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Liars and Losers Like Us by Ami Allen-Vath

Liars and Losers Like Us

by Ami Allen-Vath

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Thank you to Ami Allen-Vath and Edelweiss for giving me a free copy of this book to read and give my honest review.

Bree is a 17 year old high school senior who is crushing over the hottest guy in school, the senior quarterback. How could an introvert like her become his girlfriend? According to her, it was not easy. But she hardly has it near as bad in life as her classmate who committed suicide and leaves Bree a letter with a final request.

This is a book every high school student should read. The premise of the book is twofold. First, it is about becoming a first love and what that entails. Second, and more important, is that no one has it easy in life. Not even, or especially not even, the popular crowd the rest of the school either wishes they were, envys, or hates. That is what the poor girl who died needed to know, and maybe that would have made living a sliver more easier to just hang in there. I was that girl in middle school. But, I just did the best I could and made it to a better life. This book is ingenious. I love it and know you will, too. ( )
  Connie57103 | Feb 5, 2016 |
I’ve always found it interesting to see how authors choose to portray things like high school and bullying. It certainly is a common thread within YA novels and I feel like everyone has a different take on the impact of those two entities. First, high school is either an exciting experience filled with new adventures or it is the epicenter of some of the most traumatizing moments. Second, bullying is something that is either at the forefront of the novel, in the subtext, or discussed but never really dealt with. This novel handles both topics in an interesting way, where neither necessarily appears to be the main focus of the novel. Yet, the author masterfully entwines the two subjects with a secret that is far more earth-shattering than I expected.

Bree, who is the main character, is not the individual who has to deal with the brunt of the issue of bullying, neither does high school pose as an archenemy that she must defeat. Rather, it is her going against herself as she struggles to accept, deal with, and inevitably confront the issues she finds herself faced with. In fact, she often prefers to run from the problems in her life rather than deal with the reality that surrounds her. Bree frequently avoids issues, which leads to the disintegration of friendships, relationships, and even self-confidence. Yet, by the end, she manages to find her voice — find her strength and handle the most prominent issue of all: whether or not she is a good person. In many ways, she is a bully by default because she never speaks up, and she is more lucky in high school than those she watches every day. This is a privilege that she never asked for, but will have to confront over the course of the novel. In the end, she becomes the most powerful voice against bullying — not because she’s been bullied herself but because she finally sees that being silent makes her just as complicit.

The next character I want to talk about is Maisey Morgan because even though she isn’t “in” the story for all that long, her personage haunts the narrative so much that it is hard to escape her. In some ways, she becomes this individual who is both perfected by her suicide, and misunderstood because no one ever tried to understand her. The bullying that she faces at school prove to be the tip of the iceberg for her and this just further solidifies her role as the most important character in the novel.

Truthfully, if I took into account just Bree’s plot, it would not be an extremely unique novel. I probably would have stopped reading just after I began, mainly because it feels somewhat cookie cutter. Yet, the addition of Maisey takes the novel to another level, something with a moral to really understand. I am glad that this book proved to be more than just another high school love story, and that it took on some darker themes. It is subtle throughout the novel, but by the end, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t think of it first. ( )
  zeitgeistreviews | Jan 2, 2016 |
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YA. CHILDREN'S / TEENAGE FICTION & TRUE STORIES. Keep calm and make it to prom nightwithout a legit panic attack. For seventeen-year-old Bree Hughes, it s easier said than done when gossip, grief, and the opportunity to fail at love are practically high-fiving her in the hallways of Belmont High. When Bree s crush, Sean Mills, gives her his phone number, she can t even leave a voicemail without sounding like a freak. Then she s asked to be on Prom Court because Maisey Morgan, the school outcast nominated as a joke, declined. She apologizes to Maisey, but it s too late. After years of torment and an ugly secret shared with their class s cruel Pageant Queen, Maisey commits suicide. Bree is left with a lot of regretand a revealing letter with a final request. With Sean by her side, Bree navigates through her guilt, her parents divorce, and all the Prom Court drama. Ages 14+… (more)

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