Title: We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart
Publishing Info: May 13, 2014 by
Random House Publishing Group
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller, Psych/Mental Health, Young Adult Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon
// GoodreadsDate Completed: February 2, 2013 Related Posts: Genuine Fraud
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.
My review for WE WERE LIARS is a complicated thing to write. Obviously we know from all of the chatter so far that there’s an interesting twist to this book and unfortunately, the chatter somehow spoiled the book for me without even talking about specific spoilers. Before I get into that, let me explain a bit more first.
The narration of WE WERE LIARS is interesting but at times a bit confusing to me. The main character, Cady, suffers from unbearable migraines after an accident she suffered two years ago at her family’s beach house and she can’t remember the details of the accident. To make matters more complicated, no one will tell her what happened either. Cady’s approach to filling the reader in is obviously limited. She has selective amnesia from the accident so the reader is very much attempting to discover what exactly happened with Cady’s accident right along side her. I didn’t find the lack of information confusing but one thing I did wish is that we had just a few more clues earlier on in the story. I didn’t really pick up on anything to sort of help push me along to really wrap me up in the mystery. I understand being in the dark so the reveal to Cady is just as much of a shock to the reader, but with all of the hype around the surprising ending (that’s no spoiler — the buzz around the blogosphere is that the ending is one to die for!), the reveal was a bit TOO much information all at once. I really think the book could have benefitted from just tiny clues here and there because honestly? If I hadn’t already known there was a twist coming, I may not have continued reading or it would have taken me a lot longer to finish.
I’m a sucker for a twist. I absolutely love being surprised and when I heard this book had a killer ending, I was so excited to read it, especially with all of the amazing feedback out there but… the hype monster totally got me on this one. It’s a tricky situation when you hear a book has a fantastic twist. That’s not a spoiler, right? You can’t fault anyone for saying a book has a twist because naturally people are wanting to discuss it and without saying what that twist is, no one is really spoiling the book. For me, hearing that WE WERE LIARS had a twisty ending inadvertently spoiled the book just a little bit for me. I never read any specifics but when I hear a book has a twist, what do I do? I go looking for it and guess what. I found it. About a quarter of the way through. (I actually had a second guess later on the book which was the wrong one but that kept me on my toes trying to guess if it was one of the two possible outcomes I had surmised.) I was actually kind of hoping I was wrong so I would be totally surprised but I did enjoy it… It just didn’t knock me off my feet since I was able to see it coming. As much as I REALLY want to discuss the reasons how I spotted it, obviously I can’t do that so I don’t spoil it for you guys! 🙂
I did enjoy the ending. It didn’t knock my socks off, as previously stated, but it’s a concept I really love and enjoy and totally commend authors for pulling off. That being said, I was also a bit disappointed with it at the same time. Again, for spoiler reasons, I won’t delve into why I was disappointed, but if you’ve already read the book, I’d love to discuss! If you haven’t read, no, I will not tell you how this ends!
The other pro and con of this book for me was the length. I really appreciated being able to be swept away by this book in one sitting on a Sunday morning with the book at just under 250 pages (Goodreads currently locks it in at 240) and with all of the hefty books on my TBR, I always appreciate reading a shorter one! At the same time, I feel like this book could have benefitted a little from a few more pages. I appreciated the characters but felt they could have been a little bit more developed. I don’t think I ever understood exactly how the group of teens had come to be called the “Liars”. I could have used even a few sentences to a paragraph of tiny, tiny clues in the beginning or middle to keep me invested in the story. I would have liked to see the romance between Cady and Gat developed a little bit more. I really liked being able to finish this book so quickly but there were still quite a few things that I felt the book could have benefitted from in those extra pages.
So what can I possibly say for this book at the end of this review? READ IT. I hope you’re one of the people who is truly blown away and just entangled in the mystery of this book. I had a few qualms about it and probably my biggest issues was that I sort of ended up spoiling it for myself, but it really was interesting and jarring.
“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!
Cadance // Character Obsessions: Filling in the blanks, the Liars.
Cadance was very “meh” for me. I felt like I could have gotten to know her so much better, even without giving away any of the twisty details. I’m still on the fence whether I liked her inner monologue and wild thoughts or if it was just weird to me. I think it was maybe a bit too dramatic/flowery for my tastes.
Kept Me Hooked On: Twists. I LOVE twists. I really loved how this book played out but it was my own guesses that spoiled it for me! I love that it was something interesting though and it really kept me racing through to see how it would end.
Left Me Wanting More: Development. I felt like the character development came only from what Cadance told us about each person and I didn’t really get to know anyone, including Cadance herself. Everything just felt so distant to me and I couldn’t really get sucked into the book.
This book either seems to be a love it or leave it book. A lot of five star ratings and a lot of two and three. It’s absolutely worth the read because you never know how the book may affect you!
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(Click the cover to see my review!)