I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Review: We Were Liars

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart
YA Contemporary
Amazon  /  Goodreads

Plot Summary:

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.
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.


The writing in this book was mesmerizing.  So sharp, clean, sparse, and effective.  And really clever.  Even with the sophistication and uniqueness of the storytelling though, I felt this was believably a story narrated by a teenager.  And because we see everything so completely through Cady, the other characters lack some dimension which is fitting, since Cady has such a particular viewpoint.  All of this adds to the atmosphere of this story which goes from relaxed to increasingly disturbed and suspicious.

The story does feel a little padded though, and I almost felt this would have been more effective if it was a little more streamlined (although it is already a slim book).  I also felt like the timeline of the story could be confusing at times with all the summer trips Cady relates to the reader.  And even though I did understand why the characters were a little one-dimensional, it definitely made it hard to empathize or connect with the characters, although Cady is easily the most sympathetic, and it was interesting to gradually understand her better.  It is upsetting how privileged the people in this book are, and how they can distance themselves from reality so much.  Luckily one of the characters - Gat - helps voice reason.

The resolution of this story is the best part, and I won't lie about what happens - I just won't say what it is.  It definitely redeemed so much for me about this book, because I didn't see any of it coming, and it is so emotional and thought-provoking.  And I shouldn't say much more than that.  This book really sells a concept - which is the ending - and I think it is worth the read to find out what it is all about.

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  1. Hmm, I just can't decide if this book is for me. I've hear (as you say) that the ending isn't something that you see coming, so I'm intrigued . . . but still not convinced this story is for me.

  2. Well this book does a very particular style that I can imagine not all people would like, but on the plus side it is pretty short and easy to read fast. Maybe you could borrow this from the library, like I did! :)

  3. I've been seeing this book everywhere and it's piqued my interest, so I'm really glad to see you review it! I think I'll also try borrowing this from the library because I'm not sure if the style sounds like my cup of tea. I am definitely curious about that ending!

  4. I am curious about this book. Honestly the title alone makes me want to read it. I also really like the font. It just makes the whole thing curious.

  5. Oh great, I'm glad you want to give this a shot! It's a very interesting journey so I hope you will enjoy it. :)

  6. The title is really intriguing! And I think it works so well with the story! They really made the most of that title with the book cover - even though it's not the prettiest cover, I think it is very true to the content of the novel. I hope you will enjoy this one!

  7. I put this off since I had trouble connecting with the characters. :( Not a fan of this type of writing, but I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I'll see if I can keep reading to find out how it ends. :P

  8. Kayla @ The Thousand LivesJune 14, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    My one complaint about this book was the same thing as you - the flashbacks kept confusing me. I actually didn't get into the book until the 60% mark, and then once I figured out the timeline I went OMG and basically freaked out over the ending. I didn't see it coming AT ALL.

    By the way, I loved Gat <3

  9. I was thinking the writing could be off-putting! I don't know if it will redeem itself by the end for you then, but at least it is a short book so you can get to the end quickly! :)

  10. Yes! I was thinking that maybe if I understood the timeline a bit better, I might have guessed what happened in the end (or I'm just trying to make myself feel like I could have guessed it when I rarely do!) but I think having that big shock in the end was the better way to experience the story!

    Gat was so sweet! :D

  11. I'm really intrigued by this book since I've noticed that bloggers who usually love YA and some bloggers who don't have been enjoying it. I haven't gotten to it myself, but it's definitely on my to-read list :)

  12. I can see why people who don't usually read YA would love this - it has a very different feel to it. And the mystery of the story is so intriguing! I look forward to reading your thoughts on it!