much until a certain moment near the end. That's what made this book so brilliant and awesome and fantastic and I am running out of adjectives since my vocabulary is limited. So now I find myself in a dilemma. I cannot even begin describing this book (although I just did, so I am contradicting myself) and the affect it had on me.

For starters, if you read The Art of Lainey and are going in expecting something as fluffy and fun, turn around and rethink whether you want to read this book because fluffy it is not. It’s clever and witty and poignant and oh so brilliant. As you can see, I cannot stop singing this book praises, even though it wasn’t perfect and I had issues with it. ALL THE FEELS you see. All the feels. It’s becoming hard not to ramble but I shall get my shit together and write this review down anyway.

Max is a great main character. His voice shines out and he actually sounds his age! Surprise! He underestimates himself and has self-doubt but at the same time, they don’t weigh him down! There are things he believes, even if he shouldn’t, and until given proof, he won’t change his mind. He has his stupid moments, quite a few of them to be honest, but he has so many other positive qualities. I love his loyalty and I love the growth he undergoes over the course of the book, the things he realizes about himself and his family. It’s a beautiful journey.

For the most part, neither of his friends did anything for me but I grew to like Parvati more over the course of the book as we got to know her better. I have to give Paula credit though, she characterizes the friends really well. They may be fishy and I had some moments where I felt some very strong emotions towards them but at the same time, I had this need to know more about them and why they were the way they were. I just wish Max had been smarter about the two and had realized early on that they weren’t the best of friends.

The mystery in this book is so intricately developed. Not that the direction was predictable or unpredictable but the thing is that Stokes does it well. I spend a good chunk of the book trying to figure out what she was trying to do.  I had ideas but at the same time, given how she had developed certain things, I wasn’t sure what route she’d go down so when Stokes chose the one I had only guessed at, I was surprised but delightfully so (if you were nearby you might have heard me irrupting into a chorus of ‘I KNEW IT!’ and awkwardly attempting to jump up and down while lying on my bed). What made the ‘twist’ work so well in this case was that the author set things up for it. If you were looking in the right places, you would have seen it coming. It’s not predictable but it’s not random and therein lies it’s beauty.

There is a bit of a romance in this book but it’s done so realistically. This book is so sex positive and that makes me happy. I may not have been shipping this ship hard at the beginning but you betcha by the end of the book, I wanted the two to sort things out. I do admit that at learning certain things, I had hoped for a little bit more anger but that’s probably just my bloodthirsty nature talking (and I do love me a good grovelling).

This is a gorgeously written book that will keep you on your toes and will keep you guessing but it’s more than just a mystery. It’s about friendship, lies, families, making the right choices and learning to love yourself. Really, it’s a fabulous book and one I’d urge anyone looking for something gritty to read.
Profile Image for Victoria Scott.
Author 52 books2,909 followers
April 7, 2015
I could NOT put this book down. I was told there was a twist, and though I fancy myself good at figuring ol' twists out--I was dead wrong this time. That alone made me give this book five stars. But there was so much more to love--complicated characters, spot-on pacing, and humor at all the right moments. I'm looking up Paula's next book right after I submit this review. Don't miss this one!
Profile Image for Maria.
178 reviews165 followers
February 6, 2015
Check out my review and fan-art for it at The Sound of YA Books

My rating: 4.5 stars.

"When you care about someone, you can’t just turn that off because you learn they betrayed you."

For me, the whole meaning of this book in this quote.

That’s why I liked this story. The story of three friends, which is entirely built on lies. Like a mirror in front of another mirror. One liar lied to another. Lie in a lie, in a lie in even more lies. I really love such stories, but I was afraid to know what the outcome of this.

Fortunately, it ended well.
But now we go.

Once upon a time three friends, two guys and one girl, decided to make money by spreading lies. In other words, they created covering stories for parents and teachers of the students who asked them about it.

All was going well until one day one of Liars, Inc. named Preston asked the main protagonist Max to create covering story for him.
And then he disappeared.
And Max is accused of killing his friend.

With the help of another member of Liars, Inc. Parvati, which is also his girlfriend, he tries to uncover the truth about the disappearance of Preston.

Interesting? I think so too. Because this story is very exciting. I like almost all aspects of it.

Max’s voice sounds really like a guy’s voice, which is another major plus.

Parvati is quite an interesting character, and despite all of her flaws I like this girl. She is really clever and resourceful. And she is half Indian. (Hello, diversity!)

Preston? …well, you understand.

I also sincerely love relationships between Max and his adoptive parents, especially between his mother and sister. His sister is really cute. I almost shed a few tears when she gave him a mug with surfboards painted on it (Max is a surfer. This is another thing that I like very much).

You should read it because it’s good fast-paced criminal story with wonderful characters and interesting love line. And yes, and it’s a standalone, so you don’t have to wait a sequel.
Profile Image for Christina (Ensconced in Lit).
984 reviews287 followers
July 8, 2016
I've been following Paula Stokes' career for a while now. She started off with the ambitious historical thriller romance trilogy (Venom) that just got better from book to book, then the absolutely sweet and endearing Art of Lainey that just makes you want to jump up and hug the book (okay I hugged it, sue me). Now she comes roaring back with Liars, Inc. a clever YA whodunit that I didn't even see coming. One thing I really look for in authors is that they take risks and try something new. Stokes does just that in spades.

I feel like clever YA contemp thrillers are lacking for the most part. The ones I've read were passable at best. Most of them I would eventually start skimming through in boredom to get to the answer at the end, which is what I figured out in the first 5 pages. This book was so far from that.

I don't really like doing synopses in my reviews-- you can easily find that anywhere. So briefly, Max starts a business in his high school to lie for other people so they can be places they "shouldn't" be, and on top of that, he gets paid. But when his best friend ends up missing, he becomes the main suspect.

First, we start off with a great protagonist. Max is that deadbeat guy we all knew in high school. Some readers won't like him because he's not very driven and is laidback to the point that he sometimes lets his life run him over instead of taking charge himself. But that's why he's so awesome-- he's realistic, and he has opportunity to change. But he's not my favorite character. Parvati, his girlfriend is. She's not your sweet, doe eyed character--she's a force to be reckoned with, and steals every scene she's in. Stokes does a good job of reeling her in enough that we don't get swept off with her instead of paying attention to Max. That said, I have a feeling that we'll be seeing her again in maybe her own story-- she's just that intriguing.

Stokes does a terrific job of keeping a good, quick pace all the way through the story. I never felt bored, just wanted to know what was happening with the characters and where the story was going. She gets bonus points for surprising a jaded and hardened reader who can sniff out a plot twist a mile away.

Overall, this is a great YA thriller mystery in the same vein as the new show, How to Get Away with Murder. Stokes keeps surprising and impressing me with each new book. If you want a book that will keep you reading into the wee hours of the night, this is the one.
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,008 reviews377 followers
February 18, 2015
Oh the tangles webs we weave when first we try to deceive.

Is it wrong that I actually really liked this book? I mean, considering it is all about lying? I couldn't help it though, I loved the premises and I even liked devious Max.

This is one of those stories that you don't have to connect in anyway to the characters, in order to be invested in the rest of the story and while that would sometimes bother me, it really worked for the theme of the story. After all, in this story, no one is who they seem to be and everyone has a secret.

And even though I knew what was coming for the most part, this was such an engaging read that it didn't even matter. I liked the suspense and the mystery and all the deception. In fact, this book couldn't possibly have a better title than the one it does, it fit perfectly with everything going on.

Once again it was a joy to get a story with a male protagonist. One who was brutally honest in all that he thought, said and did.

I loved that this was very real even though it wasn't real. Doesn't make sense I know but if you read it, it will. I loved the family bond between Max, his mom, and his sister. It just worked so well for this story, especially since the friendship bond just want there. But instead filled with the most lies and deceit of all.

This troy just worked and it worked for no reason at all other than the engaging writing. A non stop plot, and an interesting, almost thrilling mystery.

This was pretty well done and I enjoyed it much more than I expected I would. I look forward to picking up whatever else this author decides to write in the future simply because I know I will have a great time while reading it.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,737 reviews709 followers
February 16, 2015
I was spoiled by Paula and got to read an early MS of this book and absolutely loved the fuckery. I'm pretty sure the ending of the arc is different from what I first read {I'm going to have to check}, but either way, it's satisfying.

I love boy POV so much and Max's head is fun to be in. It sounds authentic. Which means we're hearing all about how hot his girlfriend is and other boy-parts centric thoughts.

I don't want to give anything away, but know that even with reading it before, Paula still had me second guessing what was going on. The twists and tension were delicious and the ending was fabulous.

**Huge hugs to Paula for spoiling me**

**Thanks to Harper Teen and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**

**Squishy hugs to Rachel at The Bookcase for sending me the physical arc**
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,744 reviews167 followers
June 14, 2018
"Sometimes I think I'm the worst sheep of all."

I don't know - this one just did not connect with me. I thought I'd be wrapped in the mystery. I found Max's ability to stumble into the Liars club type thing they set up interesting. Also the weekend plans and even Preston all tied me in and kept me reading.

But somewhere after the first interview, I started losing interesting. I noticed my mine was wandering and I found reasons to put the book down rather than read it. As I read it small chunks instead of one big sit down, I think it made the mystery feel a little less coherent and less dramatic than a bigger reveal would have been. However, I didn't guess the ultimate twist and all the lies but I was never terribly invested either.
Profile Image for Colette.
562 reviews52 followers
April 28, 2015
This thrilling YA mystery will shock you in the most surreal way. Comparing suspects and crossing family lines, Stokes keeps readers guessing who killed whom until the last pages. My only negative came from the characters' sometimes fake-feeling emotions; I never fully connected with Max, Parvati, or Preston. Overall 3/5 stars; a quick, suspenseful stand-alone.
Profile Image for Jeann (Happy Indulgence) .
1,010 reviews4,139 followers
May 4, 2015
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

Liars, Inc. is one of the more diverse YA thrillers and romances that I've read in a while. Although it offered a lot of diverse character backgrounds, family situations and circumstances, it was the thriller part that I was really interested in, which I ended up being slightly disappointed with.

It kind of sucks having nothing to lose, but it sucks even worse having everything good taken away from you. Or to realize it was never yours in the first place.

What I did like about Liars, Inc:

- Pavarti is a beautiful black girl who is wild and liberal. She's flirty, forward, and not afraid to take the first step when it comes to sex. She actually reminds me a lot about a friend of mine, and it was great seeing a diverse character being represented as the primary love interest. I definitely didn't agree with some of her decisions, but overall she was different and it was refreshing to see.
- Aside from Pavarti, I liked the diverse range of families being represented as well, with Max and his siblings being adopted. His relationship with his parents definitely wasn't perfect, but with his regrets, wishes and feelings on the matter, it felt realistic.
- I liked how Max and his friends weren't stereotypes, and they had a lot of depth. They were popular, smart, and liked to have fun, but they bonded together because of their mutual feeling of being an outsider.

"Your past made you resilient so you don't fall apart in a crisis. I like that." - Pavarti

What I didn't like about Liars, Inc:

- I didn't like Max's point of view. As with any teenage boy, he often thinks about sex and how hot his girlfriend is....and he seems kind of dense.
- Max's decisions didn't make sense. Why would you run away and hide from the cops, acting incredibly suspicious if you're a suspect in your friends murder? - Why would you not contact the cops, or FBI if you received a suspicious call directing you to do something? I know he was threatened, but he didn't take any other safety precautions.
- I couldn't understand how Max and Pavarti's relationship could withstand the secrets they went through, especially since she was really evasive about some things when confronted. How could Max trust her after that? Secrets, upon secrets. But hey, that's just me.
- The thriller part was predictable and I saw it coming from a mile away, such as the identity of the killer and about their past.

It's a shitty feeling when you realize the two people you trusted most in the world are liars.

For a mystery thriller book, I found Liars, Inc. to be a lite version, primarily being about family, friends and romance. Although the plot was fairly predictable and I didn't get the thrills I was looking for, I really appreciated the diversity in the story.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

I received a review copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jaime Arkin.
1,432 reviews1,324 followers
March 8, 2015
I love a good mystery and Paula Stokes certainly delivers with Liars, Inc.

Max Cantrell is being set up.

For the murder of his best friend.

Preston and Parvati are the only people Max has really let into his life. Preston is his best friend and Parvati is the girl of his dreams, and when the three realize that they could put their talents and skills to good use by providing fake excuses, permission slips and cover stories for their classmates for a fee, and hopefully liven up a boring senior year of school, they create Liars, Inc.

When Preston gets Max to cover for him… one little lie, that’s all it is… Max never questions it. But when Preston disappears and then turns up dead and all kinds of evidence points the finger Max’s way he’s in a race against time to find the real killer before he ends up in jail.

I seriously can’t say much about this story without spilling certain details so this review may seem vague, but what I can tell you is that Stokes will have you suspecting EVERYONE! I didn’t trust a single person Max encountered and I even had wild theories spinning around in my head while reading.

Max is such a likable character, you’ll find it incredibly hard not to cheer him on as the pages turn. He comes across as a bit gullible at times, but not in an annoying way, his past really had me as a reader sympathizing with him and really shapes who he is now. I absolutely loved being in his head for the duration of this story.

While this isn’t an action filled read, the story moves at a pretty quick pace. Stokes does an amazing job of weaving an amazing story filled with mystery and drama. As a reader I didn’t even notice it while I was reading, but it finally hit me, the genius of it, when I turned the last page. The story seems almost effortless, the way the story twists and turns, but looking back it is so much more complex than I initially gave it credit for.

I can’t finish this review without mentioning the ending – it was perfection. I mentioned above that I love thrillers and mysteries, but I can usually figure out what’s going on as I’m reading. I have to say that I didn’t even see this ending coming and that made it all the better.

Excellent thrillers are rare in YA and Stokes is at the top of her game with this book. If you’re looking for a mystery that will keep you guessing until the last page you definitely will need to grab Liars, Inc. as soon as you can.
Profile Image for  Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Yosbe  Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.
270 reviews86 followers
March 29, 2015
Hay libros que a veces no sabes como hacerles una review que pueda expresarlo, pero haré mi mejor intento:

Este libro fue un interesante viaje... a pie, en la selva, sola.


Liars, Inc., viene, gracias a todos los reinos, desde la perspectiva de un chico sencillo,clase media, relajado, con familia adoptiva, con un amigo super popular y una novia irreverente, ambos ricos.

Primer acierto de Paula Stokes:

1- No hay protagonistas rosas que vomiten arcoiris, inseguras, con frases típicas de "me sonrojé cuando me miró entre sus increíbles largas pestañas" o "me sentía como si yo fuese Cenicienta y 'fulanita' fuese una modelo Victoria Secrets"


2- No es un YA coming-on-age que te va a estar jugando con que si tuvieron sexo o no tuvieron, que si es virgen que si no. #NoBullshit. Es un libro YA más 'madurito' Como un whiskey etiqueta dorada más o menos.


Quizás eso mismo sea un arma de doble filo puesto a que ahora la demanda de libros sosos y rosas con clichés estúpidos es lo que esta a la Colleen Hoover... what? sorry... quise decir 'a la moda'.

(Oops, lo siento, no lo pude evitar)


Es por eso es que quizás los libros de John Green, contados desde la perspectiva de un chico, como Looking for Alaska o Paper Towns no son tan azucarados y por ende no tan 'OH MY GOD LO AMO' por las personas como otros libros. ¿Pero que carajos? La mayoría no significa "lo mejor" (o lo correcto, lo saben los que vieron el vestido blanco-dorado)

Eeeen fin:

No compararé este libro con Gone Girl, porque realmente ese libro es mucho más negro y pesado, y este mucho más juvenil. Este tiene suspenso en buena parte y realmente quieres ir con Max y protegerlo.

Segundo acierto de Paula Stokes:

Los personajes son reales. Simpatizas con ellos, o los odias por ser imperfectos. No hay héroes. La trama es totalmente comprable para mi en cuanto a los afectos. No hay insta-love. Es una relación normal de adolescentes. Una relación normal entre padres adoptivos-hijo.

La trama tiene interesantes giros y es del tipo de libro que si lo cierras, es porque tienes que cerrarlo, no porque quieras hacerlo. Por ende, sigues pensando en el. Al menos así fue para mi.

Hubo algunas cositas en la trama que quizás pudieron mejorar o cambiar un poco pero realmente este libro es un WIN para mi. Tan así, que no puedo esperar para volverlo a leer, como todo buen libro #Thriller.


Creo que esto es un buen inicio si Paula desea entrar en el género thriller. You keep going girl!

Profile Image for Keertana.
1,127 reviews2,173 followers
June 14, 2015
I had Stokes stop by on the blog a few weeks ago to talk about the diversity in her latest novel, a thriller, and was incredibly moved by her discussion of not only racial diversity--with Parvati, the female love-interest of the novel--but also of Max, the protagonist. From the surface, there doesn't seem to be a lot of diversity to offer with Max--after all, he is a Causasion, heterosexual male. But, Max isn't your typical male protagonist. Not only does he struggle academically, but he also isn't the classic bad boy or the shy nerd or the cute guy-next-door. And, by breaking that mold, Stokes introduces a new form of diversity: diversity of personality. It's okay not to fit into a pre-labeled, pre-stamped, and pre-approved box.

I also really appreciated the fact that the female protagonist of this novel, Parvati, wasn't the perfect love interest. I adore a sharp-tongued, nasty female lead, if only because they defy the stereotype that women must be perfect and dainty and polite. Moreover, I rarely see it done with a woman of color because--let's be honest--I think authors are worried to include PoC who aren't cast in the role of "good guy." PoC are just as flawed and real as non-PoC so, authors, don't worry about offending us by creating angry and bitterly caustic PoC. Not that Parvati is just oozing badness, but she certainly is far from perfect and I appreciate the unapologetic ambiguity in her characterization.
Profile Image for Mara YA Mood Reader.
341 reviews270 followers
September 5, 2018
I really appreciate a good YA in a male pov. They are rare. So I really enjoyed that.

This one put me off in the first chapter. The writing seemed blunt and I immediately felt disconnected. But it’s so fast paced and twisty and the characters are such naughty little delinquents I was quickly sucked in by chapter 2. And swept away on a wild ride.

A wild ride in which at times became too much. Like okay already!! Give me some hints my fingers are aching from griping the pages!

I went into Liars, Inc pretty much blind, I just knew that it was a mystery/thriller or something from a boy’s perspective and I just had to snap it up.

So I think you should go in blind as well.
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911 reviews32 followers
April 14, 2015
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks Edelweiss and HarperTeen!

This was pretty thrilling, if I hadn’t guessed the murderer in the beginning. It was definitely a lucky guess – I mean, I had no reasoning to back it up. But since I stuck with that theory throughout the book and it proved right, it kind of brought the excitement down. Or maybe up, since I was laughing too hard. SERIOUSLY. I’m too proud of guessing the murderer I’m just going to ignore the fact it was a wild (and lucky) guess.

It all starts with Liars, Inc becomes created. It’s the place you go to if you want to get a copy of that math quiz, or get someone to call in sick for you, or pretend to be at when you’re hanging with your girlfriend.

“‘Liars, Inc. All of your duplicitous needs serviced by Max et al.'”

This scheme takes up the first couple of chapters, and it only goes a little bit into the book. In fact, the real mystery has nothing to do with Liars, Inc. I mean, someone “lied” for someone under the guise of Liars, Inc, but it certainly wasn’t necessary for the murder that happened. Either way, I definitely appreciated it, since the message of the book is lying.

Lying, and how you don’t really seem to know someone. I admit, I was definitely intrigued in the book because of How to Get Away With Murder in the blurb. I fell in love with that show and I’d say that Liars, Inc. clearly has similar messages to it. Do you really know your best friend, or husband? Sometimes the person you know isn’t who you think it is, until it’s too late… And I really got that from both book and TV show.

Each character had their ups and downs. Preston and Parvati are the rich kids who grew up with everything they could want for, while Max is the poor(er) guy who hangs out with them. His dad owns a souvenir shop, which really can’t compete to Preston’s dad with the political career. Get the gist of their relationship? Even so, they’re good friends.

Max is a really three-dimensional character. He gets in trouble, and you could say he’s one of those guys at the low end of the social spectrum. The only thing going for him is probably Parvati and his family. Other than that, he doesn’t really have any aspirations and just stick close to his rich friends. Until the murder happens and Max starts to discover the truth in things…

Parvati is half-Indian, and gorgeous. Her parents don’t really like her dating Max, so they keep a pretty low radar. Even though Parvati is with Max throughout most of the book, we learn that even she has secrets that she’s willing to lie for…

There is sex, mentioned usage of drugs, and cursing in the book for those who are averse to such things. However, the book doesn’t glorify them. No one is an addict or anything. I mean, what teen book doesn’t have one or the other? Adolescence is a weird time, and it’s kind of normal for teens to do such things. Either way, you’re reading a murder mystery so I’m sure these things aren’t surprising.

As a thriller, I’d say the book does its job. The plot manages to twist itself (despite me guessing the murderer, HA), and keeps the readers on their toes. And the lies keep on coming. This is the first YA thriller that I’ve read, and I liked it! There’s nothing to compare it with for me, but it only goes to show how original the premise is.

The only thing I was more than a little annoyed at was the racial stereotypes in the book. I like how Parvati was half-Indian, diversity for the win, you know?
But it doesn’t make it better when the white politician’s family has a Hispanic maid.

“‘Preston. Enchiladas in fridge, okay? You just heat. You need more help before I go?’
‘No. We’re good, Esmeralda. Gracias.‘ he hollered back, without looking away from the computer screen.”

Not only that, but she has an ACCENT too. Wow.

Oh and don’t forget this:

“The twins? Other than being slightly demonic at times? They probably had heart defects or some special Asian illness Darla hadn’t told us about yet.”

I get that Max is the one saying this, but “special Asian illness”? I’m sorry that we Asians have different illnesses than you Americans? Literally, the only thing I search up when I type “Asian illness” is if it’s from some exotic rare insect in the south or something in the water. Other than that, I’d say we have the same illnesses, right?
This just bothered me a little because come on, is it too hard to say “some special illness?”

Other than the racial things going on (I’m 105% sure it wasn’t intentional), I really enjoyed the book. Mystery readers will definitely be happy about the wacko in the end who turns out to be the murderer and other psychotic events going on in the background. I still like How to Get Away with Murder better though, sorry not sorry.

Oh and Max was annoying sometimes because he was just so naive and gullible. I mean through it all he came out with experience and character depth, but it was just so tasking to read about a character trying to figure out a murder when his pastimes include getting detention on purpose so he can hang out with his girlfriend. Cute, but definitely not endearing to me. Yes, he’s an underdog, but one that I rooted for with more than a little pity. I’m sure many readers will like him, but he’s totally not my type.
Right after reading:

omigod sorry the tears are escaping me because
i guessed it
haha omg
Thus, the book was a bit anticlimatic for me.
HOWEVER, if you don't think too much on the ending and just read it, you will enjoy it.

okay sorry i need to get my thoughts together

and then I'll do a review.

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