Customer Review

39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Subtle...Too Subtle? *** See Review Detail for Academic Reading Level ***, August 10, 2012
This review is from: Liar & Spy (Hardcover)
Liar & Spy is another middle grade or young adult book covering the topics of friendship, school, and family. There are lots of them out there. We have a storyline about bullying, another about family issues, and a third that covers the dynamics of a friendship. This book is unique and has many winning moments. In the end, it was quite enjoyable.

Thank you NetGalley and Random House Children's Books for the review copy of this title.

I won't rehash the plot because I'm sure plenty of other reviewers will do that. What I will say to teachers and parents is this - Liar & Spy is not one of the traumatic, depressing stories being offered to young readers. 95% of this tale is calm and easy-going. Even the bullying scenes are light.

There are also excellent touches of detail. Candy, the knock knock boy, Safer's personality, and mysterious Mr. X - all fun touches that added vibrant color.

I'm slightly worried that young readers won't make it to the last 40% of this story. The ending is the best part. There are definite lulls in the storytelling. The concepts and messages are so subtle that they may be missed by some readers. Also the lingo and maturity of Georges' voice seemed a bit old. I found him to have a very experienced and wise personality. It seemed ill-fitting for a kid in middle school.

Why the four stars? In the end, Liar and Spy has a lot going for it. Once you read it through, you will finish with a couple ahh haa moments. It's touching, it covers serious subjects without being a cover-to-cover bummer, and in the end, leaves the reader feeling good. I just hope young readers don't give up before reaching that point.

Web resources give this title a Lexile Measurement of 670L.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 21, 2012 11:19:14 AM PDT
C. Wilson says:
You have a good point in your review. I only made it to page 40 and shut it wondering if I really want to finish it. Not a lot going on in the beginning.... I did enjoy the author's other book though.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2012 7:46:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 22, 2012 7:46:34 AM PDT
JAScribbles says:
I enjoyed the book once I was finished with it. I particularly liked that it wasn't a dramatic, sad, emotional read geared toward middle grade and young adults. I think we have too many of those.

When you feel the urge for a cute, light read, pick up Liar & Spy once more.

Jenna
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