Article first published as Book Review: Dirty Liar by Brian James on Blogcritics.
The blurb at the back of the book says that the main character, Benji is “trying not to self-destruct”, and truer words have never been written.
Benji is going through hell just trying to survive. After a traumatic experience with his mother and her boyfriend, he has moved states to live with his father, step mother, and new half-sister. But things are never that easy, and Benji soon realises that you cannot escape the past no matter how hard you want to.
Despite the somewhat negative nature of the book, I really enjoyed reading it. James truly captured the dichotomy of a troubled sole. As much as people say that Benji is just out for attention, the opposite is the truth and all he wants is to be left alone. But when being alone means being alone with your thoughts, that proves to be the wrong course of action.
I love the way that James writes. There’s a certain poetry to the way the sentences flow together and apart. He also doesn’t use the typical grammatical marks for speech; instead he separates speech like so –This is someone talking–This disconnected way of writing works really well to further the fact that most of Benji’s life exists inside his head, and the outside world is just distractions.
I did a little bit of research and found that Benji is actual a character in another one of James’s books called Perfect World so I’m excited to find that as soon as possible.
I recommend this book for teenagers because it will help them to realise that they’re not alone in their thinking, but also for parents because it might help them to understand their kids a bit better.
If anyone else has read this book please leave a comment whether or not you agree or disagree with my views.