There’s nothing worse than being lied to… but there’s nothing more fun in fiction. Hear me out – fiction is the best place to be lied to. There’s nothing better than the “a-ha!” moment of finding out a character has been lying – either to themselves, the other characters, or even to the reader. We love a good fictional liar, whether we’re in on the lie or not, so here is a list of books featuring some of our faves!
A thriller set in small-town Montana about the murder of the town’s golden-boy hockey star? Yes please! This one has the energy of Twin Peaks with the added bonus of an unreliable narrator. Celeste is the big-city new girl in a town with a lot of history, plus she’s got some secrets of her own to hide. Her only friend is Vivvy, heir to the town’s name and social paraiah. After a drunken evening in the woods where Joss kisses Celeste, Joss turns up dead and Celeste can’t remember anything that happened. Never-mind the incriminating fanfic Celeste and Vivvy have been writing about Joss… The question here isn’t who’s lying – it’s who isn’t!
by April Henry
I mean, you had to have seen this one coming! “Lie” is literally in the title! When a high-school acting group get stranded in a blizzard on the way to a competition, they hole themselves up in a creepy motel and decide to play two truths and a lie with another group of strangers from a different school by writing their truths and lies onto slips of paper. Until one reads “I like to watch people die. I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve killed.” Soon guests start to go missing and it’s clear a killer is on the loose. But in a room full of performers and liars, the truth is never quite what it seems.
Who makes the best liars? Spies, of course! They’re lying for their very lives! Well when a British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France at the height of WWII, “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo. A spy’s worst nightmare – landing in enemy hands. As Verity weaves her confession, she reveals her past, her friendship with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. Will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?
by Holly Black
Okay, in this one it’s pretty obvious who the liar is for the simple fact that the Fae physically cannot lie. That leaves Jude and her sister, human girls taken in by their parents’ murderer to be raised in the High Court of Faerie. After ten years of growing up in faerie, Jude and Taryn want nothing more than to belong in the treacherous court despite their mortality. Their ability to lie is a skill, one they will use upon all the members of the court… and perhaps upon one another. In a world of dangerous deceptions, palace intrigue, and wanton bloodshed, no one will get out unscathed.
by Wendy Heard
In one week, Maude will be dead. At least, that’s what she wants everyone to think. After years of research and planning, Maude is going to fake her own death and no one will be the wiser. I MEAN. How could you not want to read about a girl faking her own death? Maude is liar among liars, attempting to pull off the ultimate scheme for revenge and freedom. But when a step-cousin she barely knows, Frankie, finds out all her plans are thrown off track. Because Frankie wants to come with. This Thelma & Louise style thriller will keep you guessing up until the final page!
by Barry Lyga
When four teens dig up the time capsule that their parents buried in 1986, they expected some cool retro junk. Mixtapes, Walkmans, photographs and letters… What they didn’t count on was a hunting knife stained with blood and wrapped with a note. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to kill anyone.” Someone has been lying for years – it’s just a matter of who. Jumping between the present day and 1986, this mystery will unfold and reveal sins of the past that echo into the future and secrets that might have been better left buried.
by Erin Gough
Amelia Westlake is a firebrand – a rebellious figure who creates art and pranks to call out all the wrongs at her Australian private school. The only catch? Amelia Westlake isn’t real. She’s entirely fictional. She was made up by Harriet Price, the over-achieving do-gooder, and Will Everhart, social justice warrior with a chip on her shoulder. These two girls, who normally can’t stand one another, team up to stop a series of worrying incidents. But as tensions burn through the school and the search for Amelia Westlake really kicks off, how long will these two girls be able to keep their secret? And how long until they finally kiss?! Seriously, these two girls make the perfect enemies-to-lovers duo after being bonded by a not-so-little lie told to help reveal the truth.
Assassins! Spies! Shakespeare! What more do you want? When Lady Katherine’s father is killed for being an illegally practicing Catholic, she discovers he was part of a plot to kill the reigning Queen Elizabeth I. With nothing left to lose, she disguises herself as a boy to take up her father’s mission. Meanwhile Toby Ellis, a spy for the crown with secrets of his own, has devised a plot to root out insurrectionists in the form of William Shakespeare’s latest play. When the two are cast opposite each other as the play’s leads, they find themselves inexplicably drawn together. But how long can their web of lies hold?