My goodness, was I even paying attention when I requested NetGalley ARCs for February? Two intensely emotional books due out on the same day?! What was I even THINKING?!
Liar might be the most painful book I read all year, and it’s only the second month. Just…whoa. I don’t like trigger warning-ing (?) things unless they really merit them, but the publisher should just stamp TW in big red letters all over the cover. Guys, this book is no joke. Handle with care.
In his memoir Liar, Rob Roberge paints an extremely vivid picture of bipolar disorder and addiction. He uses the pronoun YOU, instead of writing in first or third person, to really get under the reader’s skin. You feel every single psychotic episode, every concussion, every cut, every manic moment. Also pay close attention to the dates. Every paragraph or section changes, further increasing the mania. One moment you might be in 1997, then 1912 rescuing dogs from the Titanic wreckage, then 2008, then 1972. This all happens within 2 pages. There are also subtle arrows pointing at famous suicides, and not so famous suicides, references to CTE, people with seizures, and drug addiction–all things point back to Rob’s all consuming disorder.
And it is disorder. This book held me in my own mania, and I’m serious when I tell you that this book is triggering. If you read it, find a way to cope with it. For me, it meant having my Invasive Thoughts Journal nearby, so I could purge those thoughts that were actually Rob from my mind.
I suppose this review comes off as negative, to anyone who doesn’t know how much I love getting inside people’s brains, but Liar is a work of shattered genius, and one I didn’t want to end for the sole purpose to keep Rob alive. Because to keep writing, he had to keep living, right? Let’s hope that Rob Roberge has several more books to go.
NetGalley provided this ARC for an unbiased review. Also received book copy in Goodreads contest. Releases February 9.