Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Review: The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker


Since when do the dead send emails?

Kate Lowry's best friend Grace died a year ago. So when she gets an email from her, Kate's more than a little confused.

Subject: (no subject)
I'm here... sort of.
Find Cameron. He knows.
I shouldn't be writing.
Don't tell. They'll hurt you.

Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace's death was more than just a tragic accident. She teams up with a couple of knights-in-(not-so)-shining armor-the dangerously hot bad boy, Liam, and her lovestruck neighbor, Seth. But at their elite private school, there are secrets so big people will do anything to protect them-even if it means getting rid of anyone trying to solve a murder...


The Short Version:
A beautifully crafted mystery with plenty of emotion and humor along the way, The Liar Society puts a stellar twist on the aftermath of losing a best friend. A protagonist that is completely relatable and sympathetic, a charming love interest, and a well written cast of other characters set the stage, but the mystery itself drives things in bold ways. With strong writing, a great voice, and plenty of unexpected twists, there is plenty to connect the reader and pull them in from page one.

The Extended Version:
Kate is a fantastic protagonist, hung up on the idea that her best friend’s death wasn’t really the accident it had been ruled as. Now a loner, and clinging to small and heartbreaking bits of hope, Kate finds herself suddenly immersed in the idea that maybe Grace really is alive. Even with the sorrow that surrounds her, Kate is funny and sarcastic, and a very relatable and likable character. She is a very strong girl, despite her weaknesses and fears, and sticks to her gut instincts in even the most trying of situations. Her changing views, opinions and even attitudes towards other as the plot progresses is completely seamless, with some clear transitions and some that just happen subtly but powerfully.

Seth is Kate’s neighbor and about the only friend she still has. Despite his crush on her, Seth also just wants her friendship and the way these two interacted is so fun to read. While Kate doesn’t always treat him great, and he makes her more than uncomfortable at times, Seth has a fairly constant and enjoyable presence throughout this book. He drives the plot in a few places, and his obsession with conspiracy theories and his intelligence come in handy more than once.

Liam is a swoonworthy, lovable love interest, persistent in his chase for Kate and so suave at times it’s just the right amount of cheesy that is guaranteed to make a girl grin. Despite the initial attraction to him (for both the reader and Kate), it’s clear he does have some secrets, and the Roeckers navigated this realistically and fully. Liam has the bad boy vibe going on from the start, that gets strong in some places and weaker in others, but is such a sweet guy at his core, with plenty of redeeming and amazing qualities about him.

The rest of the characters are primarily centered around the private school Kate attends, which makes for a great setting. There isn’t a pressing sense of entitlement overall at the school, which is a refreshing change from many private school settings. The full explanation of the school’s history and layout is slowly told, creating a very lasting and clear picture in the reader’s mind. On top of this, the clues of the main mystery and to finding out the truth about Grace are scattered throughout in such a brilliant way, some of which the reader can put together while others stay cloaked in ambiguity. Even when the hoards of questions that are built throughout the book are answered, it is done smoothly without feeling like a data dump or overload.

The plot has a bold pace, with the mystery driving everything but plenty of action, emotion, and even adventure thrown in to keep the reader engaged from the start. The romantic angle adds a lot to the plot without being distracting, and the overall playout of everything is so realistic, even if frustrating (in a good way) at times. Things don’t just happen in this book, nor does everything fall in Kate’s lap, and the Roeckers kept to that notion for an overall very powerful book with a fun and amusing backdrop. Add in the smooth writing, the rich voice, and gorgeous descriptions, and this one hits it out of the park across the board.

The Roeckers have a way of playing on small what ifs and maybes just enough to make the reader unsure about any theories they might come up with. They also build the explanation of that past, giving the reader a full view of Grace despite her presently being dead, and also show Kate in clear categories of Before and After. Add in the spot on characterization, the overall mystery, and the actual playout of everything, and The Liar Society is addictive and amazing.

Source: ARC received from a blogger friend 
Reading level: Young Adult 
Paperback: 368 pages 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire 
Publication Date: March 1, 2011


  1. Loved your review! I can't wait to read this one

  2. Fantastic review! I can't wait for this to be released (which is really soon! squee!.

  3. Crapola, I erased the other parenthesis. x(

  4. I really want to read this one. I ordered it from Borders the day it came out.