April 14, 2015

Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

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.
 About the Author

Biography

Hey, I'm Paula. I write stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. I believe in second chances and happy endings, both in life and in books. My writing has been translated into nine different languages, which is just about the coolest thing ever.

In addition to being an author, I'm also an RN, online instructor, and freelance manuscript consultant. When I'm not working (rare), I'm kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. I've petted tigers, snuggled snakes, snorkeled with sea lions, and once enjoyed the suction-cuppy feel of a baby elephant's trunk as it ate peanuts from my palm. I love talking to readers! Find me on my website, authorpaulastokes.com, or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.



From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Max has a pretty good scheme running. With his girlfriend Parvati and his best friend Preston, he sells lies of any shape or form to his classmates at Vista Palisades High under the name Liars, Inc. It's mainly small stuff like forging a parent's signature on permission forms or providing an alibi for teens who want to spend uninterrupted time with boyfriends or girlfriends. And, it's pretty lucrative-the three friends are making a lot of money for dealing in half-truths and fabrications. But all that changes when Max provides a cover story to Preston's parents so that Preston can go to Las Vegas to see a girl he met on the Internet. The trouble is, Preston never comes home. Preston's dad is a senator, and suddenly, Max is being interrogated by the FBI. He's on his own to find out the truth about what Preston was really doing and why. Liars, Inc. is an interesting mystery with enough plot twists and turns to keep teens motivated to keep reading. However, Max and the secondary characters are not developed enough for readers to truly care about what happens to them. Max's relationship with Parvati, which her parents disapprove of so much that they've forbidden her to see him, is mainly described in terms of their sexual activity; she seems to have little personality aside from her relationships with the men in the story-Max, her dad, and Preston. An additional purchase for libraries where mysteries or books with twist endings are desired. For those who wish to read about liars and the intricate web they weave, steer them toward We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (Random, 2014).—Traci Glass, Eugene Public Library, OR

Review

“Stokes continues to masterfully plant crumbs and red herrings on the road to the solving the mystery. The action is nonstop in this dark, psychological thriller. Readers will be on edge until the satisfying conclusion.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))

“An interesting mystery with plot twists and turns to keep teens reading.” (School Library Journal)

"Max is so well-drawn it's hard not to be completely sympathetic to his predicament...the author twists and turns at all the right moments. Even the keenest mystery buffs will be hard-pressed to predict the book's finale, which packs quite the emotional and physical punch. Captivating to the very end."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)










 





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