FAQ

Q: What happened with the US cover of Liar?

A: You can find the whole story here and here. I strongly recommend you read the comments as well.

Q: Can you tell me what really happens at the end of Liar?

A: No. I deliberately wrote the book to be read in at least two different ways, which means that there is no one ending, and thus no way I can tell you what really happens. You’re on your own. Well, sort of, you can always check out the Liar spoiler thread for further discussion of What Really Happened.

Q: Is writing an unreliable narrator hard?

A: Yes.

SPOILER WARNING: Some of the questions that follow in the comments are Very Spoilery Indeed. Do not read them unless you’ve already read Liar.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

71 comments

  1. Brian on #

    Hi Justine, love your writing (even though I’m probably a bit old for your typical target market)

    I realize this is probably a publisher thing, not an author thing, but do you have any idea if/when Liar or HTDYF will be available from Amazon to download on the Kindle?

    I’d like to say it’s because I want to save trees (and I do!) but mostly it’s because I can’t fit any more books in my house!

    Cheers.

  2. QuestionQuestion on #

    Hi. I live in the US and i was wondering when the book will be out so us americans can buy? Didn’t you say you could only buy it in australia? or are youa a LIAR?

    haha.

    I know. Corny joke. Please answer when you can.

    -Question Question

  3. 12 year old obsessd reader on #

    Hi,
    I have just finished reading liar read it in 3 days and it is the best book i have ever read. it was so hard to predict what comes next. And realy confusing about jordan How did he die.

  4. Justine on #

    Brian: You’re right, it is a publisher thing. I know there are discussions about electronic editions of How To Ditch Your Fairy and Liar. As soon as something comes of them I’ll announce it on the blog.

    QuestionQuestion: Liar has been out in the US since 29 Sept.

    12 year old obssessed reader: I’m so pleased you liked Liar. As for Jordan’s death I think there are a number of different possibilities. Could be his death was an accident. Could have been murder. Depends on what you think Micah was capable of. Or whether you believe Jordan was a figment of Micah’s imagination.

  5. julie on #

    Loved “Liar”! will there be a sequel?

  6. Justine on #

    Julie: Nope. Sorry. It’s a one off.

  7. Sarah on #

    Hi Justine!

    It was great getting to chat with you (albeit all too briefly) in Austin last Saturday. Unfortunately, I hadn’t finished reading Liar yet, so I didn’t want to talk about it at all for fear of unearthing a spoiler (something you definitely don’t want to do with that book). If you have a spare moment, I have 2 questions for you:

    1. Since Yayeko has no idea werewolves existed before Micah changes in her apartment, what makes Yayeko think of saying Micah’s name repeatedly to help her regain control?

    2. What is the terrible word that British guys good-naturedly call each other but that becomes offensive when applied to a woman, both in England and America?

    Thanks, Justine, for writing what truly is one of the absolute best books I’ve ever read!

    Best,
    Sarah (Friend-of-Rebecca)

  8. Justine on #

    Sarah: Lovely to meet you too.

    1. Micah tels Yayeko that she is a werewolf and sets out to prove it to her before she changes in Yayeko’s apartment. So Yayeko does, in fact, know of the existence of werewolves. She just doesn’t believe it. I don’t think it’s a stretch that when confronted with a wolf in her home she would think it was Micah.

    Of course, don’t forget that this is just Micah’s version of events.

    2. Too many readers of this blog would be offended by that word for me to write it here. But if you must know here is a pointer: the writer in question is Scottish. Have a look at Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting. The word is used as the male vocative in the first few pages and throughout the book. In the movie also.

  9. Sarah on #

    Justine,

    Thanks for the prompt response! I looked up quotes from Trainspotting–the word was the one I’d guessed it was. Wow, does that make me look sharp, or just dirty? Haha.

    With regard to the Yayeko question: I didn’t doubt that Yayeko knows that the wolf is Micah. I was wondering how she knows to use that *technique* of saying her name to snap her out of her carnal mindset. I guess she just thinks quickly on her feet and comes up with the idea that Micah might respond to her human name with some reversion to her human self?

  10. Justine on #

    Sarah: That’s definitely one explanation. It depends on whether Micah really has turned into a wolf or not, doesn’t it? I.e. there are lots of different reasons Yayeko would be saying Micah’s name.

  11. Sarah on #

    Whoa. You just blew my mind a little more–“whether” Micah has really turned into a wolf? By the end of the book she absolutely had me convinced that that part wasn’t a lie, despite my doubt about that throughout most of the story. And that’s why the book is such a masterpiece.

    Thanks, Justine.

  12. Alyssa on #

    Hi Justine,
    I just finished your book not 30 minutes ago(in about 26 hours too!) and loved it. I got really irritated in the middle because i thought it was realistic fiction and I was going to use it for a language arts project but then, MICAH IS A WOLF! It was still really good. Now the questions:
    1have you written any realistic fiction books? I love your writing style and really need a book for my project.
    2What is wrong with Pete?
    3Are you writing anymore books right now?

    Thats all!

  13. Summer on #

    Wow,I actually can’t think of any questions at the moment. But, um, I love the book!

  14. Ashleigh (from Brisbane) on #

    Dear Justine, I finished your book a few minutes ago and I just wanted to let you know that it’s one of those things that I’m going to be trying to work out for the rest of my life. When it comes to puzzles, I need to find the solution and I already have plans to re-read the novel with pen and paper and try to create some sort of a timeline in the hope that may help me unravel some of my questions. I agree with Alyssa in saying that I thought it was realistic fiction and then I was quite surprised to find Micah as a wolf. I understand after reading the previous questions you will never tell me the ending you yourself believe to be the correct one or the truth behind Micah’s wolfishenss or even extra information about Jordan but I would like you to know that the way you write is very powerful. Through the book I found myself grieving for Zach, wishing I was Sarah, hating Jordan and being absolutely crushed when Micah’s parents left her without even a goodbye. All I can say is that your book has had a lasting impact on me and I know for certain I will be pondering it for quite a time. But please, if you ever decide to reveal any of the truths behind Micah’s lies or the obvious lies that were in fact truth I would sincerely love to know.
    Forever a grateful reader,
    Ashleigh O’Brien.

  15. Justine on #

    Sarah: Thanks. I’m so glad you liked it.

    Alyssa: You could argue that Liar is realistic fiction. If Micah’s insistence that she’s a wolf is a lie or a delusion than the book is a realist novel.

    I’m not sure what you’re asking when you say “What is wrong with Pete?”

    Summer: So pleased you liked it.

    Ashleigh: Thank you so much your response. It means a lot to me. I will say this: I worked very hard to convey the emotional truth of the novel. Micah is in a great deal of pain and her pain is real. Whether or not her claims about her condition and her ancestry are true a great deal of what she says about herself and her feelings are absolutely real.

  16. Cassie on #

    Dear Justine,

    I love your other books. How To Ditch Your Fairy is very amusing and creative, and the Magic or Madness trilogy was an enjoyable read. But my first words after finishing Liar were: Oh My God. It has such incredible aspects. 1) Micah is a liar, and you don’t know whether her words are lies or truths. 2) The whole werewolf thing. It is hard to believe Micah, but she is so convincing. 3) The fact that Micah’s parents lost their love for her I just find that whole loss so sad, that Micah’s condition would change her life like that. 4) Her obvious deep emotion and love for Zach, and the whole mystery of his death. I just wanted to say that Liar has been an emotional journey for me, but I imagine it must have been a rollercoaster for you, being the writer. I find it amazing that you had the nerve to take on a project so difficult and bone-chilling, and your writing in Liar is very inspirational to me, a hopeful future writer myself. I have a lot of feelings on each of your characters, so much that it couldn’t possibly fit in this comment, but I just wanted to say that Liar was a stunning read that will probably stick in my mind until I read it again and again, hunting for clues and hints about Micah’s lies. I also just thought it would be fair to ask this question: Which part in Liar do you consider to be the most emotional/revealing/incredible? I only hope you can answer it before I start reading your wonderful novel again.

    Your Avid Reader,

    Cassie

  17. Cassie on #

    Hi, Justine,

    I just wanted to add this question, which I forgot to add to my last comment. I love your writing style, and am looking forward to your next novel: Could you possibly give us (your faithful readers) a hint about your next book? You can trust me when I say I’ll be rushing to the bookstores to buy it when it comes out, and a small hint would probably flare my imagination.

    Thanks,

    Cassie.

  18. Justine on #

    Cassie: I’m so pleased you liked Liar so much.

    It’s very hard for me to answer your question. But I can say that probably the hardest part for me to write was Micah’s reaction to finding out that her parents had abandoned her and left her behind with the Greats.

    I’ll be writing on my blog about what I’m working on fairly soon.

  19. Summer on #

    *jumps up and down* Oh! Oh! Question! (I can’t BELIVE I forgot to ask this because it almost killed me wondering about it while reading.)
    What’s up with the ‘punishing inconstant heart’ on page 70? Did Micah make it up? I must knooooow!

  20. Justine on #

    Summer: You’re going to hate me but I’m going to do what I always hated teachers doing when I asked them questions: “What do you think that was about?”

  21. Mel on #

    Just picked this up in the library right before leaving and accidentally sat down and read the whole thing. I had my coat and scarf on to go home and didn’t even take them off until I was done with the book. Wow. Gripping.

    My question is this: how much do you know that the reader doesn’t? I mean, I know you’re not going to tell us whether Jordan was real, or whether Micah is really a wolf, or where she ends up at the end — but are all the answers clear to you?

  22. Jaya Lakshmi on #

    Just finished Liar this weekend. Grwa

    I don’t care if other people hate Micah; I love her, lies and all. Maybe it was sleep deprivation or the creative writing hobbies, but the fact that she lied about her brother and Zach didn’t bother me. And I feel she was telling the truth about the wolf part because:

    1) She puts in so many details (which we just learned in Creative Writing is a powerful tool when you’re writing)

    2) It makes sense within the context of the story, if you think about it.

    I hope your 1930s novel is coming along well, and keep on writing these great novels.

  23. ClareSnow on #

    I read the Aussie version of Liar and was intrigued by the design of the section breaks. Are they the same in the US version? I wanted them to be a part of the story, but I’m guessing they were the work of the book designer and Justine, you didn’t have input in them?

  24. Jen on #

    Hi there,

    Some fellow librarians and I were debating as to how to pronounce Micah’s name. Is it pronounced “Mike-ah” or “Mah-kai.” Thanks!

  25. Cassie on #

    Happy holidays! I have two questions.

    1)Are there any books that you feel are similar to your AMAZING and pretty shocking novel?

    2)Did you base any of your characters off of real people you know?

  26. Justine on #

    Mel: How much do you know that the reader doesn’t? I mean, I know you’re not going to tell us whether Jordan was real, or whether Micah is really a wolf, or where she ends up at the end — but are all the answers clear to you?

    You know even if I did know I would not tell you because admitting that I do know is just an invitation for people to bug me to tell them the truth. Thus I will tell you that I have no idea. Which I don’t. Trust me!

    Jaya: So pleased you love Micah. Me too!

    ClareSnow: Are the [section breaks] the same in the US version? I wanted them to be a part of the story, but I’m guessing they were the work of the book designer and Justine, you didn’t have input in them?

    You mean the vein-y things? No, the design is different in the US version. They were, indeed, the work of the designer Bruno Herfst. I was shown them pretty early on and loved them. But, no, they weren’t my idea.

    Jen: Micah’s name is pronounced “Mike-ah”.

    Cassie: 1) Are there any books that you feel are similar to your AMAZING and pretty shocking novel?

    2) Did you base any of your characters off of real people you know?

    1) Thank you! Since I am the author I think Liar is a precious snowflake and like no other books. So this is a question you should be asking other readers. In fact, I may will blog your question and ask them. However, many people have mentioned that Liar reminds them of Jacqueline Woodson’s brilliant If You Come Softly. Here are my thoughts on that.

    2) No. I never do that.

  27. Dana on #

    Hey, Justine!

    Happy holidays. Liar was suspenseful, stunning, and, in a way, sad. What was the most difficult part of the writing process? How would you describe Micah (other than complex or complicated)?

    I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!

  28. Patrice on #

    It is thanks to Locus Magazine that I became aware of Liar. Although I do love YA books, I am not the target audience, being far too old. My sincere compliments on the book! I loved its ambiguity and its twists and turns. For me, the incident of Micah’s teacher substituting sugar pills for her birth control pills gave me what I feel is the answer as to whether Micah writes the truth or continues her sad lies. Thank you for writing a wonderful book that deserves readers of all ages.

  29. Justine on #

    Dana: So pleased you enjoyed the book. It is very sad. I think loss and grief are two of the main things the book is about.

    The hardest part was writing a book with all New Yorker and USian characters when I’m Australian.

    Don’t you think I spent the whole book describing Micah? How would you describe her? That’s much more interesting.

    Patrice: Thank you for letting me know you liked it. I really appreciate it.

    I don’t write for a target audience. When I write I’m not thinking about audience, but about writing the best books I can. I write about adolescence, absolutely. But I think that’s a subject of interest for those who are about to be adolescents, for those who are adolescents, and for those, like you and me, who were adolescents. From the fan mail I see that my books are read by all three of those groups. Makes me very happy.

  30. Megan on #

    Justine,
    First off, let me state that you novel Liar was probably, no was, the best novel that I think I have ever read. Note, I did not say favorite for it was not- it made me pull my hair out in frustration and think until my head pounded. That being said, I think you are a wonderful author and I think this novel was a true master piece, so I applaud you for that.
    I’m not going to ask you about the ending of the possible secret plot in the book for I predict that you will not answer, but I will stretch to ask you an opened ended question. If you fear that your answer may change the minds of readers or give away your true intentions, than please, do not answer it directly, I will not be offended. However, please do reply to some degree.
    My question is this:
    If you were to pick up a copy of Lier and read it (not being the author, just a curious reader) how would you interpret the ending? Would you believe Micha or not?
    Thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing from you! (Hopefully)
    –Megan (15, Philadelphia)

  31. Justine on #

    Megan: Thank you so much. Though I apologise for your head pain. Does it help that writing Liar hurt my head too? I’m certainly in no hurry to write anything else like it.

    I’m really not sure how I would read the book if I hadn’t written it. I guess I’d hope that things worked out for Micah because I like her and worry about her. But I’d also be afraid that things weren’t so great as she says they are.

  32. Isis on #

    hi,justine i’ve recently finished your book Liar and it was unlike any other book i have ever read before.The cover really brought me to read it i must say,very mysterious.I loved it.I really want to read it again maybe three times,so maybe i can read between the lines like she says at the end,but maybe i’ll just end up being more confused than i am right now.oh well.

  33. Victoria on #

    I must start off by saying that you are an amazing writer. I picked up a copy of Liar while in Sydney, mostly drawn to it because it was signed, and I do have a thing for signed books… I read it in one sitting, and all I can really say is wow.
    Anyway! I just thought I’d ask, is there really supposed to be any definite truth in Liar? Is it possible that Micah is an extremely average girl who’s boyfriend dies, for example, in a car crash, and being a completely compulsive liar, she exaggerates the story to the point of including werewolves? Is it possible that Jordan’s reappearance was caused by Micah deciding he was a flaw in the lie, then later deciding he added drama, and clumsily deciding to put him back into the story?
    Maybe Liar is just a book very open to interpretation, but I thought I’d just ask your opinion.
    P.S. Thankyou for signing those books, definitely adds a personal touch.

  34. Megan on #

    Justine,
    Thank you for the quick reply. I too hope that Micah does end up happy, but somewhere deep inside of me I fear that she doesn’t.
    Another question I have: My Midterm is a repot on this novel (we have to write an esay and do an oral presenation on a novel of our own choice, and it’s 10 precent on my final grade in the class.) My question is, how much am I allowed to reveal to my fellow classmates? i have to cover the entire novel and the struggles of the character, and thatwould be hard to do with out giving away the wolf apect. Any suggestions?
    –megan

  35. Justine on #

    Isis: I hope you don’t wind up too confused. Thanks for letting me know that you liked Liar!

    Victoria: Thanks for the kind words! Did you buy it at Kinokuniya? I’m so pleased you were happy that I scribbled my signature on Liar. (I’m always faintly worried people will think I’ve vandalised their book.)

    Yes, Liar is a book that’s very open to interpretation. Though I must say I hadn’t thought of that possibility. And I certainly wasn’t thinking of it when I was writing the book. I do think Micah is trying very hard to tell the truth and that there’s a lot of truth in the book.

    I think the clue to Jordan’s existence or not is in the ways he is doubled by Peter. Or maybe Jordan is doubling Peter? Put this way, I’m pretty sure only one of the two exists.

    Megan: I’ve seen people talking about Micah’s struggles without mentioning the wolf. Some have talked about werewolfism as “the family illness” which I think works quite well. It allows you to talk about whether the mysterious family illness is real or not without going into too many details.

    Good luck with your report!

  36. Rhiannon on #

    Not really a question, but spoilery if anyone knows what I’m talking about: you might like the short story “Boobs” by Suzy McKee Charnas.

  37. Justine on #

    Rhiannon: I not only like it, I love it. Is one of my favourite short stories and was definitely a big influence on Liar. I don’t think Charnas can write a bad sentence.

  38. Justine on #

    Josette: You’re going to hate me but I do not have any answers for you. It’s up to you the reader to decide! I will, however, tell you some of the theories peeople have. Some think Jordan never existed. That he is kind of a shadow for Peter. Some think the same thing only in reverse. Pete never existed and is Jordan’s shadow. Some think Jordan’s death was accidental. Some that Micah murdered him. Another theory I heard was that their parents abused Micah keeping her in a cage and killed Jordan.

    I think there are some other theories but I can’t remember them right now. You can find more theories about the book in general over at the spoiler thread.

  39. Josette on #

    i got the book from the library. omq. i loved it so much. but the way it ended just confused me soooo much. it nevers talks about how jordan died. it was an accident. i geddit it but. i wanted more. and theres no sequel?! i looved the book and was hooting and hollering at every lie revealed but then it ended and i felt blank. ? love the cover though… i actually found this site when i googled ‘how did jordan die liar’. i loved the book doh, i picked it up because of the cover, but umm idk why i was drawn to it, probably because i read HTDYF . nd i loved that too, didnt understand somethings in that book, but iwasnt left as blank as i am now. write a sequel or at least more books like this. and lol. i was shocked when she said werewolf too, i was like hmmm regular book. then BAM lol

  40. A.M. on #

    Justine, I want there to be both a Jordan AND a Pete. Because I could see Micah letting Jordan die in a preventable accident, but don’t get her killing Zach. How’s that? And I did see someone say this in the spoiler thread, but I wanted to see if you had read/thought about it: The book this most reminds me of is “We need to talk about Kevin” by Lionel Shriver, because of the horror and the gotcha.

    -Read Liar in one 3.5 hour sitting

  41. Lisa on #

    I just finished Liar tonight, and like many others immediately started looking online for reviews. One thing that I’m curious about (and, honestly, was bugged by) is the apparent intertwining of Micah’s gender identity with mental illness/violence. In the “Micah is a killer and institutionalized” reading, her sexuality is clearly meant to play a major role. Were you concerned that readers might interpret Micah’s gender identity exploration as her “illness?” That crossing outside of the bounds and rejecting her “femaleness” was what caused her lying and/or delusions and/or violence? In case a conclusion could be made: act like your biological gender = good. Don’t act like your biological gender = pathological liar at best, crazy murdering maniac at worst. (Or werewolf. Maybe.)

    Another interesting idea (and again, to me, troubling) is that Micah is “lying” when she attempts to express herself as a boy. Is someone’s gender identity a lie if it doesn’t match others’ perceptions of how that person “should” act or identify?

    Then I just now started to think that maybe the “werewolf” concept is just one huge metaphor about gender identity shift, and that the “liar” concept is a commentary on how people view and judge those who don’t express an “acceptable” gender identity– for example, accusing transsexuals of “lying” or “attempting to fool” people. So when Micah tries to tell Yayeko who she is and is rebuffed with “it’s okay to be a girl,” what were seeing is the psychological violence/trauma that causes in Micah rather than literal violence. And then my head kind of hurts.

    I know I might get a “can’t tell you! Decide for yourself!” answer. (And I kind of like my crazy new theory, so that’s okay.) I really would like to know if you had concerns about the conflation of sexual identity with violence in Micah, though.

  42. Justine on #

    Lisa: To be honest I’ve been completely shocked by that reductive reading of Liar. Explorations of gender and sexuality—especially when you’re a teen—are absolutely normal. Many of the people I knew growing up—including myself—came up against the rigid wall of gender expectations and we all resisted and continue to resist. But there are effects of those resistances because we live in our world that continues to expect girls to fit into a narrow range of behaviours and boys into a different narrow range. That’s one of the many things I tried to explore in Liar.

  43. Justine on #

    Rai X: I’m so pleased you liked it. Your comment is really interesting because quite a few people are angered by Part 2 in a I-can’t-believe-this-book-is-actually-fantasy way (which astonishes me, how come they instantly buy Micah’s claim, given everything that came before it?). So it’s nice to see you lay out how you moved from that initial reaction. Thank you.

    Your questions are excellent but very difficult for me to give a quick answer to. I wrote Liar using specific novel-writing software, Scrivener. I’m working on a post for my blog talking about that in detail but it will be awhile before I finish it. But I’ll put a link to it here when I put it up.

  44. Rai X on #

    I came across Liar after doing a search for why people chose books (a school project), and found the blog post talking about the cover of the book. After I read the premise of the book I was intruiged so I actually decided to go out and buy it.
    I have to admit I was really put off by the big reveal about wolfism partway through. I kept waiting for Micah to reveal that it was a lie but eventually gave up on that. However, I think one of the great things about Liar is that the more you think about it the more it boggles you. It wasn’t until near the end that I realized that, as a liar, Micah probably won’t be telling you the truth. At that point, I had to do a double take on the book and reconsider which things I thought were true and which I thought were lies. I think you did a wonderful job and delivered on the promising premise quite well.
    One of my questions was already asked on here and you said you wouldn’t answer it, so I won’t bother. But the one I have might be related. How did you keep track of the story knowing that any given piece could be a lie? Did you just write it as it came to you, and after noticing certain things that didn’t add up, pull it off as just being another part of Micah’s lies? Also, if you can answer this one – even if you might not have come up with the actual truth of events, how did you find yourself reacting to Micah’s lying? Were you shocked that she was lying about certain things, or worried that she was lying about others?
    I must say after reading these comments I’ve become aware of so many other possibilities that my head is almost exploding. I do like the bit where Micah says the success of a lie lies in the details, and then proceeds to tell us lots of details about werewolfism.
    Anyway, if you’re not to busy, and can actually answer the questions I asked without giving things away, that would be great. Otherwise, I’m just happy to let you know I enjoyed the book!

  45. Camide on #

    Sadly, I haven’t gotten to read Liar yet, but I have read the excerpt in the back of Fairy and totally got into it! And with you saying it’s a jigsaw puzzle just makes me want to read it more. I love books that make you think, which is why I have the most horrible time finding mysteries or thrillers that suit such needs, but this one sounds like it would take the cake. As soon as I get to the bookstore, I’m looking for it!
    Ah, also, I hope to spread the love of How to Ditch Your Fairy around. I usually talk about my books with my English teacher during lunch, and she always finds them interesting, so she’s asked me to help pick out books for the summer reading list (Which, btw, really needs improvement if it’s going to be like last year’s). And I’m definitely going to put Fairy on there if I can, hopefully even Liar as well and maybe Battle of the Sexes in a Science Fiction. Though I haven’t read the latter at all, it sounds totally doos and I need to look for it as well. Wish me luck, Dr. Justine! ^^

  46. Laura on #

    I first saw Liar in a catalogue for summer reading last December and the intreging cover and the synopsis where enough for me to want it. I googled it and found the exerpt which compelled me to go out and buy it.

    I found it really interesting and thought provoking. So much so that i am currently doing a major assessment on it. I was wondering if you had any ideas that would assist me. The topic is belonging and i have taken the stance that Micahs sense of belonging is confused due to her being “stuck somewhere in between… half black, half white; half boy, half girl, coasting on half a scholarship. I’m half of everything.” From this i deduced that even though Micah doesnt seem to really wish to lie to fit in, her lies cause her to be outcast further because other people dont like liars.

    Any imput would be of great value to me.

  47. melody on #

    I loved your book,although as i read part two i sensed i would never know the truth…….im curious though, have you ever met anyone like Micah, someone who is a compulsive liar,what or who was your inspiration?…….oh and will you be writing any more books like this one,perhaps a sequel.please?pretty please with a cherry on top, i would love a sequel.

  48. Ying on #

    What a great book! I really liked the premise and the way you wrote it, and now that I’ve read these comments here, I’ve only just realised that Micah could’ve been making the part about being a werewolf up! That would make a lot of things a lie though… her sense of smell, hearing, her running.. ahh!
    But I think it just means that the book is great for rereading, it makes me want to go through the book again and again…

  49. Justine on #

    Camide: Luck! Thanks for the kind words. I hope you enjoyed Liar when you read it. And that you found reading Battle of the Sexes useful.

    Laura: I hope your assignmeant went well. Those are interesting ideas about the book. To be honest, I don’t really think about my own books in that way so I’m no use to people writing critically about my work.

    Melody: Thank you! Yes, I have known many liars. In fact I used to be one, which I discuss here with John Green. I’ve never known anyone as compulsive a liar as Micah though.

    I’m sorry there will be no sequel. Any sequel would either confirm or deny what happens in Liar and I wrote it to be open-ended. You’ll have to write your own. :-)

    Ying: Many thanks. The book was a huge challenge—to balance out the possible interpretations and still have a coherent book—but one I enjoyed enormously. So responses like yours are enormously satisfying. Thank you!

  50. outside the box on #

    i just finished reading your book and it is sooooo amazing!!!! I only picked it up in the library because i liked how to ditch your fairy ( which i really enjoyed!) but this book completely blew my mind! unfortunately i haven’t been able to get ahold of any of your other books, but i was wondering if you are going to write anymore books along the line of liar(novels that leave much up to the readers imagination and play with the mind)-because i loved reading this book as i had to stop after almost every chapter and think- to figure out if micah was lying or not.

    Also, someone on the liar spoiler thread interpreted micah to have a mental dysfunction of sorts, and the greats on their farm to be nurses and doctors of a mental institute, with micah’s pill actually being medication that stops her dysfunction from acting up.

    Were you thinking along these lines ( about micah having a mental dysfunction rather than actually being a werewolf) when you wrote liar or is Liar actually a fantasy book?

    Also, do you think Liar may be turned into a Film someday?

  51. Soph on #

    Hello,

    I’m having trouble telling how Zach died. Its an awful question but I lost track towards the end of the book and I don’t remember how he died!

    PLEASE, HELP ME. THIS QUESTION HAS HIJACKED MY CONSCIOUSNESS. I haven’t been able to read another book since Liar because I never knew the ending.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. For the love of reading; Help me!

    • Jade on #

      He got eaten by the white boy :/

  52. Justine on #

    Outside the box: Were you thinking along these lines ( about micah having a mental dysfunction rather than actually being a werewolf) when you wrote liar or is Liar actually a fantasy book?

    I wanted the book to work whether you decided Micah was insane or whether you believe she is a werewolf. Both readings are what I was going for. I’m also fascinated by the many other interpretations of the book. I think most of them are also true. That doesn’t help, does it?

    Also, do you think Liar may be turned into a Film someday?

    So far there’s been no interest so right now I’d say it seems unlikely. But who knows what will happen in the future?

    Soph: I’m having trouble telling how Zach died. Its an awful question but I lost track towards the end of the book and I don’t remember how he died!

    Micah claims that the police say he was torn apart by animals. She claims that it was werewolf Pete. But she also says she was interrogated by the police multiple times. There are also a fair few mention of knives.

    That’s all I’m saying. Well, except that like many other things in the book—it’s up to you to decide.

  53. Marietheres Dietz on #

    Dear Justine,
    I’ve read your novel “LIAR“ which I got really obsessed with. To be honest, I still am. It got me haunting for weeks and I’m still wondering whenever Micah told the truth. My nationality is German and I live in Bavaria, in Germany. Although your novel is translated in lots of other languages (as it is in German, too) I read it in English to just keep up the New Yorker’s slang and the original tone of writing. I’m an eighteen-year-old senior girl who will study at university next year.
    As I also am crazy about running, so I could identify with Micah. The description of the “wild” in your own self, when you run, is exactly what I experience every time I go running. Do you love running, too? What are your hobbies?

    What I loved about “LIAR” was the secret partnership between Micah and Zach. What about your partnership with Scott Westerfield, was it the same at the beginning?

    Sometimes, it got me thinking that Micah is kind of a dark character. Was it your intention to describe her that dark? Why?

    Micah often goes to parks and into the woods, so that it seems like she rather feels like home, there. Compared to the city it is another world, but they somehow match together in your novel. Did you involve your changes between staying in New York and staying in Sydney with it? What differs the most regarding the daily life in New York to the one in Sydney?

    That Micah hates her brother so much is something, I hardly can imagine. Is it just because of Micah’s feeling of being guilty? Do you have children?

    Right now, I’m on an exchange program with the USA. But where I’m staying is more community- especially in the school- than is described in “LIAR”. Is that because of New York is that big? What is your own experience of community in school?

    The metaphors like the banana peel, the icicle and the puppy are used to better describe the actions. They are very impressive as well as the comparison of the jewelry and the fragrance is. How did you work that out?

    At last, do you have any essential advices for the growing-ups and a favorite sentence that leads your life?

    I’m so happy about having read your book. What I really found extra-ordinary and what pleased me the most was the jigsaw puzzle. I hope, I’ll get all my questions answered and for that- I’ll be pleased if you could do so.

    Yours sincerely,

    Marietheres

  54. Lauren on #

    Dear Justine,

    I am aware that you haven’t replied to comments on this page recently, but I decided to give asking a questions shot anyway!

    Firsto of all, I am a terribly gullible reader. What I read is what I believe. Whether Micah was telling the truth, telling a lie, or confessing to her lies, I still trusted what she said was true.

    It was not only until I started reading others’ reviews and opinions that my mind opened up a bit.

    Question #1: Is it possible that Micah is actually a werewolf dreaming about being a human?

    Question #2: This question is regarding my book assignment at school. Could you please suggest a few ‘symbols’ shown in the book? Like a pill to represent Micah’s birth control pills/mental-instability/etc, if that makes sense…?

    Question #3: How much should you personally say that Micah be trusted?

    Thanks!!!

  55. Madison on #

    Wow. I really loved Liar but it (in the words of my very own blue-haired freshman) “fried my brains.” Speaking of brains, i am 100% team zombie, as any self respecting australian should be. (i am actually only 1/4 austrailian… all the same.) I am realy tearing my hair out about jordan and yayeko. I have to know!!!! but i accept that you won’t tell me.
    for lauren:
    i personally feel like maybe the fact that she turns into a wolf may symbolize that she feels she has no control over her actions…. if she isn’t really a wolf. But don’t trust me, i am not by any means justine larbalestier.

  56. Justine on #

    Marietheres Dietz: I’m so pleased you enjoyed Liar. Thank you!

    Do you love running, too?

    No, I don’t like running much at all. Sorry! But I talked to many runners and read a great deal about it for the book. I’m thrilled that you—a runner—believed Micah’s love of running.

    Lauren: Question #1: Is it possible that Micah is actually a werewolf dreaming about being a human?

    Interesting suggestion. I hadn’t thought of that.

    Question #3: How much should you personally say that Micah be trusted?

    As the author that’s not something I can have an opinion on. Sorry!

    Madison: I’m sorry for frying your brains. But am very glad you enjoyed Liar. Thank you! (And thanks also for being team zombie. The one true team.)

    I am realy tearing my hair out about jordan and yayeko. I have to know!!!! but i accept that you won’t tell me.

    I’m so pleased that you’re okay with my not telling you.

    i personally feel like maybe the fact that she turns into a wolf may symbolize that she feels she has no control over her actions . . . if she isn’t really a wolf.

    Excellent theory. I really love all the different theories about the book. So many I hadn’t thought of myself.

  57. Rasmus on #

    I have to say, this wasn’t i book i would normaly read, but i was forced to read it by my school. Turned out better than expectet. But thats not the point. I heard a little story today, that immidiatly made me think of the book Liar. It goes like:

    “An old man told hes grandson:” My son, theres a battle between two wolfes inside us all. One is evil. It’s anger, jelousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego.
    The other wolf is good.It’s joy, peace, love, hope. humility, kindness and truth.”
    The boy thought about it and asked: “Grandfater, which wolf wins?”
    The old man quietly replied:
    “The one you feed”

    As you might notice, there are alot that match your story. And i was wondering, were you by any chance inspired by this history? Or have you ever heard it before?

  58. Justine on #

    Rasmus: I never heard that story before. You’re right: it has a lot in common with Liar. Is it Danish? Thank you so much for sharing it with me. (Oh, and I’m sorry your school made you read my book. I hate being told what to read. But I’m glad you liked it.)

  59. Rasmus on #

    Well, im not sure if its danish or not – i saw it on the internet, where it was in enlighs already, hehe :). But i was not forced to read this book exactly, we just had some to choose between, and this looked like the best.

  60. Heather Wallace on #

    Hi Justine and Rasmus. There are a variety of versions of the story about two wolves fighting and the one that wins being the one that you feed. It appears to be a 1978 Billy Graham story, although it is sometimes mistakenly thought to be Native Indian. Here’s my source:
    http://apihtawikosisan.com/2012/02/21/check-the-tag-on-that-indian-story/

  61. Meleri on #

    Hello!
    I finished your VERY suspenseful book, Liar, a bit ago. I was unable to put it down while on a roadtrip today, and read it within the two three-or-so hour drives. It was an interesting and fascinating book, and although there are many questions I have about it, one has really been ‘bothering’ me! I was wondering about the connection between the ‘Punishing inconstant heart’ written in Zach’s log and the comment from Micah later on, while talking of the one letter that she sent Zach from the farm: ‘He didn’t miss me the way I missed him. He didn’t love me the way I loved him. THERE WAS NOTHING CONSTANT ABOUT HIS HEART. Not like mine.’ DOES THIS MEAN SHE WROTE THE MESSAGE IN ZACH’S LOG? Was she quoting the writing from his log?? Or is her phrasing there coincidental (though somehow I doubt ANYTHING in that book is coincidental!)? Hmmm….
    Thank you, and I hope you will be able to reply!
    -Meleri

  62. Shania on #

    What is the Greats farm exactly?

  63. Jenny on #

    I chose “LIAR” as the book for my Independent Study Project at school. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, because I had randomly plucked it from a shelf and the inner book flap had intrigued me.

    But all I can say is, WOW. This is a book that takes a reader into the dark crevices of Micah’s mind, which is a pretty messed up place. The plot twists and fresh format kept me frantically turning the pages for more. We had to do a character analysis for our books, and I felt the word limit was like a rope restraining me! There is so much I can write about the inner workings of Micah Wilkins. The ending is absolutely my favorite part. As you said, there are definitely two endings. Perhaps more.

    I don’t find Micah extremely credible. For all anyone knows, it’s possible that the werewolf was actually her biggest lie! It feels almost as if her insecurities were caged inside her, like a monster, and she brought that to life with the werewolf. There are so many ways one could interpret this fantastic piece of literature, and that’s what I love about it. Usually, people take the truth in books for granted. Not in “LIAR” though, where Micah really leaves you questioning everything she tells you. How can we possibly trust her?

    All in all, thank you Justine, for a fabulous read. I will always have a new outlook on character thoughts from now on. :)

  64. Justine on #

    Meleri I was wondering about the connection between the ‘Punishing inconstant heart’ written in Zach’s log and the comment from Micah later on, while talking of the one letter that she sent Zach from the farm: ‘He didn’t miss me the way I missed him. He didn’t love me the way I loved him. THERE WAS NOTHING CONSTANT ABOUT HIS HEART. Not like mine.’ DOES THIS MEAN SHE WROTE THE MESSAGE IN ZACH’S LOG? Was she quoting the writing from his log?? Or is her phrasing there coincidental

    You’re going to hate me but I don’t have an answer except to say those are excellent theories.

    I’m so pleased you enjoyed the book. Thank you.

    Shania: What is the Greats farm exactly?

    It entirely depends on how you interpret the book. If you think that Micah and her family really are werewolves then it’s exactly what she says it is but if you don’t believe her then there’s a range of other things it could be. One of the most popular interpretations is that it is some kind of psychiatric institution.

    Jenny: I’m so pleased you enjoyed it. Yay. And yes it could definitely be total rubbish that Micah’s a werewolf. I mean they’re not real are they? Or are they . . . ?

  65. Jade on #

    Hey Justine!

    I recently finished your book, and was slightly confusing towards the end (because I refused to believe Micah was a wolf). So what would be the mentally ill version of the book. I know that you’re the author, and its supposed to be are interpretation, but I’d really like to have an idea of one version. Thanks!

  66. Azula on #

    How did Jordan die if she did’n’t kill him?

  67. Justine on #

    Jade: If you go to the Liar spoiler thread you’ll read many such theories.

    Azula: Honestly, at this point it’s so long (more than six years now) since I worked on Liar that I’d have to reread the book to remember all the possibilities for Jordan’s death and/or existence that I wrote into it. Not to mention that many readers’ interpret it very differently to how I intended, which is an excellent thing. Sorry to be so unhelpful. But right now you know more about the book than I do. Since you only just finished reading it and it’s fresh for you. I’ve worked on several other books since then.

  68. Mal on #

    Hello Justine!

    I’m yet another reader who loved LIAR. I have a tiny question though. There was one excerpt that went:

    “‘Oh, sure,’ you say, completely beleiving it. ‘My family’s an old family. Going way way way back. We work curse magic. Me, I can make your hand wither on your arm. I could turn you into a cat.'” (p. 217)

    It sounded a LOT like THE CURSE WORKERS trilogy by Holly Black. Did she get the idea from your book?

    Thanks,
    Mal :)

  69. Justine on #

    Mal: Hello!

    Well spotted! And thank you for noticing that bit not many people have. I wrote it because Holly and I were working on the first drafts of White Cat and Liar at the same time. We read and commented on each other’s drafts so I thought it would be fun to put a sly reference to that into Liar. Holly’s one of my favourite writers. I adore the Curse Workers trilogy.

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