'Secrets, lies, murder and betrayal.
'Micah Wilkins is a liar. But when her boyfriend, Zach, dies under brutal circumstances, the shock might be enough to set her straight. Or maybe not. Especially when lying comes as naturally to her as breathing. Was Micah dating Zach? Did they kiss? Did she see him the night he died? And is she really hiding a family secret? Where does the actual truth lie?
'Liar is a breathtaking roller-coaster read that will have you up all night, desperately seeking for something true.' (From the publisher's website.)
'Books with evil children as main protagonists can be disturbing, even more so when they appear in literature targeted at children and young adults. Very often these evil characters provide an emotional counterpoint to positively represented characters and generate antipathetic feelings. The main protagonist in Liar is Micah Wilkins, who lives with her family in New York. Told from her point of view, the story moves between the present, which focuses on her everyday life at high school, and the past, which relates Micah's family history and how she met her boyfriend. As with the acquisition of empathy, cognitive psychologists distinguish at least four developmental stages. Cognitive empathy is the capacity to understand another's mental state or perspective. Lying is closely connected to moral issues and ethical debates focusing on whether all lying is wrong, as in the case of prosocial lies, such as polite lies and white lies.'
Discussing her writing methods, Larbalestier says she wrote Liar 'out of order and in small chunks' so that 'in some, ways, it was more like writing poetry than a novel' (6). She talks about the impact of 'being an Australian living, on and off, in New York City" (6) as shaping the novel, however she also briefly refers to a number of significant events in her own life and the geographical landscapes that influence and inform the narrative. These include attending an alternative high school in Sydney (6), the death of a close friend (7) and the 'hyper urbanized' environment of New York City where 'Nature and wilderness and city co-exist' (7).