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About the Author
Laura RoeckerLisa and Laura Roecker are sisters-turned-writing-partners with a love of all things Young Adult. Some call it arrested development, but the sisters claim it keeps them young. Plus, it’s cheaper than Botox. Lisa and Laura live in Cleveland, Ohio, in separate residences. Their husbands wouldn’t agree to a duplex. The Liar Society is their first novel. To learn more, check out www.lisaandlauraroecker.com.
Her email didn’t move or disappear or do any of the creepy things I’d expect an email from a ghost to do. It was just there.
Her email didn’t move or disappear or do any of the creepy things I’d expect an email from a ghost to do. It was just there.
Sent: Tues 9/14 11:59 PM
Subject: (no subject)
I shouldn’t be writing.
They’ll hurt you.
The words blurred on the screen, and my hands went limp. My phone clattered to the hardwood floor, the battery popping off and sliding beneath my bed.
Dead best friends didn’t send emails.
I shook my head fiercely in an attempt to clear my thoughts. It was the anniversary of her death, and I missed Grace more than anything. Maybe my mind was just playing tricks on me. Maybe this wasn’t really happening.
I took a deep breath, grabbed my laptop, and refreshed my mail. My hand flew to cover my mouth when I saw her name on the screen again. As much as I wanted to believe that the email was from Grace, my mind just couldn’t make the leap.
Maybe this was some kind of joke, but that kind of cruelty didn’t seem possible. Plus we guarded our email passwords with our lives, and there was no way anyone was capable of hacking into the school’s database.
When I reread the words, something deep inside of me—buried beneath all the anger and guilt—woke up. It was as though I’d spent the last year living in a fog of grief and regret, and suddenly the atmosphere had cleared. My room looked the same, but the blue of the walls was more vibrant, the white of my duvet brighter.
I had sent Grace hundreds of emails over the past year. Trying to describe how much I missed her, how much my life sucked without her, and how much I needed my best friend back. I kept expecting our school, Pemberly Brown, to delete her account, kept waiting for the moment my emails would bounce back undeliverable. But that moment never came. Was it possible that after all this time, after all those emails, Grace had actually written me back?
She was where? In my room? A trickle of sweat rolled down the center of my chest, sending a fresh trail of goose bumps straight down my legs.
“Grace?” My voice cracked.
As soon as the sound left my lips, I regretted it. Really, Kate? A ghost? No wonder my parents sent me to a shrink.
My mind reeled. What if she wasn’t a ghost? What if Grace was still alive? I remembered her funeral like one of those black-and-white silent movies. People’s lips moved, but I couldn’t make out the words. The memory was grainy and parts were missing, as though someone had forgotten to tape back together the pieces of a broken filmstrip. One image remained clear, though: the casket at the altar, its lid tightly closed, the box that looked way too small to hold my best friend.
Maybe there had been some terrible misunderstanding…maybe Grace was still out there somewhere.
I read her words again, and this time one word, one name stuck.
I leaped up from my chair, misjudged the distance between knee and desk, and slammed into the wood.
I squeezed my eyes shut for a second. The humid September air hung heavy in the room, practically suffocating me as I tried to make sense of her words. The email was a clue, a clue I’d spent the last year trying to find. Someone or something was trying to tell me what I’d always known in my heart: Grace’s death was more than just a horrible accident.
She needed my help.
The chair scraped against the floor as I pushed it in front of my closet, climbed on top, and pulled down the huge box that held the artifacts of our friendship. I ran my fingers over the word “Memories” written on the box. A fat tear landed on the o and magnified the letter. I hadn’t even realized I was crying. As I pressed my palms against my eyes, I willed the tears to stop. I had to focus.
The ceiling fan rattled overhead, fighting a losing battle against the heat, and as soon as I lifted the box’s lid, a bunch of the emails I’d sent to Grace over the past year scattered onto my bed. I shoved the ones still in the box aside impatiently, not completely sure why I printed them in the first place.
I guess maybe I needed my words to be real. Sometimes sending my thoughts out into cyberspace to Grace wasn’t enough. The emails were proof that she had existed and proof that, for me, she was still out there somewhere. And as crazy as it sounds, part of me always hoped that somehow, somewhere, she could read them.
I picked up the pink-and-purple jewelry box Grace had given me for my seventh birthday. It used to be full of the half-heart charms that marked our friendship—bracelets, necklaces, even dangle earrings that Grace couldn’t wear because her parents never let her get her ears pierced. But now there was only one piece of jewelry left—Grace’s pearls. I hadn’t touched them since her mother had tearfully wound them around my wrist like a rosary after the funeral.
I lifted the lock and opened the lid. The long strand of pearls filled the box, and I imagined Grace twisting the necklace around her finger like she always did when she was lost in thought or cooking up another one of her schemes. I looped the beads around my neck three times, just like Grace used to. Their weight was somehow reassuring, and it gave me the strength to finally unearth the picture frame.
And there she was.
Actually, the picture was of the three of us—me, Maddie, and Grace. Best friends forever. It had been taken two summers ago—before everything and everyone changed.
None of us had been ready when Grace’s mom snapped the shot. We begged her to take another as we huddled in front of the camera. I pointed to my eyes, squinty because I was laughing so hard; Maddie grumbled that her face looked fat, self-consciously pinching the skin beneath her chin; and Grace complained that we were too old for pictures, threatening to hit Delete. But Mrs. Lee pulled the camera out of our reach and waved her hand. She promised that the picture had captured everything we’d want to remember about that summer.
And she was right: the picture was perfect.
I picked up the frame and stared into Grace’s eyes—her best feature. They were dark and almond shaped, and she always looked like she was wearing eyeliner, even though makeup was strictly forbidden in the Lee house.
Genuine smiles lit our faces, and I could almost hear the echo of our laughter. We were happy in that just-before-high-school way when it was still cool to ride your bike to the pool or eat box after box of Hot Tamales while playing truth or dare in a tent set up in your friend’s backyard.
I missed that kind of happy.
I put the picture aside and dug through the box until I found the small white notebook decorated with glitter, rhinestones, and puff paint. It looked like an entire craft store had thrown up on the cover.
I remembered the sleepover in seventh grade when Grace had decided we needed a slam book to hold our deepest and darkest secrets. Each page had a different question, and each of us had chosen a different color to write our “secret” answers. Grace had chosen orange, as usual.
My stomach lurched a little as I flipped through the book and scanned the pages for her loopy handwriting.
“The Liar Society is a mystery book that everyone should read. Everyone. You will not regret it. I cannot wait to read the sequel ‘The Lies That Bind’.” - J’Ador...
“The Liar Society is a mystery book that everyone should read. Everyone. You will not regret it. I cannot wait to read the sequel ‘The Lies That Bind’.” - J’Adore Happy Endings
“...I had trouble putting down... a fantastic debut novel. Lisa and Laura Roecker are a brilliant new author duo and I can't wait to read what comes next from them.
” - Emilie’s Book World
“This thrilling page turner will be sure to please teen readers who will welcome the opportunity to get on this exciting roller coaster ride with this witty heroine. Recommended.
” - Library Media Connection
“...an absolute fun novel to read filled with plenty of entertainment! Witty and surprisingly light, The Liar Society is an easy choice for those looking for a great mystery...” - Midnight Bloom Reads
“Kate is Nancy Drew minus the preppy perfection, and her endearing quirks draw the reader into the story. Though written for the teen crowd, many moms will probably devour it in secret.” - Cleveland Magazine
“...the setting and some of the plot elements call to mind Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks (BCCB 3/08), the tone inclines toward the mysterious and earnest, akin to Myracle’s Bliss (BCCB 10/08). Readers who enjoy their school stories tinged with the sinister will enjoy following Kate into the tunnels underneath Pemberly Brown in search of answers that will finally lay Grace to rest.” - Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The Liar Society starts with an email - from the main character, Kate's, dead best friend. And, from there, it's straight mystery... The school, Pemberly Brown, is fully brick and mortar: you could almost walk into it inside the pages, it's so present... Overall, it's a very fast, very cute read... I'm looking forward to seeing what these two write next!” - Coffee and Cliffhangers
“It has mystery, snark, and adorkable boys. It's like LiLa sat down and said, "Let's write a book full of Kim's favorite things.” - Kim Harrington, author of CLARITY
“The Liar Society is humorous and fun but also has some subtly serious undertones weaved in, providing texture. Stir in a compelling mystery that kept me guessing and you've got quite the story... This is one debut you will not want to miss...” - The Book Pixie
“Fresh, funny, and oh so mysterious, The Liar Society is the epitome of "super-amazing-fantastical-spectacular" (it is so awesome that one word just isn't enough to explain)...Kate's sleuthing skills and the intriguing mystery will keep you entertained and curious from beginning to end. If you love mysteries with a spunky heroine, The Liar Society is your story...without a doubt the best humorous yet mysterious novel I've read in years.” - YA Book Queen
“[A] smartly paced and plotted first novel, full of twists, clues, and sleuthing. Add this to your go-to list of mysteries, and expect readers to clamor for a follow-up to this sister duo’s first novel.” - Booklist
“This book is perfect for mystery lovers of all ages. There were so many twists and turns in the book; every time I thought I had a clue figured out, the plot would go in a completely different direction. THE LIAR SOCIETY definitely kept me on my toes…and flipping the pages. When the book came to an end, I found myself double checking to make sure I hadn’t missed any final pages and wondering if there would be a sequel (There will be! Thank goodness). I am SO excited to see what happens to our lovely heroine Kate next!” - Cover to Cover
“...one of those books that must be compulsively read. I’m talking up until 2AM, can’t sleep, can’t stop until the last page is turned, kind of read. ...quick-witted, sharp and had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion...The Liar Society is a fast-paced, fun read with a strong lead in Kate and a cast of infinitely interesting and complex supporting characters.” - Wicked Awesome Books
“A fun-filled debut with a heroine that could be Nancy Drew's sarcastic younger sister.” - Mindful Musings
“Pink hair! Pink Hair! Pink hair! I love the pink hair! Who would have thought that I wouldn't be able to stop turning the pages, that it would be a constant guessing game.... The Liar Society was face paced, awesomely written, with great characters and an ever greater story-line. I can't wait to see what is in store for our dear Kate next! Those Roecker gals made a fan out of me!” - The Story Siren
“A book for mystery lovers everywhere. The Roecker sisters’ debut will suck you in and leave readers hanging until the very end. Danger and thrills, romance and horror will keep you entertained. A great read for a rainy day.” - Romantic Times (4 of 5 stars)
“THE LIAR SOCIETY, by Lisa and Laura Roecker, is a fast paced mystery that brings a new light to a female detective remnicent of Nancy Drew.
The Roecker sisters have a great talent for writing. They pulled off co-writing a book, creating amazing characters, and keeping up the suspense of this thrilling mystery. I look forward to anything they put out in the future. Fantastic book!!” - I Just Wanna Sit Here And Read
“Secret societies dominate a posh co-educational private school in this suspenseful, possibly supernatural mystery. One or both of those societies may be responsible for the death of a girl, or so 15-year-old Kate believes. Kate’s best friend, Grace, was killed in a fire under mysterious circumstances a year earlier. When she gets an e-mail from her dead friend, Kate believes Grace is asking for justice and begins to investigate what really happened. The Roeckers populate the school with the standard drop-dead handsome rich guys and a few supermodel-style girls, but Kate finds herself more attracted to dangerous, scruffy Liam. Then there’s her annoying next-door neighbor, nerdy Seth, who has an obvious crush on her. Despite the difficulties they cause, the two help her so much that at last she enlists them in her quest. Tension mounts when the trio finds secret areas in the school and starts to track down who was really responsible on the night of the fire. A final confrontation solves the mystery, but can Kate really bring the culprit to justice? And is Grace’s ghost really haunting her? The authors create lively and memorable characters and keep the action moving in their lengthy whodunit; Kate’s interest in Latin adds an educational element. Clearly, the Roeckers had fun writing their story. Young mystery lovers may enjoy it just as much.” - Kirkus
“A masterful blend of suspense and danger--from the first page to the nail-biting conclusion, LIAR SOCIETY takes hold and never lets go.” - Mandy Hubbard, author of PRADA AND PREJUDICE and YOU WISH
“...an engaging read for mystery-loving teen girls... Although the premise of the book is a sad one, the story is told light-heartedly and Kate has an authentic teen voice, complete with sarcasm and humor.” - Story Snoops
Length: 8.25 in
Width: 5.5 in
Weight: 14.24 oz
Page Count: 368 pages