New Spin on Werewolves and Interesting Story Telling in Liar

Micha is a liar!  She knows it, everyone knows it.  But this time she promises to tell the truth about what she is.  Maybe.  Justine Larbalestier writes her book in three seperate sections – “Telling The Truth”, “Telling The True Truth” & “The Actual Real Truth.”

Micha is a werewolve, but this is not your cute Twilight werewolve.  Micha shares with us the painful transition between girl and wolf and what causes her to change.  She refers to her secret as the family illness.  She was born covered with fur. The story begins with Micha’s after hours boyfriend, Zach is killed.  He is an after hours boyfriend because at school they don’t talk to each other and only meet up when no one else is around.  They both like to run.  Because of what she is, Micha is wicked fast.  The author peels away the layers of the lies until we finally get an idea of what happened to Zach.

I really like the way Larbalestier doesn’t suger coat the change from human to wolf.  It is extremely painful and the ritual her family puts her through is humiliating.  I enjoyed the three layers of storytelling and we get closer to the truth with each version of her story.  There is a part where we see being a wolf from her perspective and what she’s thinking as she advances on her prey.  It is very chilling.

Some ideas for discussing with teens:

How does Micha differ from other werewolves you’ve read about?

Talk about lies.  Share stories about when you told one and how did it affect you.

Did you believe Micha’s lies at the beginning of the book?

Did you think she killed Zach?

Talk about Zach’s relationship with Micha.

Talk about the part near the end where Micha as a wolf stalks her prey.   Talk about the wolf perspective.

Micha feels like a freak.  Many people do.  Have you ever felt like a freak?

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