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Review: Liar & Spy

Cover © Random House Children’s Books

Though I love reading, there aren’t many books that I want to start again as soon as I finish. Rebecca Stead‘s When You Reach Me was one. We’ve read it for Guys Read. Actually, I practically read it twice the first time, since I was constantly flipping back to reread parts. So, when I saw that Ms. Stead has a new book coming out, I was pretty excited.

Liar & Spy is about a boy, Georges (silent ‘s,’ like Georges Meliés) forced to move fifteen blocks to a new apartment. A lot of his life is the same. His school, his hangouts. But he’s still in a new place for him. And there’s strange things going on, like a weathered note in the basement advertising a “Spy Club.” Then things really get mysterious.

There are a few things that I really love about Rebecca Stead’s writing. First, I love her characters. They are always layered and deep. Georges meets two kids in his building, Safer and his sister, Candy, who are clever and often quite funny.

Second, I love the little details Ms. Stead includes. The best example is Georges’ bed in his old house, which was built from an old fire escape. I wonder if the author has seen a bed like this, or heard of one. It’s such a fun thing to include.

Last, I love the mystery. When You Reach Me was chock full of clues and cleverness. Liar & Spy is much more subtle. There are definitely some strange things going on, but it’s pretty murky exactly what. I thought I had things figured out, but I guessed wrong. I love a book that keeps me thinking. Of course, I also have a hard time putting those books down, and then I don’t get much done.

If you liked When You Reach Me, or if you like books that are mysterious but not necessarily “detective-y,” then Liar & Spy is a great choice. Check it out!

Keep reading!

Liar & Spy

By Rebecca Stead

192 pages

Genre: Contemporary realistic fiction; mystery

Source: NetGalley

On shelves August 7, 2012 (tomorrow!)


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