Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes
Published By: HarperTeen on March 24 2015
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery/Murder/Thriller
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.
I've had this eARC for a little while now, and after reading The Art of Lainey and becoming so overly attached, excited, and fangirled-up, I decided that it was time to read my first ARC of 2015 before all of you losers go out and buy this. (Just kidding, I love you all and I wish I can share.)
Before reading, I'd take a definite note if I were you: This is completely different than The Art of Lainey. I DIDN'T KNOW THAT. I picked up my Kindle and began reading, lurking for a chick-lit contemporary, but what I got was something that would totally come out of a mystery/thriller movie that would hit the box office big time. Liars, Inc. wasn't what I expected, but it totally sold my expectations to the big guys. I fucking loved it.
"My whole life went from simple to complicated because of one little lie. I'm ready for things to be easy again."
First things first, let's give a first round of applause for a male protagonist. We hardly get those, and the lacking is a pain in the butt for all of us who are looking for something different. Max was hot, sexy, kick-ass, and perfectly fitted for his role. He did it even better than James Bond.
If I close my eyes, I can honestly picture this scenario happening in a movie. Max and his two best friends, Pavarti (who is also his girlfriend) and Preston create a lying-based opportunity called Liars, Inc. where they sell lies to their classmates and sort of make money out of it. They're always looking for trouble, and this is their chance. When Preston goes missing, Pavarti and Max think it's a joke, since he supposedly said that he was going to go out to see a thirty-five year old woman who he met while playing poker online. Everything's cool, until Max covers up for him so there won't be a hassle. But as things turn for the worst, the FBI are onto something, and they're soon after Max. With Pavarti's major help, Max goes into hiding and prays for the best. The FBI now believe that Max is the murderer of Preston, and clues and evidence are popping around, and everything seems to lead to him, but it's obviously not.
When looking through everything, this totally can seem like such a sad story, and it is. Max broke my heart—no, he shattered it with his words and thoughts. Stokes has yet created another powerful protagonist who's story you must read from start to finish in one sitting, because it's freakishly explosive and gorgeous. Did I mention that I absolutely adored the concept? :p I cried, people, I TEARED UP.
"But do I love her back? Maybe. I hate seeing her in pain. I want her to be happy. Is that enough? I don't know. Can you ever really know? Trust doesn't come easily to me, and if I stay together with Parvati we'll have to rebuild it almost from scratch."
I started the book, began to love it, and then I even adored it through the end. When Paula writes a story, you're unable to forget about any of the events. Everything's replaying over and over in my head, and I'm gushing and freaking out because what happened to Max was creepy, thrilling and unbelievable. This is not a chick-lit story, this is a dark, creepier side of the mind of Paula, fantastic and precious author of my favourite books.
When looking back at my reading experience, that is true. The real truth behind everything and what happened to Preston was mentally insane, but in a good way I guess? The good way as in the plot and intriguing me. I had no idea what was going to happen by the end, and I must say that I was awfully surprised with the way the ending sorted out being. I thought that I knew what was going to happen, and then I ended up being so, so wrong that my mind is still blown with freakish writing powers.
Max was sexy, smart, and sweet at the same time. He was the risk-taker, and for those who he loved and cared about, he was willing to do the impossible and unstoppable. That's honestly who we're all looking for in a fictional boyfriend. Guess who's mine? HE AND MICAH SHOULD BE BEST BUDDIES BECAUSE THEY SUIT EACH OTHER PERFECTLY UGHHHH! Why must Paula Stokes write about such hot guys?
As I began the book, I had no idea that Pavarti would end up being a main character, but she did. She was very much like Max in so many ways, and it brought me chills as she tried to help her boyfriend and then looking at all of the trouble that she brought herself into by the end, we all realize that she didn't have to, but she did.
Man, there is no sunshine in this book. Looking back, I feel like it was all black and white, deep and a dark thriller. Beware of crazy panic attacks, screaming and crazy feels. This was a roller coaster ride ridden a thousand times, minus the barfing. This is easily going to be mine and your favourite read of 2015. Man, I can't believe that I'm typing that year up. ;)