Liar by Justine Larbalestier
Micah lies. A lot. When she first started her new high school, she let everyone think that she was really a boy. When her lie was finally exposed, she revised her story to say that she was born a hermaphrodite. When her sometimes-boyfriend Zach is killed, Micah’s world turns upside down. She both wants to stop lying and needs to keep lying in order to protect her family secret. She really would like to be able to tell the truth, though, at least to her reader.
Weaving lies is one thing; having them weave you is another.
That’s why I’m writing this. To keep me from going over the edge. I don’t want to be a liar anymore. I want to tell my stories true.
But I haven’t so far. Not entirely. I’ve tried. I’ve really tried. I’ve tried harder than I ever have. But, well, there’s so much and it’s so hard.
I slipped a little. Just a little.
I’ll make it up to you, though.
From now on it’s nothing but the truth.
I love narrators who tell you straight out they are unreliable, and Micah is no exception. Sure, she tells you she’ll tell you nothing but the truth, but come on, the title of the book is “Liar,” so you know that isn’t true. In fact, Micah can’t really even help her lies. I knew all along that I had to take everything she said with a grain of salt and I found it fascinating sorting through what was and was not true. I’m still not completely sure what was true, but since neither is Justine Larbalestier, I’m okay with that. Often ambiguous endings really bother me, but when they are done well, as they were in this case, they just make the book stick with me. Liar is going to stick with me for a long time.
If you’re up for an unreliable narrator and an ambiguous ending, this is a must-read.