For many, trust (or the ability to trust) is a very important factor when it comes to interacting with both strangers and the people they know. So why should it be any different with characters in books? Particularly when it comes to first-person narrators.
Because the alternative makes for a more interesting story. Thus, the popularity of the Unreliable Narrator.
Sometimes these narrators are being intentionally dishonest and the truth is revealed as the story unfolds. Other times, the narrator themself is in the dark about what's going on around them and must uncover the mystery along with the reader. Either way, such narrators make for real page-turners that often come paired with jaw-droppingly shocking endings!
Because these sort of books are so awesome, we've set up a whole display to spotlight them. This can be found along the top of the "New" book shelf.
Some of MY personal favorite books with Unreliable Narrators are:
Going Bovine, by Libba Bray: Cameron is diagnosed with Mad Cow Disease, a fatal sickness that will eat away at his mind and body until he eventually bites it. While languishing in the hospital, he is approached by a pink-haired angel who assigns him the task of saving the universe. Accompanied by a neurotic dwarf and cursed Norse god, Cameron embarks on this grand quest.
We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart: Two years ago, Cady was in some sort of accident that caused amnesia and terrible migraines. All she knows is her friends, the Liars, were somehow involved. No one will tell Cady what happened. Not her family, not the Liars, not her own mother. They all say the same thing, that she must remember on her own. When she finally does remember, nothing is the same.
Chime, by Franny Billingsley: Briony is a witch. Her step mother told her as much just before she died. This is why her sister is the way she is, why her father's home was almost swept away in a flood--and then half destroyed by a fire. Briony must hide the truth about herself or else be hanged. It is only when a handsome stranger comes to stay with her family does Briony start to question her step mother's claim. Because witches can't cry. Or love.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary Pierson: Jenna can't remember anything about her life before the accident that claimed the lives of her two best friends. All she has is a box of old home movie videos. As Jenna watches, she learns about her life. But it isn't until she views the last movie, the one that her mother hid from her, that she learns who--or what--she really is.