It's uncomfortable being in the main character's head! This one is definitely for the patient reader.
I have no doubt that I will love this book some day, but unfortunately today was not the day. I started Liar, Dreamer, Thief a few times but ultimately DNF around 30%. I think many others will like this book.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this book.
thank you to netgalley for the advanced reading copy. I really enjoyed this and will be getting copies for my shop.
Liar, Dreamer, Thief was a slow paced book. I wasn't a fan of Katrina's stalkerish attitude or Kurt. Usually I'll love the book if I liked the plot or the characters, but I wasn't really a fan of either, unfortunately.
(posted January 10, 2023, I just forgot to close out this review)
Liar, Dreamer, Thief is a fast-paced, genre-bending novel that will have you reading straight through to the end. The story focuses on the Korean-American Katrina Kim, who loved a book called Mi-Hee and the Mirror-Man as a child. Now an adult, she's broke, perpetually in fear of losing her job, and maybe just a little bit unhinged. After all, when she looks just right—and sometimes when she doesn't—she can see an overlay of Mi-Hee's world onto her own. And, when it comes to a guy named Kurt at the office, she might be just a little bit of a stalker.
I started reading this book and didn't want to stop, obligations and the very cute puppy who wanted my attention be damned. It's a slippery sort of book—I had no idea where it was going, but I was absoLUTELY along for the ride from the very first page. Do yourself a favour and pick this one up. I'm so glad I can count it as my first read of 2023. What a fantastic way to start the year.
What started really interesting fell apart for me into frustration and a little boredom. I wish it held the intrigue that it began within the premise.
this was a wild rollercoaster and had me on the edge of my seat. though at times i found katrina hard to follow the mystery of her and kurts intertwined lives kept me going. i was not expecting the turn it took but was satisfied with the story and its conclusion
'Liar, Dreamer, Thief' by Maria Dong is an unexpected foray into the sleuthing genre. The main character is struggling mentally, makes bad decisions, and has a tenuous grasp on realtiy which makes for an interestng narrator while chasing down a mystery.
I absolutely loved this book, but I don’t know how to talk about it. Katrina Kim is broke, alienated from her family, and working at a horrible dead end job. She struggles with an unnamed mental illness, and her coping mechanism is to imagine herself in a fantasy world from her favorite book. She has constructed elaborate rituals based on behavior, lucky numbers, and shapes to protect herself from anything that might go wrong. She also has an obsession with her coworker, Kurt, and is stalking him—though she adamantly denies this. One night, she witnesses his suicide and solving his death sends her on a dangerous and twisty journey.
I loved the character of Katrina and rooted for her even when I wanted to shake her. Dong’s prose is gorgeous, and Katrina’s narrative voice was a pleasure to dive into. The plot went in unexpected directions and the weaving in and out of Katrina’s fantasy world was fascinating and well done. In many ways, it reminded me of a queer, WOC version of a classic thriller, like Charade. Nothing is what it seems and nothing goes how you expect it will. Highly recommend and I will read anything Maria Dong writes.
Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for an early copy of this book.
I can't believe I waited so long to read this book. Liar, Dreamer, Thief by Maria Dong is a twisty psychological thriller. With a heavy focus on mental health issues, you will be second guessing the reality of everything that is happening. What would you do if you found out the person you were stalking was secretly stalking you back?? That is exactly what happens in this book and I was here for it! At times it felt like I was in a fantasy novel when we would disappear into the FMC's imaginary world. Other times it was 100% thriller with twisty turns and tense moments. I hope that we see much more come from Marie Dong, because this story was amazing!
<i>”The truth is there’s always a hidden world under the one we initially perceive, but grasping its nature can be inconvenient.” </I>
This book is crazy. It took me about 1/4 of the book to understand what the heck was going on but the book sucked me into its story within a story and I was stuck.
Katrina is crazy. She is obsessed with a Childrens book about imaginary doors to other places. She has to complete rituals and counts steps to keep herself safe. She is also a literal mess AND has $45 in her bank account AND just a few points away from losing her job. And did I mention, she is also secretly obsessed with her co-worker?
But what if she’s not crazy? And everyone around her is?
This book was all the things I enjoy. It was part mental breakdown a la “the yellow wallpaper” and part murder mystery. I really liked Katrina even if she was a mess, her character was real and entertaining! And the fact that she heard classical music all the time was a cute quirk.
<b>Lesson learned: no matter how crazy it may seem, trust your gut. </b>
<I>”After all, you can love a unicorn, but it will never love you back. And you can’t trust one to ever see things your way. They’re too principled for that.”</I>
Thank you to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book.
This was my first read by this author and I was not disappointed. There was so many different genre's blended together and it was done beautifully. The story of Katrina Kim is one I think many reader will find comfort in. Mental health is a strong focal point and may trigger some reader.
We follow Katrina in her world she created her "kitchen-door world" and the real world where she finds herself essential stalking her co-worker Kurt, that is until he goes missing. Katrina goes on a journey to find out what happened to him uncovering more clues along the way.
I think this is the type of book that is a hit or miss for most readers. You are either going to dive in and love it or start the book and struggle to immerse yourself in it. Which is the beauty of reading. Definitely worth checking out.
What a book! It's almost like a thriller/fantasy. If you want a twisty book this is the one!! I loved the writing and can't wait to see what else this author comes out with.
⁉️What are you currently reading and would you recommend it so far?
I just started @sarahpinboroughbooks’ Behind Her Eyes, and I am SUCKED IN
Liar, Dreamer, Thief by Maria Dong
Pub date: Jan 11, 2023
The first half of this book was 🤌 The tension was great, a total page turner. Katrina’s mind lives between two worlds, the real world and a fictional world that’s been inspired by a favorite childhood book of hers that she retreats to when real life becomes overwhelming. Another coping mechanism Katrina has adopted is stalking her coworker until he suddenly jumps off a bridge, and then she is left trying to piece together how it might be her fault. Is she the villain or is he?
The second half of the book, however, feels a little disjointed from the first. It all comes around, but it was sort of a jarring transition for me.
Thanks @netgalley @grandcentralpub for the e-ARC and @hachetteaudio and @librofm for the ALC!
For audiobook listeners: The audio’s pacing was great 👍 as was the narration, but I think the print keep my attention just as well. I’m not sure that, in this case, the audio did a ton to enhance what was already sort of an edge of your seat read
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I am still uncertain what exactly I experienced while reading LIAR, DREAMER, THIEF, but it was chilling and immersive and transformative. Much appreciation to Maria Dong for taking readers on this unique journey.
I love-love-loved this book. Its thriller plot provides genuinely surprising twists and turns along with vivid storytelling and complex character development. Katrina's inner landscape is portrayed with stunning empathy and nuance while simultaneously providing an unreliable and sometimes outright uncomfortable perspective on the riveting turns of events. I loved Maria Dong's writing voice here and I cannot wait to see what else she does after this.
It is very clear from the beginning of Liar, Dreamer, Thief that Katrina Kim is an unreliable narrator. Her world is in near constant flux between reality and the portal world of her favorite childhood book. Most of her waking life is spent trying to keep herself grounded in reality while still accomplishing daily tasks. She is not always successful.
This book took a very standard thriller trope and completely turned it on its side. The story becoming more confusing and frantic as Katrina looses control of her carefully established coping skills.
At times Katrina was a bit too relatable and made me really pause and reevaluate some of my own coping mechanisms and if they were actually serving me or just making the situation worse.
Liar, Dreamer, Thief managed to intersperse fairy tales, geometry and Korean culture into a complex thriller that left me guessing right until the end.
Thank you Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Liar, Dreamer, Thief.
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.
WOAH! I am blown away by this read! Colorful, compelling, and intimate in a way I haven’t experienced before, Maria Dong knocked it out of the park with her debut novel! Katrina was lovable because of her quirks (aka mental illness) and the way the story turned into a surprise thriller left me speechless! This is a must-read!
Thank you so much to Grand Central Publishing for the e-ARC of Liar, Dreamer, Thief & Libro.FM for the complimentary audiobook!
I just finished Liar, Dreamer, Thief by Maria Dong & I’m still unsure of what just happened. This page-turning thriller has major surreal moments alongside some.. well, thriller-y moments. I had zero idea where this book was going, but it was definitely a ride from start to finish. Plus, Liar, Dreamer, Thief explores mental health so well. I recommend throwing this on your radar if you’re into “WTF?” thrillers!