Liar by Justine Larbalestier ~ A Spoilery Review of an Unforgettable Book

2010 - Young Adult Reading Challenge #8 
POC Reading Challenge

Warning: This is a highly spoilerific review with my thoughts, ideas and outcomes of the actual story. The author has requested around the blogosphere to keep the "twist" under wraps. I'm putting this under the cut so I don't freak anyone out too much but I highly suggest you read the book before reading the reviews so you can see how things turn out. Things in the book are definitely not always as they seem.

A little background.

I had heard about the Liar whitewashing cover controversy when it happened. I was shocked how some shrugged it off as saying the narrator is a liar so naturally her appearance wouldn't be as presented (seriously, people?) but I'm glad the hoopla made Bloomsbury rethink their cover into something a little closer (although not quite spot on) to the description of the character. Unfortunately, we had another go 'round with another whitewashing cover. This time it was Jaclyn Dolamore's Magic Under Glass (which is in my TBR pile) whose book video clearly states how the heroine is depicted. A vast difference from the first cover. Again the re-imagined cover doesn't come quite close to the description of the heroine but it is a minor improvement.

It's more than just a brunette character being portrayed as a blonde on the cover, it's wiping out a big part of the narrator's heritage which has been going on a within the publishing industry on the belief that people of color don't read or don't sell as much as their white counterparts. Hopefully with more readers going online to shop for hidden gems to support authors and books that go under the radar, this will change even as the publishing industry continues downhill. For more info about this phenomenon and to show your support against it, check out the Facebook page for Readers Against Whitewashing (and grab a spiffy logo while you're there ;-)).

Also check out The Librarian's Bookshelf Cover Fail Post and the awesome Cover Matters from The Book Smugglers.

I went back and forth whether or not I'm going to post the full review here or not. I don't want some unsuspecting reader to randomly come across the book and be spoiled unwittingly. So instead I'll just link to the full review on Goodreads. That way folks can have more of a choice.

My full review of Liar is located here.

If anyone has read this and would love to chat about it, don't be afraid to open up a dialogue!