Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Liar & Spy review

When Georges moves into a new apartment building, he meets Safer -- a kid his age running a spy club. Georges needs new friends pretty desperately, so although Safer is a bit quirky (and intimidating), the pair become friends and take on the mission of spying on one of their neighbors, convinced Mr. X is doing something scary and illegal in his apartment. 

As the club gets more intense, Safer becomes more demanding of Georges and acts in a way that makes Georges not want to be his friend any longer. He isn't sure what to do and slowly becomes unsure of what is truth and what is a lie. 

Though the story sounds incredibly simple, it is actually quite complex. There's bullying, dealing with absent parents, having to move from a beloved house to a small apartment, parents losing jobs, and other very heavy topics. All of these issues are blended seamlessly into a story that is totally appropriate for a kid to read and may even open their eyes to friends that may be dealing with some of the same things. Plus, there's a spy club and that's just cool. 

Rebecca Stead is an amazing writer and the narrator of this audiobook, Jesse Bernstein, did a great job (except for Safer's voice...that was a little weird). The tension was in all the right places and I was able to always be aware that it was a kid he was voicing, without it actually being a little kid's voice. Know what I mean? It was done very well. 

Though I wasn't quite as enamored with When You Reach Me as the rest of you, I loved Liar & Spy and I think it could be a big winner this year when award season comes around. Two thumbs up!

Liar & Spy
Rebecca Stead
Listening Library
August 2012
Library copy


Sarah said...

I keep hearing different things about this book. Some people seem to love it and others seem to be meh on it. It will be interesting to see what happens with its award possibilities.

baystatera.com said...

I haven't read anything by this author yet, and this sounds intriguing.

Jen (Devourer of Books) said...

Adults narrating as kids can be tough, glad to hear this worked!