Liars, Inc.

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Liars, Inc. is one of those books takes a completely different turn than what you would expect.

This novel, written by American author Paula Stokes, is told from the first-person perspective of Max Cantrell, a high school senior who lives in California. He spends most of his time hanging out with his two best friends- girlfriend Parvati and popular Preston. The three of them come up with the idea to sell alibis and lies to their classmates- starting Liars, Inc. When Preston asks Max to cover for him one night, the seemingly simple plan turns into a complicated police case when Preston goes missing and the FBI begins to question Max.

I initially thought that this novel was going to be the standard book about a high school plot gone wrong. I didn’t expect it to be a crime thriller novel involving life-or-death situations, police chases and firearms. As an avid fan of the Law & Order television series, the story took on the aura of an episode. I appreciate how Stokes diversified her genre- choosing to write a more serious novel, compared to the light nature of The Art of Lainey. 

Max is an interesting character. After his parents both died when he was young, he was adopted after spending a year on the streets. The survival instincts he learned as a kid made his experiences throughout the novel fascinating. His narrative fits in with the fast-paced action and twists and turns.

Overall, I recommend this novel to those who like mysteries and twists involving high school students.







Let it Snow

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Collaboration books that feature multiple authors are always interesting to read. There are novels that sometimes have multiple perspectives chapter by chapter, but a story that is told by different authors gives it much more depth. Each writer gets to add their own interpretation and spin on whatever tale is being told.

In this case, Let it Snow is three interconnected stories by three well-known authors of young adult fiction: John Green, Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson. The stories all take place during a snowstorm on Christmas Eve, with each story being told in first person by a different character in the fictional Gracetown. Johnson leads the novel with her character Jubilee, who gets stuck on a snowbound train and ends up at the area Waffle House. Green writes about local Tobin, who journeys to the Waffle House with his two best friends. Finally, Myracle’s protagonist Addie, who also lives in Gracetown and is the girlfriend of Jeb, a boy who was on the same train as Jubilee.

Being a native of Upstate New York, I can definitely relate to the blizzard part of the story. Trekking through deep snow, getting a car stuck in the snow, and trying to figure out what stores are open are all experiences that most people have had. Green, Myracle and Johnson do a good job at intersecting the characters and creating funny situations for them to be in.

Honestly, I consider this novel more fantasy than realistic. The romantic elements are a bit cliche, involving the ones about falling in love in one night, falling for your best friend and getting back together with your ex. Overall, Let it Snow is a fun read for those who like romantic novels set around the holiday season.