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Cover image for Liars, Inc.
Liars, Inc.
First edition.
Physical Description:
361 pages ; 22 cm
Reading Level:
HL 730 L Lexile
Seventeen-year-old Max, his girlfriend Parvati, and best friend Pres form Liars, Inc., expecting that forging notes and lying for their peers will lead to easy cash, but when Pres asks Max to cover for him, it may be a fatal mistake.


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A dark and twisted psychological tale, which Kirkus Reviews called "captivating to the very end" in a starred review--perfect for fans of I Hunt Killers and Gone Girl.

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. So with the help of his friend Preston and his girlfriend, 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 it. But then Preston never comes home. And the evidence starts to pile up--terrifying clues that lead to Preston's body.

Terrifying clues that point to Max as the killer....

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

To make some extra cash, Max, his girlfriend Parvati, and best friend Preston go into business peddling fake excuse notes and forged signatures to fellow high-school students. But when Preston disappears, Max becomes the primary suspect. Sensing that it's a setup, Max begins his own investigation. Slow to start, the story eventually settles into an engaging mystery filled with unreliable characters. (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

When Max's friend goes missing, he finds himself in the middle of an increasingly tangled web of lies and conspiracy. Max's two best friends in the world are his girlfriend, Parvati, and a senator's son, Preston. The three share a gift for lying effectively, and when Preston asks Max to give him an alibi so he can go to Vegas, Max doesn't even blink. But when Preston doesn't return the next morning, Max suddenly becomes the prime person of interest. With Parvati's help, Max does his best to clear his name and discover Preston's true whereabouts. As the mystery unfolds, readers will be put on edge for two reasons: first, Stokes' superb knack for misdirection and intrigue, and second, Max's increasingly poor decisions. Whenever a fork in the road appears and Max must choose between cooperating with the police and making himself a guiltier target, he chooses the latter. This quality is frustrating but remarkably endearing. Max is so well-drawn it's hard not to be completely sympathetic to his predicament. As the ground beneath his feet falls away, Max uncovers bigger and stranger clues regarding Preston's fate, and 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. (Mystery. 12-16) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Max, his girlfriend Parvati, and his best friend Preston have all told little white lies who hasn't? So they start Liars, Inc. and start charging their classmates for excuse notes, forged signatures, and alibis. Then Preston asks Max to provide an alibi so he can meet someone he met online, and Max quickly agrees he would do anything for his best friend. But Preston never comes back from his trip, and Max becomes the prime suspect in his disappearance. Max is an easy target: he looks the part of a bad kid and lived on the streets before being adopted. Each time Max gets closer to the truth, another piece of evidence pops up pointing the finger at him. While the mystery and writing aren't always tight, this thriller has plenty of appeal for teens looking for a book that will keep them guessing. The truth behind Preston's disappearance offers a nice twist to the story, and even though things are resolved fairy easily, especially the conflict between Max and his girlfriend, this is one exciting ride.--Thompson, Sarah Bean Copyright 2015 Booklist

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