Liar & Spoilers

I’ve already talked about this a fair bit, basically pleading for people not to give away any of the twists and turns of Liar. For the most part bloggers and reviewers for the trades have done exactly that.

I would like to thank them for being so amazing about not spoiling Liar. I’m really astonished by how considerate reviewers have been. Thank you!

Of course, inevitably, there are spoilers out there in the broad, wild intramanets. Not all reviewers feel the same way about spoilers that I do, which is absolutely their right. I cannot make anyone not spoil Liar I can merely request.1

But I would like to explain once more why I think it’s important that those of you who have not read Liar should avoid the spoilers. There are a lot of them out there now. Your best policy is to avoid all reviews until you’ve read the book.

Here’s why:

Pretty much every reviewer so far has expressed pleasure at the unexpectedness of some of the book’s revelations. If you already know the spoilers that pleasure is taken from you.

Even friends of mine who don’t care about spoilers and actively seek out spoilers have told me that they’re really glad they read Liar unspoiled.

Knowing those revelations ahead of time will change the way you read the book. It will make you decide ahead of time that Liar is an x kind of book when if you had gone into it not knowing you may have decided it was a y kind of book. Or possibly both. Or some other thing altogether.

I deliberately wrote Liar to be read in more than one way. That way more than one reading would make sense and be sustained by the evidence. So if your friend tells you, “OMG! Wait till you get to page x and you find out y! And you discover it’s a z kind of book!” Your reading will be shaped by that particular interpretation of the book, which puts weight on the first revelation, but ignores the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth etc. ones.

Why, yes, Liar was a bugger to write. And, no, I have no plans to write any more books like it. From now on I’m only writing books where spoiling isn’t that big a deal. Like all my previous books.

One last thing: Yes, the Liar sightings contest is still going. Apparently Liar should start appearing in bookshops in Australia, New Zealand and the USA this week. First person to send me a picture of Liar in the wild for each country wins a prize. You can put a link to your picture in comments or email me. The Canadian prize has already been won.

  1. The blog overlord, alas, only controls this blog with an iron fist. []


  1. Gili on #

    I enjoyed LIAR very much, and also respected it as a masterful piece of work. But I must say it has been hard keeping quiet about the book when I can’t wait to discuss people’s responses to it. Namely, I wonder if some people will not be turned off by that… thing of not quite knowing where you stand even very late into the book. Hard discussing a book entirely in code.

  2. Justine on #

    Gili: Give your copy to all your friends. Then you can all discuss it not in code. Make them read it! 🙂

    Once the book is officially out I’ll be creating a spoiler thread here.

  3. Tim Pratt on #

    I’m one of those people who isn’t bothered by spoilers and sometimes seeks them out… but, yeah, Liar is much better unspoiled, I must admit. A real whiplash-inducing reading experience.

  4. wandering-dreamer on #

    Grr, I really want to read Liar now but I probably won’t have a chance until, er, whenever I get home and start stalking out the local B&N. Curse you small towns with no bookstores! And no real public libraries either (my college library hasn’t quite grasped that beginning children’s chapter books and full on YA shouldn’t be in the same section…).

  5. E. Kristin Anderson on #

    I so so so agree with you, Justine! I found that even deciding where to shelve the book in our store was agonizing (we ultimately decided it would live with the rest of your books, just so that they could be a happy family).

    Handselling it is going to be a bitch without giving too much away, but I’m confident I can do it. Here’s hoping other booksellers find a way, too!

    Honestly, I will NEVER understand people who actively seek out spoilers. I am immediately disinterested in a book/movie/tv show if I already know what’s going to happen. Who knows why people don’t want to be surprised?

  6. Matt Cheney on #

    We do have a different tolerance for knowing plot information beforehand, but, despite what my old and perhaps unnecessarily provocative statements were, it would really take a lot for me to deliberately violate a writer’s plea for reviewers and bloggers to not reveal too much (without a warning to unsuspecting readers, at least). To do otherwise would be obnoxious. I’m excited to read Liar, and promise to do my best to avoid any spoilerage if I talk about it in any venue where potential readers might stop by!

  7. Justine on #

    Tim: Thank you! Um, I think. Whiplash is not a good thing, is it?

    wandering-dream: I am sorry for your suffering.

    E. Kristin Anderson: And that’s why it’s wrong to separate YA by genre! How will the mystery readers find my book?

    Thank you for being so non-spoilery!

    Matt Cheney: Oh, I know. I just like to tease. And I have to point out that all the spoily reviews have been very careful about giving spoiler warnings.

  8. Zetta Elliott on #

    Many, many apologies for not following your plea for discretion; I’ve revised my review.

  9. Justine on #

    Zetta: What a wonderful review. Thank you.

  10. Amber on #

    Thanks for the warning. I usually like to read reviews and all spoilers but I won’t for this book.

  11. Tim Pratt on #

    In this context, whiplash is a good thing! In the sense that whiplash is, um, sudden and surprising and moves your brain around in ways you weren’t expecting. Like that.

  12. Justine on #

    Emma: You has won the prize for Australia. Email me.

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