Monday, June 30, 2014
Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
A 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.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
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Source: Finished copy provided by Delacorte Press at BEA 2014
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.
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.