Thursday, April 9, 2015

Renegade - Stephanie's review of LIARS, INC. by Paula Stokes

Title: Liars, Inc.
Author: Paula Stokes
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 3/24/2015

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.

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.

Max Cantrell is one third of the entrepreneurial triangle called Liars, Inc. His best friend Preston and Parvati, Max's  girlfriend, start the business, creating alibis for classmates who want to sneak out, forging signatures and selling test answers. Easy money. But when Preston tells Max he's headed out to Vegas to meet a girl he met online, Max covers for him- Liars, Inc. style- pretending they'd gone camping. Only Preston never returns home and Max is suddenly accused of his murder.

It turns out, beautiful, rich Parvati has been doing some lying of her own and Max can't trust any of the people he thought he could. Most important to him is finding his best friend's killer and clearing his own his name. Second to that, uncovering the lies Preston and Parvati have been hiding.

So, it's really difficult to review this book without spoiling any of the thrillery  details. Basically you've got three teenagers who are rebelling against authority when they set up a small business which turns into a nightmare situation that Max ultimately has nothing to do with.

Paula Stokes kept me on my toes with the twists and turns, and while it's necessary to suspend disbelief throughout parts of this book, it's done really well. I wasn't expecting the ultimate twist and overall, it's a fun, suspenseful, quick read.

Styx - Renegade

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