I don’t trust you.

"We Were Liars" is available from the library in hardcover, audiobook on CD, and downloadable audiobook and ebook.

“We Were Liars” is available from the library in hardcover, audiobook on CD, and downloadable audiobook and e-book.

Sophie SmithUnreliable narrators are a staple of fiction.

From Nick and Amy Dunne in Gone Girl to Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, adult literature is rife with both outright liars and narrators who present only their side of the truth.

Teen literature has its own fair share. Two books I’ve read recently come to mind.

The title of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart doesn’t hide the fact that there’s deceit to uncover here. Cady, the main character, is dealing with head trauma and memory issues, which paint the narrative as something more than just another rich kid whining. Lockhart’s exquisitely written story features complex family drama and a truly surprising reveal.

"Belzhar" is available from the library in hardcover or downloadable audiobook or ebook.

“Belzhar” is available from the library in hardcover or downloadable audiobook or e-book.

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer is another story of a teen, Jam, who’s suffered a traumatic experience. When we meet her, she’s been sent off to a school for kids with issues and is placed into a very special English class. With the company of her peers, she uncovers a way of reliving her past and revealing secrets along the way.

Having read books by both authors before, I was not surprised at the quality of the writing and the complexity of the stories. Lockhart’s books are not generally as eerie as We Were Liars, and while it was a departure from her norm, she did a wonderful job with it.

I had previously read Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings which Carol reviewed a few months back, and I too enjoyed it. In Belzhar, Wolitzer wrapped things up a little too nicely at the end, and for her first YA novel, it felt like she was playing down to her audience.

I still recommend both books, and can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

About Sophie Smith

Sophie Smith is the supervisor of teen services at the Nashua Public Library and can also frequently be found at the reference desk. As a history and Spanish major at Kenyon College she spent a year in Salamanca, Spain. She earned her master's in library and information science from Simmons College.

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