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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

The Third Lie’s the Charm [a book review of sorts]

The Third Lie’s the Charm (The Liar Society, #3)
by Lisa & Laura Roecker

Katie Lowry knows she could’ve stopped Alistair from doing something stupid if only she’d picked up the phone. Now she has to live with the guilt. She’s sick of the lies, sick of the secret societies that rule life at Pemberly Brown Academy. But there’s only one way to take them down: from the inside… (goodreads.com)

Ok, so maybe it’s been three years since I read the first two books in this series. And maybe I spent a good chunk of that time checking to see if my local library had this third, and final book. (It never did.) And maybe, just maybe, I had zero recollection that I had BOUGHT this book on my Kobo at some point in time. And maybe, hypothetically speaking of course, I discovered I had this book on my Kobo after about a year of not even knowing where my Kobo was, or having it charged. And finally, maybe I noticed I had this book on my Kobo when I was trying to load some library books onto it before a flight out East to visit my cousin, and those library books didn’t actually work on my Kobo but I had this here Liar Society book all loaded up on there and ready to read.

And maybe (yeah, I lied about the finally part) even though I read this book at the end of September, I am still thinking about it enough to blog about it.

This is all possible. Not saying it isn’t.

I went back and re-read my blog posts about books one and two (linked below) and sure enough, I was as enthusiastic about the novels as I thought I had been. I’m rather bummed I’d forgotten about having bought the final book (allegedly). Then again, my life changed a lot a few months after I’d read the other books. I haven’t been reading much at all. And I do not like reading e-books. It bugs me so much reading on a screen. Even with e-ink. Bleh.

I’m not really going to review the book much though, even though it was awesome, and I did love it. (Check out this series if you haven’t. GREAT mysteries! Secret Societies! Woo! Scandal!) I need to talk about something else in the book that’s been sticking with me for over a month since I finished it.

Katie’s loss of her friend, and the sort of frantic, anxious, paranoid, lung-crushing emotions she has throughout the novel are so, so spot on. People tell her she’s in shock, and experiencing symptoms of a trauma (the murder of her friend, and well, others) and she’s certain she’s not crazy though everyone tells her she is. She gets sent to a therapist, and has even her closest friends question her sanity about even more conspiracies and secret societal shenanigans. And all I could think while reading this was: woah. The authors GET IT. They captured on page (er, screen?), in words, what it feels like to spiral out of control over the loss of something, someone, in a traumatic way. You don’t know if you’re up, or down. Coming, or going. You spend your time trying to focus and breathe, and you’re scared, angry, sad, confused, lost.

And Katie was all of those things as she tried to get to the bottom of the latest mystery at Pemberly Brown Academy. Her struggle was almost palatable to me. My heart raced, but not in a trigger sort of way, but in total empathy for the character. I understood. I could have been her (if I were 15+ years younger).

In reading my original blog posts about the first two books, I see that I was all about the authors’ grasp of the teenage voice, and point of view. They got it. And they still do, but they also got that out-of-control feeling that Katie was experiencing and they expressed it so well in this book. The mystery, the suspense, the sarcastic humour and quips, they were all wonderful as well, but what truly stood out to me was the way Katie’s emotional crisis was portrayed.

I love well-written, and engaging novels. I love being able to recommend a series like this to young readers because I know it will be appreciated and enjoyed. I don’t think you can lend e-books (I’m old, I don’t get the technology of the youth) but I might just toss my Kobo at my niece (and sister) and tell them to read this series. It’s not very salty or risqué, and my 10-year old niece has a pretty high reading level (if she can get through The Hunger Games this series might seem like Sesame Street to her). And I said it before, but there aren’t too many mystery novels in the YA field that aren’t paranormal in some way. At least not that I have found. That makes The Liar Society a delightfully refreshing series to devour.

The Liar Society

  1. The Liar Society
  2. The Lies That Bind
  3. Third Lie’s the Charm

The Lies That Bind

The Lies That Bind (Liar Society, #2)
by Lisa & Laura Roecker

Just when Kate Lowry thought she had life at elite private school Pemberly Brown figured out, she cracks open a fortune cookie to find a message from her best friend Grace–who’s supposed to be dead.

Another Sister Gone

A classmate has gone missing, and Kate soon realizes that the disappearance is tied to the secret societies that rule her private school. Her best friend died for their secrets, and there’s no way she’ll let them get away with it twice. It’s up to quirky outsider Kate to get some answers, but in a school where every answer leads to more questions and nothing’s as it seems, who can she trust? (goodreads.com)

I am going to get something off my chest right away. A confession of sorts. I totally picture Seth looking like a grown-up version of Chuckie from Rugrats. I didn’t even WATCH that cartoon and I think the image I have in my head is of another red-headed, nerdy cartoon boy from the 90s, but I can’t think of his name and my google searching abilities only allowed me to find Chuckie. (Whose name I didn’t even KNOW until I found him on Google. That’s how not a Rugrats person I am.) Anyhow, I have this mystery red-headed cartoon character image in my mind each and every time Seth is on the page. I’m sorry. I do! I am certain he is not supposed to look like a cartoon. 😉

And now… My love for this series just grew tenfold while reading this here second book. And even though I totally guessed how it would end (well, most of it) I thought of it as a “HA! I am SO SMART!” thing and not a “well, that was stupidly predictable” thing. I took pride in the fact that my suspicions were right. Go, me! Of course there were some things that threw me for a loop at the end as well and made me very cranky and all “Well, this is UNFAIR!” and mad at myself for not seeing through what I felt I should have seen through.

Oh, and I had no idea who to trust, I was suspicious of everyone!

And really… I just want to be able to live on this campus. I want to be part of Pemberly Brown Academy and have SECRET TUNNELS and SECRET ROOMS and all sorts of nifty stuff. I work at McGill and well, the campus is also old and pretty so why can’t I have that here? Huh? If it’s already here then I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT!

I don’t want secret societies running everything from school to law enforcement though. That part of the story always makes me feel anxious and suffocatey. I don’t like when there’s no one that can help you because you can’t trust anyone. I mean, law enforcement people and teachers and stuff, they’re SUPPOSED to be the ones to turn to when you’re in trouble. I don’t like when you can’t seem to find a non-crooked person in the lot. I think that’s one of my biggest fears, that one day I’ll be in trouble and no one will help me. Gah!


Ultimately, I had a completely enjoyable reading experience for a few days while reading the first and second books in this series. For the first time in a long time, I was able to escape completely into a story and actively want to keep reading it and not just put it aside and get back to it when I had time to sit and read a book. I read a lot of books, and although I tend to enjoy most of what I read, there’s something special about reading a book that MAKES you WANT to read it and not just read it because you like reading and it’s how you spend your free time.

The only really negative thing I can say about this series is that I have to wait until December 2013 for the third book. That’s, like, a YEAR away. Ugh. Oh, and I am honestly contemplating buying these books in hard copy, too. I want to be able to lend them to people but I can’t do that as ebooks (right? On Kobo? This isn’t a possible thing, right?) They are the type of mysteries that I would reread in a marathon-esque series binge. I do that with TV shows (Buffy, Angel, Jem) and I do that with books on occasion, too.

Hmm, I would say if you like the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter, you’d likely like The Liar Society series. They aren’t quite the same thing, but I’d put them in the same food group. Which reminds me, I think I’m due for the latest GG book in paperback soon, yes? I should look into that….

The Liar Society

  1. The Liar Society
  2. The Lies That Bind
  3. The Third Lie’s the Charm

The Liar Society

The Liar Society (Book 1)
by Lisa & Laura Roecker

Best friends don’t send emails once they’re dead. Kate Lowry may wear fake pearls and shorts so tiny that Nancy Drew would blush, but she’s on the trail to prove that Grace’s death was no accident. Along for the ride are a couple of knights in (not so) shining armor: the dangerously attractive bad boy, Liam, and her love-struck neighbor, Seth. Together they discover a secret lurking in the halls of their elite private school that threatens to destroy them all. (goodreads.com)

I have been on a reading roll since the year started. I have just managed to feel all settled inside my head in time to start semester numero deux of course work on the weekend. I will then lose all free reading time. Thankfully, the books I have read so far this month have been awesome.

I signed up for Sourcebooks’ 24 Days of EBook Deals over Christmas… this resulted in one purchase, I believe. Then they did their 12 More Days of Sales or whatever it was called and The Liar Society and its sequel were on sale one of those days, along with other contemporary YA fiction. I had been eyeing this series for a while, what with the PINK HAIR on the cover (girl after my own heart, I tell you) but I was all worried the book might fall flat.

Little did I know how much of a fun mystery ride I was in for. I was SO HAPPY that I bought both the first and second books at once. I didn’t even want to pick up the REAL book I was reading at the time, I was so focused on these books on my eReader. Me! I felt a little bit ashamed at myself because I am so anti-e-reader, but people…these books are awesome!

I am warning you now, I will be writing the word AWESOME many times in the next few posts because that’s all I can think of to describe the books I am loving. So just deal with it, ok?

So, about this Liar Society book… it’s fast-paced, suspenseful, amusing and fun. Kate is a great protagonist and you can really get a sense of how much she’s torn up over the death of her best friend and all of the other stuff that comes after it. Both Lisa and Laura Roecker do a great job of writing about real emotions and how teens can act. The sudden loss of the friendship between Kate and Maddie after Grace’s death is so brutal and realistic at the same time. These things can happen. Teens – and adults – can behave this way. I actually found most of the interactions and reactions and relationships in this book to be very believable  I think that’s part of what made the story so good.

Rich people prep schools, secret societies, school uniforms (which I always wanted to have!) and great characters make this just a fun, fun ride. I was at the edge of my seat the entire time wanting to know how Grace was communicating with Kate. I figured there was a logical explanation to this since I knew I wasn’t reading a supernatural book, and I’d sort of guessed some of the answers by the end, but not all of them.

Reading this book made me realize I need to read more mysteries, and that there really aren’t all that many in the YA genre. Nancy Drew is close, but I think she’s also rather middle grade-ish. I think Kim Harrington’s Clarity series is close, but it also has paranormal elements to it. The Liar Society is just plain, teenaged mystery and I loved that about the book. So if you can think of any amazing YA mystery/suspense that you think I might like, by all means, tell me about it in the comments! I love mysteries. I think second to fantasy it’s my favourite genre. I love the guessing game that happens from first page to last. I love the suspense. I love the whodunnit… I want MORE!

I was also extremely happy to have been able to buy BOTH books at once for $0.99 each, too! What a great deal and I am seriously considering buying both of these books in hard copy, now that I know I loved them. I want to own them and have them grace my shelves.

Stay tuned for my post about the sequel, The Lies That Bind!

The Liar Society

  1. The Liar Society
  2. The Lies That Bind
  3. Third Lie’s the Charm – December 2013