Liars and Losers Like Us

 
3.7 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
1530 0
Liars and Losers Like Us
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
March 01, 2016
ISBN
9781634501842
Buy This Book
      
Keep calm and make it to prom night—without 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 regret…and 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. But when a cheating-love-triangle secret hits the fan after a night of sex, drinks, and video games, she’s left with new information about Sean and the class Pageant Queen. Bree must now speak up or stay silent. If she lets fear be her guide, she’ll lose her first love, and head to prom to avenge the death of the school outcast—as a party of one.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

a John Hughes film updated for modern audiences
(Updated: July 27, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
What I Loved:
If you’re a big fan of John Hughes films like The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, then Liars and Losers Like Us will work perfectly for you. It features a cast of eclectic personalities, slice-of-life events that tap into the values and lives of modern teenagers, and we even get a homage through Bree’s last name being Hughes! That last point might not have been intentional, but I just made it part of the canon. Hughes’s films could be a bit annoying and overwhelmed by privilege at times, but Allen-Vath avoids that pitfall deftly with conversations like Bree discussing how people treat her once they learn she’s Mexican.

Anyway, Bree makes for a fine narrator and her romance with guitar-playing quarterback Sean is as believable as it is incredibly cute–and the two are such compatible dorks that you’ll be grinning at their banter. Even with that, another character steals the spotlight: Maisey. After years of being bullied and being joke-nominated to the prom court, Maisey commits suicide halfway through the book. A letter she leaves behind for Bree leaves the girl reeling.

In another book, Maisey would be defined only by Bree’s impressions of her and someone’s philosophizing about how no one will ever understand her now that she’s gone. That’s not how Liars rolls. That her death comes only halfway through and Bree is able to see the aftermath of her death allows for a clear picture of who Maisey was and what led her to her decision. Most appropriately, Maisey has the final word; the novel ends with her letter to Bree. That letter makes it easier to understand what Maisey went through and might just make the reader into a better person.

What Left Me Wanting:
Though Maisey’s death is handled well, it creates mood whiplash when combined with the subplots related to Bree’s romance and her preparation for prom. We’ll go from nearly laughing at characters’ banter to thinking about Maisey, creating a hiccup that can be powerful enough to make readers put the book down for a bit. The pacing is uneven with a mild stumble of a start, a deeply compelling middle, and a sixty-page stretch before the climax that slows things down again. Though the mood whiplash accurate depicts how life can be when someone we vaguely know commits suicide, it doesn’t make for a novel that’s easy to read in one sitting.

There are questions left unanswered as well, such as what exactly has gone on in Jane’s life to make her such a horrible person. We get hints toward it, but it isn’t as developed as it could be. Similarly, cracks are visible in Kallie and Bree’s friendship, but they aren’t properly addressed. For instance, Kallie deliberately keeps Bree in the dark about her (Kallie’s) mom’s health, but Bree never pursues it after she finds out about the lie. Casual ableism in the form of “crazy” being overused as a descriptor may bother some readers as well.

(However, it’s worth noting that Ami Allen-Vath is very open about her time spent in psychiatric hospitals as a patient. The ableism is there solely for the sake of capturing teen language. Just worth noting if that’s triggering for you or it’s not something you can handle at certain times.)

Final Verdict:
Liars and Losers Like Us is like a John Hughes film updated for modern audiences and put in book form, but even that isn’t an apt enough description. It’s just good. I connected to it and enjoyed it more than any other prom-related book and it’s just tiny enough to be prime reread material during a reading slump. I’m quite happy to recommend it to readers who want a solid contemporary YA with a classic feel.
Good Points
reminiscent of John Hughes films but with more cultural/social awareness
,very cute romance between Bree and Sean
,Maisey's characterization is incredible and leaves a lasting impression
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Liars and Losers Like Us
(Updated: March 26, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
What worked: Engaging tale of the drama behind Prom. Secrets, betrayals, bullying, and gossip come together for a darker coming-of-age story.

Readers are sure to relate with seventeen-year-old Bree Hughes as she gets to be on the Prom court only after one person declines after being nominated as a 'joke'. Maisey has been the butt of bullying since elementary school. Bree struggles with guilt as she never went out of her way to stand up against the bullying. When Maisey kills herself? This sends Bree into panic attacks. These attacks felt real as does the guilt and conflict she deals with after Maisey's death.

Bree's attraction to football player Sean isn't filled with anguish especially after he reveals the truth about himself. The dialogue between these two is humorous and there is a spark of chemistry that continues throughout the novel.

One plus of this novel has to be how the masks the so-called 'In' kids wear are torn off to reveal the truths. Even Mean Girl Jane has a vulnerability that readers see toward the end of the novel. The party scene where the Prom committee come together is real and honest.

What I did have issues with had to be the whys behind Maisey killing herself. It's not revealed until the last chapter. I felt that the story skidded over the tragedy of Maisey's suicide and instead focused on all the drama behind Prom. It almost felt as if Maisey's death is pushed aside so more of the high school drama can unfold. And there's lots of drama.

Saying this, I know that everyone grieves in different ways. Bree's panic attacks come right after the death. Still, overall, I think the whole suicide part of this story was brushed aside. I personally feel it would have been better to address right at the start and not only at the very end of the novel. But that's just my opinion.

Dark coming-of-age story that addresses sensitive topics such as bullying and suicide while set behind a Prom background.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

shine your icy crown
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
“Make them rue the day they underestimated you.” ...
The Castle School (for Troubled Girls)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
From New York Times bestselling author Alyssa Sheinmel comes the...
Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Discover the incredible story of a young daughter of immigrants...
Follow Your Arrow
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, this is...
Paris Cat
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A sassy cat from the back alleys of Paris believes...
The Last Hazelnut
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When two woodland friends have a misunderstanding over who ate...
Down Comes the Night
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
He saw the darkness in her magic. She saw the...
Rescue
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Six hundred and fifty-seven days ago, Meg Kenyon's father left...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
“We are most courageous at our weakest; when we believe...
The Night Walk
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Mama opened our bedroom door. "Wake up, you two," she...
My Very Merry Ugly Christmas Sweater
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Celebrate the perfect, ugly expression of holiday cheer in this...
You and Me
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This sweet celebration of love is perfect for sharing with...
Baby's First Farm
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Babies and toddlers can lift the flaps to look inside...
Can I Come Too?
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Join a tiny mouse as she searches for the biggest...
The Shadow War
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Inglourious Basterds meets Stranger Things in this dark and...
Dark Stars
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dorothy finds herself completely alone. ...

Latest Member Reviews

shine your icy crown
 
3.3
"shine your icy crown by amanda lovelace is a 129-page collection of contemporary poems. It’s the second book in the..."
The Castle School (for Troubled Girls)
 
4.3
"THE CASTLE SCHOOL (FOR TROUBLED GIRLS) is a story of healing and friendship. Moira has been cast adrift since the..."
Go the Distance
 
5.0
"Hercules proved he was a true hero and became a god like his parents, Zeus and Hera. Meg is thrilled..."
Follow Your Arrow
 
4.3
"FOLLOW YOUR ARROW is a heartfelt read about love, breaking up, and being true to yourself. CeCe has made a..."
Down Comes the Night
 
4.3
"DOWN COMES THE NIGHT is an intriguing, slow-burn YA fantasy. Wren is a healer in the military of her queendom,..."
A Dark and Hollow Star (A Dark and Hollow Star, #1)
 
4.7
"A DARK AND HOLLOW STAR is a slowly building YA fantasy that takes the reader on a wild ride through..."
Daughters of Jubilation
 
5.0
"It's South Carolina in 1962. Sixteen-year-old Evvie has two little sisters to take care of, a single mother, and finally..."
Dark Stars
 
4.0
"DARK STARS by Danielle Rollins is the third book in her series of the same name. It begins with Dorothy..."
Muted
 
5.0
"Denver loves music and dreams of life making it with her R&B group, Angelic Voices. When the group (Denver, Dali,..."
Reawakened
 
3.3
"My favorite thing about this book is the Egyptian elements. Reading Lily’s adventures in pyramids gave me strong Indiana Jones..."
Three Day Summer
 
4.7
"Michael doesn't know what he wants to do with his life. He should go to community college to avoid the..."
Crush (Crave, #2)
 
4.7
"CRUSH is an intense and nail-biting sequel to CRAVE. This second book picks up a few months after the first..."
The Shadow War
 
3.0
"Audiobook review: Following 5 teens trying to survive, THE SHADOW WAR imagines World War II with a..."
Meet Cute: Some people are destined to meet
 
4.0
"MEET CUTE is a fun, romantic anthology featuring stories about people first meeting. Ranging from cute to funny to dark..."
Glimpsed
 
3.7
"GLIMPSED gives us a twist on the typical fairytale with Charity, a fairy godmother from a line of fairy godmothers...."
Shine Until Tomorrow
 
5.0
"Wow, this book didn’t turn out to be anything like I expected. The story: Tamara is a young..."
Prepped
 
5.0
"PREPPED is a really captivating YA contemporary fiction. Becca is 17 years old and dreams of going away to college..."
An Enchantment of Ravens
 
5.0
"This book has become one of my all-time favorites. Every time I start reading I couldn’t put it down, touched..."
Curse of the Divine (Ink in the Blood, #2)
 
4.7
"CURSE OF THE DIVINE is a dark, atmospheric, and compelling finale to a unique YA fantasy duology. In the first..."
Who Put This Song On?
 
4.7
"In a small, very white town, Morgan is trapped in the expectations and assumptions of everyone around her. She hasn't..."