The Truth App (Liars #1)

Jack Heath. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-5344-4986-2
In this lightweight techno-thriller, a young man is thrust into the public spotlight and marked for death after he develops an app that monitors conversations and detects truths and falsehoods. Even before high schooler Jarli Durras’s app goes viral, someone tries to kill him and his father—first in a car crash, then more directly at the hospital they’re taken to after the accident. Now the app is garnering him the wrong sort of attention from the media and the public—and even from his classmates, who see it as an unwelcome infringement upon their privacy. With his best friend, Bess, who uses crutches, and Russian transfer student Anya, Jarli must discover who’s trying to murder him, and how his father—who works for a data security company—is involved. Heath (The Silver Thief) starts this adventure off with a bang and maintains a high level of tension throughout this fast-paced installment, but a thin backstory and skimpy character development result in a tale that never slows enough to build out its world, its inhabitants, or its core premise’s implications. There’s a clear sense of setup for future installments in this series starter, which may have particular appeal for reluctant readers interested in a fast-paced adventure. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/26/2019
Release date: 02/25/2020
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 978-1-5344-4987-9
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