Google+ YA Romantics: Compare and Contrast Two Guy Narrators: Liars Inc and Boys Don't Knit

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Compare and Contrast Two Guy Narrators: Liars Inc and Boys Don't Knit

I love guy narrators and recently read two great -- though very different -- books featuring guy protagonists.

Boys Don't Knit
by T. S. Easton
Published by Feiwel and Friends
on March 24, 2015

Source: eARC for review

Synopsis from Goodreads: After an incident regarding a crossing guard and a bottle of Martini & Rossi (and his bonehead friends), 17-year-old worrier Ben Fletcher must develop his sense of social alignment, take up a hobby, and do some community service to avoid any further probation. He takes a knitting class (it was that or his father’s mechanic class) under the impression that it's taught by the hot teacher all the boys like. Turns out, it’s not. Perfect. Regardless, he sticks with it and comes to find that he’s a natural knitter, maybe even great. It even helps ease his anxiety and worrying. The only challenge now is to keep it hidden from his friends, his crush, and his soccer-obsessed father. What a tangled web Ben has weaved . . . or knitted.

My take: I feel like the cover and title are a little misleading. Boys Don't Knit is Lad Lit, which is a favorite genre of mine. Think Adrian Mole, Nick Hornby, or The Inbetweeners. Think awkward British adolescent boys trying to navigate the confusing world of high school. That's What She Said Jokes (or in poor Ben's case, his parents' creepy double entrendres). I'm also a huge Anglophile -- I love British slang and characters who have friends with names (or nicknames) like Gex and Joz.

For me, Boys Don't Knit started out strong, with some laugh-out-loud moments and a crazy set-up that leads to Ben being enrolled in a knitting class. My interest in the story flagged in the middle a bit, and the ending was a predictable, movie script sort of ending. But overall, I did really enjoy this one. If you're a fan of Lad Lit or funny male narrators, definitely give this one a try!


Liars, Inc
by Paula Stokes
Published by Harper Collins
on March 24, 2015

Source: eARC for review

Synopsis from Goodreads: Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative? When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.
My take: I love thrillers and am always on the lookout for good ones. As I said above, I'm also happy to find a great, relatable male narrator. Liars, Inc. combined the two in a way that made for a fast-paced story with a twist that I didn't (completely) guess.

Liars, Inc. starts with a bang, as Max is being stalked by two FBI agents. Max makes a break for it and runs, then backs up six weeks to tell us how he got into such an unusual situation: his friend is dead and he's being fingered as the culprit. The story then follows Max and his girlfriend Parvati as they try to stay one step ahead of the Feds -- and the killer. Parvati was a great character, so much more than the usual female thriller sidekick. She's the daughter of a Navy Seal and has more than a few tricks up her sleeve. Max is also a classic thriller protagonist, a sort of everyman who finds himself in trouble and has to improvise.

Liars, Inc. is fun and fast-paced and will really keep you guessing!

31 comments:

  1. I had never heard of "Lad Lit" but seems like my kind of book. Liars Inc sounds really good too.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe I made it up ... but no, it's on Wikipedia!

      Delete
  2. I've never heard about Lad Lit before, but now that I'm thinking about it Slam by Nick Hornby could be such a book. Those books you describe seem really interesting though!

    http://thereadingarmchair.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, probably :) Haven't read Slam but a big fan of his books!

      Delete
  3. Lad Lit sounds fun, though I have to admit I haven't read anything in the sun-genre. Funny male narrators can definitely hold my interest, especially if the "funny" is clever and sharp, so maybe I'll give Boys Don't Knit a try. Liars, Inc. on the other hand I'll read as soon as possible. I'm glad that there are some really good thrillers popping up in YA fiction - I remember a time when I was sure the readership for them was pretty limited. Things are changing - exciting!! An interesting post, Jen, just like what I came to expect from you...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boys Don't Knit was pretty funny in parts! And thanks :)

      Delete
  4. +JMJ+

    I'm a knitter, so I find the premise of Boys Don't Knit interesting! Thanks for the review. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, then you'll love this. Tons of inside knitting jokes and stuff. I didn't get all of it, I'm sure!

      Delete
  5. I am so glad to see you enjoyed, Liars. Inc, Jen! I read this one a while ago and ended up really enjoying it as well. I loved what you said about Parvati, she was definitely a lot more different than the usual female sidekicks. I will admit that I struggled with her character at first but I grew to appreciate her more over the course of the book.

    Also, I am glad to hear that about Boys Don't Knit. I haven't seen many reviews for the book and while this wasn't the best book ever, I am glad that you did enjoy it! Plus it sounds so cute!!!!

    Great minis, Jen! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She was a complicated character -- I'm not sure I "liked" her -- she could probably break my arm -- but I thought she was interesting and not the usual!

      Delete
  6. I like reading books narrated by a boy from time to time too. Gives my reading some variation. I like the sound of both books - quirky in their own ways.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree -- guys have a different perspective at times and that makes things fun!

      Delete
  7. I'm definitely gonna read Liars, Inc., I love trillers with twists! I honestly have never heard of Lad Lit before, but Boys Don't Knit's summary does sound like fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you enjoy Liars -- lmk if you guess the twist!

      Delete
  8. loved loved loved liars inc. I am so thinking about ordering boys don't knit. Its still undecided.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Library? One of my trusted blogger reviewers found it too "guy" for her, but I really loved it.

      Delete
  9. I love when books are narrated by boys, since i'm so used to reading book narrated by girls it a refreshing change, although getting the make voice to sound authentic is tricky and most times doesn't sit well with me. That being said, i'm excited bout your thoughts on Liars, Inc. I've had my eye on that one FOR MONTHS.
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liars is fun and I like that the author is trying different genres.

      Delete
  10. I've never heard the term Lad Lit, but I like it! Is that a real thing or a Jen thing? Either way, brilliant. I loved Boys Don't Knit. I agree it was a bit predictable - and would be a funny/awkward movie. But it was fun and refreshing. I'm also wondering why I haven't had Liars, inc. on my radar. FAIL! I seriously had NO idea it was a thriller. I kept thinking it was more of an issues book for some reason. Maybe about rich kids too? I clearly need to pay more attention! I'm going to have to check that one out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lad Lit does have a Wikipedia entry so I think it's a thing -- the guy version of chick lit?
      And yes, Liars does take place in a private school but that's not a big part of the plot -- it's really more a thriller.

      Delete
  11. I absolutely adored the Liars Inc. I loved the male narrator in Max and how he felt really genuine. Even though I was disappointed there wasn't much cultural highlight in Parvati, she really was an interesting character with a personality we don't see much of in this category of books! I will need to take a look at this Lad Lit you mentioned... would be interesting to see the dynamics of an all-boys friendship :)

    Faye at The Social Potato

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree about Parvati. The one problem with books like this is that they are so fast paced that there's not always time to get to know the characters.

      Delete
  12. These two are actually not on my radar but I do enjoy male narrators

    ReplyDelete
  13. Boys Don't Knit sounds like a cute read! I'm always on the look out for more lad lit, and this seems like an a-okay book to me, although I hope I don't find the ending to be underwhelming.

    I adored Liars, Inc! Max was such an easy character to get into, and I loved Parvati as well. They had some gorgeous dynamics together. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ending of BDK is good -- but it reminded me of a feel-good movie ending, when everything falls into place. Nothing wrong with that, though somehow in a book it seems more false to me.

      Delete
  14. I've just come across your blog through another...and I love it. I have to say I'm not one for guy narrators much, only really from a book with two POVs, but I really should give more of them a go. Especially Liars Inc. Which sounds incredible. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great comparison! I do have Liar's Inc so I will have to get to it soon.

    ReplyDelete
  16. 1. I can give you a nickname if you like.
    2. I'm super psyched to read Liars, Inc. Spring Break is next week and it is first on my list.

    ReplyDelete
  17. These are both on my to read list, so I'm glad to hear they were both good. Since you like Lad Lit, I suggest checking out The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise! It is SO good.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Liars Inc. is a book I have anticipated an awful lot this year! One of my most anticipated reads. I have a review copy now, and it is one of my reads coming up soon. I hope am able to enjoy it as much as you did.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope you'll leave me a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and try my best to reply. Leave me a link to your blog or website!

 
Blog design by Imagination Designs