The Parallel Universe of Liars

The Parallel Universe of Liars

Hardcover(First Edition)

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Robin's neighbor Frankie is like walking sex. He's 23, hot, charming, and used to getting what he wants. When Janice, Robin's stepmom, first meets Frankie, they lock eyes with an almost audible sizzle. Not long after, Robin discovers they're having an affair. She is shocked, angry, curious, even jealous—but not really surprised. It's just one more hurtful secret to be kept in this parallel universe of liars.

Surrounded by superficiality, infidelity, and lies, Robin, 15 and a self-described "chunk," has a secret of her own—she can't stay away from Frankie, either. But when a new guy ambles into her life, Robin must find a way to escape her own tangle of deception to capture something real.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780761317463
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication date: 10/28/2002
Series: Single Titles Ser.
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.76(w) x 8.48(h) x 0.81(d)
Lexile: 640L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson lives in Maryland. She is also the author of Roaring Brook's Target and A Fast and Brutal Wing

Reading Group Guide

1. Robin is certainly unlike teen heroines in many other books and movies. What is your overall impression of her? Would you want to be friends with her? In what ways do you identify with her? The author chose to tell this story through Robin’s eyes–why do you think she made this choice?

2. When a writer chooses to narrate a book in the first person, it limits what we know about characters other than the narrator. Do you trust Robin’s descriptions and analyses? Do you wish you could get inside the head of any of the other characters–to hear his or her thoughts and feelings? What might Frankie, or Robin’s mother, be thinking that Robin doesn’t know?

3. Robin encounters and observes a good deal of sex and sexual tension in the story. In the end, what do you think she learns about sex and its connection to relationships? Did the book change your ideas or attitudes about sex and sexuality?

4. “That’s sick. Don’t say it again. Don’t even think it” (p. 170).
Robin must confront a confusing world of unspoken rules, especially when it comes to sex. With regard to sex and desire, how do you decide what is right or wrong, “sick” or normal? In your own life, have you ever been confused about such issues? What are your reactions to the thoughts and behavior of Robin? Of Frankie?

5. What would you say to adults who object to this kind of sexual content in a book for teenagers? Why do you think they would object, and do you agree or disagree with the reasons they might give? If you think the sex scenes are important, why? How would the book be different without them?

6. Ihear a car pull up and Dick comes in. He kisses my mother on the lips, and I see that this is a different kind of kiss. An I’m yours kiss (p. 54).
Robin is an acute observer, especially of her own family. How do her critical observations affect her relationship with her mother (and with Janice, her father, and Frankie)? Does it make her closer to them, or more distant from them? Do you ever think about your family or friends in an objective way–about the kind of people they are outside your relationship with them?

7. Why is it so difficult for Robin to write a satisfactory letter to Melissa? What does it say about her life that she can’t seem to put her experience into words?

8. Robin and Tri’s relationship develops slowly. What personal issues (what some people call baggage) do each of them bring to the situation? How are those issues worked out as Robin and Tri become closer? Have you ever been in a relationship (romantic or otherwise) in which you had a problem that seemed to exist outside the relationship but that had a big impact on it?

9. “What do you mean, I’m not really black?”
“You’re not. You’re butterscotch!”
. . . “Well, excuse me, but I’m
plenty black” (p. 155).
Talking about race, or someone’s racial identity, can be difficult. What is at the root of Robin and Tri’s misunderstanding? Why is race such a sensitive topic? Have you ever been offended in a conversation about race, or have you ever offended someone else, even if you didn’t mean to?

10. Have you ever gotten stuck in the parallel universe of liars?

Customer Reviews

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The Parallel Universe of Liars 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read this book when i was about 14,15. This book is a really good read and I enjoyed it from cover to cover. Sadly, I couldnt relate to the charachter but nonetheless it was fun reading about her and seeing things in her perspective. Its a book that will definitely entertain you.:)
Marin More than 1 year ago
okay so this book was good. i liked it now 19 and i read this book when i was so what if i couldnt realate, not all books you read you have to relate too, not everyone is the same. I thought the terms she used were hilarious and memoriable. not challenging at all to read, but as for learning about yourself go read a "chicken soup book" if you want that. I think this book was a good read, probably not one to read if your doing a book report..but its more of a fun read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so great!!! Just when you think everything is settling down. BOOM! it picks back up again....***THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR CHILDREN UNDER 13****.....a lot of sexual content.....
Guest More than 1 year ago
So, while reading this book i found that i could not relate to robin, at all. I am 13 years old not far off from 15,robins age and im sure that i dont know a single 13, 14 or 15 year old that would have acted this way. First of all, its stated in the novel that robin was.. to put it lightly larger than the average teenager. And it seemed wierd to me that she would buy tons of food and just chow down because she didnt care about her weight, im not saying its a bad thing that she didnt care about her weight, but i have never met a teenager like me that doesnt care about their weight. 'if you know one, good for you.' In the novel it also says that shes not exaclty the prettiest girl, but here are these 2 gorgeous guys that want her 'even if one is just for sexual release'. If you ask me i think robin acts more like an immature 9 or 10 year old than a 15 year old. As for the sexual aspect that many people are complaining about i hardly noticed it i was so angry about how immature robin acted.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved this book it was the first really sexual book i've ever read, and I recommend it to people of all ages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
for all of you who say it was to explicit, ur crazy i'm 16 and i've read worse! teens need to be exposed to such things and why hide the truth? many girls of that age are wondering all about sex! I'm 16 and i got the book!!!!! i understood the point! so to all you older people or younger the sex in this book was hardly sex at all...gosh look past the sex and find the meanings!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was totally awesome!! Robin was such a strong character! I loved the whole drama with he family and next-door neighboor!
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Wow' is about all I can think of when this book is brought to my attention. It was an interesting book. I can see that there was a point being made at the end, but it was just to much to take in. The sex scenes were to detailed for a teen novel. The story would have been better represented if the 'sex drive' was brought down a bit. It was just to much to take overall. For those of you who are going to read warned, that you are going to be jumping into some pretty explict scenes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was sex-filled. I thought it'd revolve more around the relationships of the teenagers, and the different aspects of it, but it was all about sex. It was ok, but definitely could have been better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was sick, it was mainly about sex. I don't even know what the point of the story is.