It turns out that I just don't like crappy mysteries!
I started reading Lisa and Laura Roecker's The Liar Society at lunch yesterday. I've been following their blog for months, and I enjoy it, so I made sure to bring a lunch that wouldn't be hard to eat while holding a book in my free hand. That was an excellent plan. I ended up coming back late from lunch because I didn't want to stop reading. And I took the book with me on my 15-minute break. And since it was raining when I left work, I sat in the car for a half-hour and read when I got home before I went inside. And then I curled up on the couch and read until my ride showed up to take me to dinner - with three chapters left! As soon as it was not-really-rude, I wrapped up dinner and hurried to my bedroom to finish the book. So I read the entire thing in a day. And I'm sooooo glad I did!
As I've said, I've followed Lisa and Laura online for a while, and I've found them really funny and entertaining. While I'm not a mom and I can't related to any of their kid stories, it hasn't mattered, because they still connect with me. I can say the same thing about The Liar Society - I'm not a teenager anymore, but the book connected. I loved the character of Kate. She was messed up and human, but lovable nonetheless. Her flaws were reasonable, and she made perfect sense as a girl whose best friend died a year ago. But even though she's got this whole 'damaged' thing going on, by the end, I got the sense that she would grow up to be okay. Not perfect, because who is? But okay, which is more than a lot of people can ask for.
I wasn't sure what to make of a lot of the male characters in the book, but honestly, that's exactly how I felt about the guys I knew back in high school, so it worked for me ;)
Also? LOVED the Latin throughout! I took some Latin, and I have a degree in Classics, so it totally thrills me every time I see it used in 'real life.' The other thing that it reminded me of was The Jewel That Was Ours by Colin Dexter. The subject matter was totally different (adult vs. YA), but it was the only other mystery that I've really enjoyed, and it [coincidentally?] also had lots of Latin and Classical references throughout.
Which brings me back to the title of this post: I have read so many mystery novels in the past year, and disliked all of them, that I was afraid I wouldn't like The Liar Society based on that. I was soooooo wrong! If you like funny, strong, normal(ish) female characters, you should go out and get this book. I've already got a list of people that are getting copies for birthdays/Christmas/Easter/Tuesdays!