I have been reading the book Liar for about two weeks and can’t put it down. It’s one of those books that I’ll find in bed with me the next morning, because I fell asleep reading it. I knew the premise of it, but oh my gosh, you find out it’s nothing like what is on the jacket flap. Nothing! And I wonder how readers of the book have kept its secrets from other readers. The stuff that happens in it is a total surprise to me, I never saw it coming.
Part of the allure of Liar is the main character Micah. She states on the first pages that she’s a liar, but we can trust her. I soon learn that we can’t. Her stories keep coming and each time she gives us a truth, she reveals a lie (often one of omission) to the point where I don’t know if I can believe anything she says. But I want to, and I keep believing the new lies she spins.
Justine Larbalestier is a genius when it comes to story construction. I couldn’t do what she has done in a million years (although I’ll strive to!). She continues to fool the reader over and over, and I keep telling myself that I should have seen it coming. I’m not done with the book yet (about fifty more pages), and I have a feeling the ending is going to be nothing like I first thought from the beginning.
The book got me thinking about what I call The Sixth Sense syndrome. Have you seen the movie? If not, you’re about eight years behind and I’m going to spoil the ending (so cover your ears!). You watch the movie and unless you’re really smart and pick up on clues (which I wasn’t), you find out at the end the Bruce Willis' character was dead the entire movie. It’s one of those moments where you could totally see that, but you didn’t. The movie has fooled you.
What do you think about this syndrome? It’s what I’m seeing in Liar. Although Micah starts the story by stating she’s a liar, she continues to make me fall for her story. Do you like writing like this? How do you feel about a narrator who isn’t reliable? What if you don’t find out that things are being held back from you until the end? What if the story you have read is really a completely different story?
I’d loved to hear your thoughts on this. I know I’ve talked a few times about the story that is pushing to get out of my head, and part of this story is one of omission. As a reader, do you feel fooled? Does it make you mad? Or do you like not always knowing the story’s fact from fiction?