The Liar's Handbook Paperback – 15 Jan 2017
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About the Author
Keren David worked as a news reporter and feature writer before publishing her compelling debut YA novel, When I Was Joe, while taking a course in Writing for Children at City University. Keren now teaches the City University course. When I Was Joe won numerous awards and a nomination for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisting for the Branford Boase award.
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River can't help lying, it gets him into trouble. He is forced to write about his life as punishment at school, but ends up uncovering the deeper lies of his family and life that are rather shocking.
I really liked River's voice in this, he's a real teenager who talks to the reader in an authentic young voice, he's a footballer, he investigates lies around him and learns a lot about secrets that have a huge impact on him, but also manages in just over 100 pages to grow as a young man and start to resolve the problems lies around him have cause.
I've read David's work before, and she is a talented writer who captures the teenage voice well, and the topic here will be of interest to young adult readers after a well-written story that isn't too demanding of their time. One for ages 13 and above.
The Liar’s Handbook is the notebook that River is given to write his ‘stories’ in but instead it becomes his investigative journal for finding out about his mum’s new boyfriend. River doesn’t like him, he’s too nice, tries too hard and what is hidden in his office?
River’s narration is engaging and he’s a likable character. River grows during the book, which made the relationship with mother (and new stepdad) change as well.
I don’t want to give anything away about the plot. There is a note at the end from the author which explains the inspiration. It was a news story I had heard of so I made the connection while reading the book.