Teen Book Review
Liar & Spy
Pub 7-2012, Wendy Lamb Books, $15.99
SPOILER ALERT! WARNING: There are spoilers in this review.
Hello readers! I just read Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead and I loved it, and I can’t wait for you to read it too. She has written two previous novels: When You Reach Me and First Light.. This book has a slightly different tone but it is still very good. I will give you a summary of this book and tell you why it is so good, and the few tweaks I would add, too.
In the beginning of the story, we meet Georges, the main character. Georges is sort of sad about moving to a new apartment, so he is in a lousy mood. His family isn’t helping very much – he only ever sees his dad because his mother works odd hours at a hospital. At school he is constantly bullied, but soon he meets a boy named Safer. Safer claims to be a spy. Georges likes to be around Safer and his family where he feels, appropriately safe! Safer soon tells Georges that he is spying on a man named Mr. X. Mr. X is up to some criminal activities, and soon, Georges is helping Safer on all of his missions. He always looks out for Safer when he sneaks into Mr. X’s apartment. But one day, Georges discovers that Mr. X is really a nice person. Safer has just been tricking Georges the whole time. Georges feels like Safer hasn’t been very honest with him. He starts to make friends at school, starts dealing with life, and eventually revisits Safer, and makes him his friend again.
This book was really good. Any Rebecca Stead fans or anyone who loves a story about friendship told in a great way should read this. One thing that I loved about the book was the concept it made you think about. It made me think about what friendship is and how far you are willing to go for your friends. When Safer tries to take Georges on missions where he doesn’t feel safe, like keeping an eye out for Mr. X, Georges sneaks into Mr. X’s apartment and it made me think about how far you can go to be someone’s friend. It definitely made me think about friendship in a different way. Another thing I love about this book is how it has a surprise ending. I never expected Georges to make friends. And I definitely didn’t expect that Safer would play such a complicated trick on Georges. I knew something fishy was going on but I didn’t think it would go so far. The ending is really good and very surprising.
One thing I would that I would change is the amount of detail. There are some characters that you don’t really need to know. Like Bob English, whose only purpose is to reveal the absurdity of the English language to Georges.
Although there are some flaws in this book, it is really good in the end. I want you to know that this book is one that you should really read if you are stuck in a hard friendship. I bet it would make you feel a lot better. And even if you aren’t, you should still read it. You will know why I want you to when you do!
- Noah P., 11