For What It's Worth

Monday, June 30, 2014

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart


16143347A beautiful and distinguished family.

A private island.


A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.


A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.


A revolution. An accident. A secret.


Lies upon lies.


True love.


The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.


Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.


Goodreads | Author | Purchase

Source: Finished copy provided by Delacorte Press at BEA 2014

My thoughts:

It’s difficult to write a review for a book that relies so much on mystery and misdirection. Many people have said not to read any reviews before reading the book and I agree. This book requires you to go in without any preconceptions or knowledge of what’s to come.

Lockhart uses each and every word deliberately. Here’s an example from the protagonist – Cadence…

“It is true I suffer migraines since my accident.
It is true I do not suffer fools.
I like a twist of meaning. You see? I Suffer migraines, Do not suffer fools. The word means the same as it did in the previous sentence, but not quite.
Suffer.
You could say it means endure, but that’s not exactly right.”


We Were Liars is unique, strange, captivating, frustrating, confusing and brilliant and it’s not going to be for everyone because of the writing style but I loved it.

Lockhart uses several writing devices that I normally hate but because the novel is a stand alone and shorter in length (225 pages) you don’t have time to question or second guess – you’re just pulled into the mystery.
I did figure out the big twist early on but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the book because I couldn’t figure out the why of it all until the very end.

My only complaint, was how under developed the love interest was considering what a catalyst they were for certain events. But We Are Liars is about more than the romance, which is good I guess, because I wasn’t buying the intensity of it. Friendships and family were a much bigger part of the story.

Give this book a try if you enjoy mysteries with unreliable narraters. I like to think of it as a beach read for people who like it a little darker.

21 comments:

  1. I also hated the love interest part of the book, I thought it was just so instant and like you said, underdeveloped. I am glad you loved it though, more than I did! I think there's something there for everyone.

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    1. It was too abrupt to be a catalyst for anything but I liked Cadence's journey. It was a tough story to like in a way.

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  2. Hm, not sure about this one, the love part sounds blergh

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  3. GRR!! My comments are getting eaten today!! Yours is the second blog to have an appetite. I guess they're just too tasty.

    Anyway, I've held off on this one because I'm just not sure but your review intrigued me enough that I might have to move it up my reading list.

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    1. I hate when that happens. Hopefully it's full now :-)

      This is one of those books that I liked but I'm not sure who to recommend it to. It's not going to be for everyone. I think I might have even hated it if I read it on a different day. lol It's just strange - but I found it haunting and beautiful.

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  4. I really liked this book, but not for the TWIST that everyone talks about. I did like the writing and you have a good point about the length of the book keeping the literary devices from becoming annoying.

    Kate @ Ex Libris

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    1. I guessed that really early on but enjoyed it anyway.

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  5. I actually love an unreliable narrator, and you have me seriously curious about the mystery. Thanks for the review, Karen!

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  6. I have to admit, I didn't want to read this one until now. Oh and you didn't guess until the end? Um.. yes please. I do like dark and so I do think this one is for me.

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    1. I did guess one of the big things but not all the circumstances surrounding it so I didn't feel like the whole thing fell through by knowing.

      If you read it let me know what you think. People seem divided and honestly I can see why.

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  7. I haven't read too many reviews for this one, and certainly nothing spoilery, so I'm excited to get to it sometime and see what all the fuss is about! Glad you liked it!

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  8. I really loved this one too. Definitely mysterious and intriguing.

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  9. Unique and strange sounds like it could be great. It is hard to write reviews for mysteries, I am always afriad I will write an unintentional spoiler

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  10. I loved this book, I read nearly all of it on a plane. :) I actually didn't guess the twist, which surprised me because I usually pick up on that kind of stuff but this time, it went over my head. But I thought the writing style worked really well with the story, though if it had been another type of book, it might have got a bit wearing. (The first time it mentioned the shooting-in-the chest metaphor, I actually jumped and looked at the cover, thinking I'd got it mixed up with Hunger Games or something.) But yeah, it was a lot better than I expected.

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  11. This sounds intriguing so I may try it. Especially because you said it's a dark read! : )

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  12. Ahh...I guessed the ending before I read it, and I had trouble with the one book by this author I read, so I'm not sure I'm going to give it a go. All the raves do have me very curious about it, though! I'm glad you enjoyed it, Karen.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. It was my first book by her. It's one of those kinds of reads that had I started it in a different frame of mind I might not of have liked it but it was such a fast read it worked for me.

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  13. I hear its a bit predictable at the end and hmm I'm not sure this is the type of contemp I'd go for seeing as I only read one or two a year - if I'd snagged it at BEA maybe but alas I didn't. =)

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    1. Predictable? I know not everyone liked it but I seemed to be one of the few people that figured out what was going on. lol Interesting.

      It's a strange book. It's hard to even know who to recommend it to.

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    2. And I did get it at BEA - or else I wouldn't' have read it either :-))))

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