Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Strange Book About Some Strange Characters

Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead

Adolescent Fiction

It was a very strange book about some very strange characters that got stranger the farther I read.

The main character is Georges who has just been downgraded in his lifestyle and moved to a new apartment.  Georges soon meets his neighbor, Safer.  Safer, the result of hippy parents and a lax home schooled life who has named himself, is a boy his same age but miles ahead in weirdness.  Safer has a spy club of one and pressures Georges to join him.  While Georges really wants to have Safer as a friend, he has some serious reservations about him--Safer's secrecy and mysteriousness border on the obsessive; he has no problem committing crimes and encouraging Georges to commit them in spite of (and, apparently, without considering) the consequences and risk of personal harm;  he is rather cruel to his family members; he's a pathological liar and he only hangs out with Georges when he wants something.  Why Georges wants to be friends with him at all is a bit murky.

It was an okay book but it never really got any better than that for me.  I have never read any of Stead's other books so I'm not sure what to expect from this author.  I did really like the two mysteries in the book.  I didn't even know something subversive was going on and then--BOOM!  Two surprises that made me want to reread the book and look for clues.  It has won several awards.

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