Liar, Dreamer, Thief
by Maria Dong
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Pub Date 10 Jan 2023 | Archive Date Not set
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An Aardvark Book Club pick
Katrina Kim may be broke, the black sheep of her family, and slightly unhinged, but she isn’t a stalker. Her obsession with her co-worker, Kurt, is just one of many coping mechanisms—like her constant shape and number rituals, or the way scenes from her favorite children’s book bleed into her vision whenever she feels anxious or stressed.
But when Katrina finds a cryptic message from Kurt that implies he’s aware of her surveillance, her tenuous hold on a normal life crumbles. Driven by compulsion, she enacts the most powerful ritual she has to reclaim control—a midnight visit to the Cayatoga Bridge—and arrives just in time to witness Kurt’s suicide. Before he jumps, he slams her with a devastating accusation: his death is all her fault.
Horrified, Katrina combs through the clues she’s collected about Kurt over the last three years, but each revelation uncovers a menacing truth: for every moment she was watching him, he was watching her. And the past she thought she’d left behind? It’s been following her more closely than she ever could have imagined.
A gripping page-turner, as well as a sensitive exploration of mental health, Liar, Dreamer, Thief is an intimate portrayal of life in all its complexities—and the dangers inherent in unveiling people’s most closely guarded secrets.
"A surreal thriller that blurs the line between daydream and nightmare. It leaves you with the creeping certainty that there is a different world lurking just under the surface of our own, filled with technicolor lies and terrible truths."
—Alix E. Harrow, New York Times bestselling and Hugo-award winning author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January
"Clever, urgent, and deeply compassionate. This novel hooked its claws into me and didn't let go—a brilliant, brutal debut that's also deeply thoughtful in its examination of family, mental health, and diaspora. Absolutely stunning."
—Grace D. Li, New York Times bestselling author of Portrait of a Thief
"A scathing critique of the American workplace, a lyrical examination of mental illness, a poignant reflection on the experiences of second-generation Americans, and an engrossing, white-knuckle thriller that's—somehow—infused with magic. Are books even allowed to be so many kinds of awesome? Dong's remarkable debut is destined to become a classic."
—Wendy N. Wagner, author of The Secret Skin and The Deer Kings
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 64 members
Thanks, Netgalley for the chance at an early read.
I was so impressed with this book. I don’t completely know how to describe it but I want to applaud the author for highlighting mental health in a way that is like a neurodivergent super power.
This is like thriller mixed in with self discovery mixed in with sometimes fantasy.
I’m here for all of it
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