Sunday, November 1, 2009

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

"I was born with a light covering of fur." This is the first thing Micah Wilkins tells us about herself. Then: "My father is a liar and so am I." Her father is Black, her mother is White and she is in her final year of high school in New York City. Her relatives are reclusive hillbilly-types living in the backwoods and Micah has inherited the "family illness." She spends her summers with them, "running free." She is incredibly fast on her feet - but she keeps this a secret in the city. Her sense of smell and her hearing are unnaturally keen.

From the opening sentence, I guessed that Micah was a werewolf, although she doesn't get around to admitting it until page 171. It's an excellent reason for being a good liar - and therefore an unreliable narrator. The tension in this suspenseful story lies in untangling the truth from Micah's version of the events surrounding the death of her boyfriend. I was in the grip of her words right through to the end. Grade 9 - adult.

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