Monday, October 08, 2012

Liar & Spy (MG)

Liar & Spy. Rebecca Stead. 2012. Random House. 192 pages.

There's this totally false map of the human tongue. It's supposed to show where we taste different things, like salty on the side of the tongue, sweet in the front, bitter in the back. Some guy drew it a hundred years ago, and people have been forcing kids to memorize it ever since. But it's wrong--all wrong. As in, not even the slightest bit right.

If you enjoy character-driven coming of age stories, then Liar & Spy could prove quite satisfying! Georges, our seventh grade hero, is being bullied at school. Readers get a chance to witness this during science class--they're studying taste--and gym class. Georges doesn't exactly like playing sports, but the teacher seems friendly enough. Georges feels all alone, but, the truth is he is slowly but surely making friends with another boy, Bob English Who Draws.

Readers also witness his home life. Georges' life is changing quickly. His dad recently lost his job, his mom started working more hours, and the family had to move from their home to an apartment. Georges had to leave behind a great bedroom--with an old fire escape built-in--to move to an apartment. But soon after the move, he meets a few kids in his apartment building: Safer (who is around his own age) and Candy (who is ten). Safer and Georges make up the spy club for the apartment building...

I loved the characterization in Liar & Spy. I enjoyed getting to know Safer and Candy. I just LOVED Candy. I loved her idea of a dream guy. She wants to grow up to marry someone who LOVES orange because she HATES the flavor and since she's candy obsessed, she wants someone to "give" all her rejects to. I loved the vulnerability of both Safer and Georges, though they aren't necessarily vulnerable in the same ways. I liked the building of friendships. And I liked how Georges came to know himself better through the novel. By the end, he's become more open, and he's ready to face some of his fears.

It is a quirky novel in some ways. But it works for me. I just loved it.

Read Liar & Spy
  • If you like Rebecca Stead
  • If you like reading Middle Grade novels
  • If you like quiet, quirky books about family, school, and friends
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 comments:

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

The background is based on a background I found here...with some small adjustments on my part so it would work with the template.
Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP