Tag Archives: We Were Liars

Interview with WE WERE LIARS author, E. Lockhart

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INTERVIEW WITH E. LOCKHART, AUTHOR OF WE WERE LIARS

This May, The Selective Collective featured WE WERE LIARS and we had so much fun featuring the book and sharing it with everyone! Usually we have a Q&A that goes along with our feature but with a few of our members attending BEA and E. Lockhart herself attending the conference and other fabulous events, we had a hard time coordinating our schedules for a Q&A. We did still want to feature the Q&A and share the fantastic interview so voila! A whole post dedicated to do just that. We all really still wanted to share this with everyone so we thought better late than never!

WE WERE LIARS takes place over several summers so we think it’s a great book to pick up this summer (or any, for that matter!) — Here’s a little more info about the book to help clue you in:

We Were LiarsPublishing Info: May 13th 2014 by Delacorte Press
Source: Copies provided to us by Random House for review and use for the Selective Collective promotions!

Book Synopsis: 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
.
 — From Goodreads.com

INTERVIEW WITH E. LOCKHART

Without further ado, let’s get on with the interview! 🙂

Selective Collective: We Were Liars is a very different book than your previous works.  How did you end up with the inspiration to write Cady’s story?  Was it a long time coming or a random inspiration?
E. Lockhart: We Were Liars is different from my other novels because it’s more dramatic than comic, and because there’s a twisty mystery element to it — but it’s the same in that all my books are about the inside of someone’s head. I write fiction, in part, to understand the human mind a little better.

SC: Cadence suffers memory loss from after the “incident” during her fifteenth summer and we the readers only figure out the pieces bit by bit as she does.  Was it hard to arrange the timing of the reveals?
EL: Absolutely. A suspense novel requires a lot more careful structuring than a comedy. I used the word-processing program Scrivener, which allows a writer to see a kind-of birds-eye view of a book’s plot. I rearranged the story many times before I found a structure that worked well.

SC: The Sinclair family dynamic is a rocky one even for the blood relatives, but ever since he was first introduced to the family, Gat had a terrible time being accepted as the outsider in many different ways.  Was there a deeper meaning to the way the Sinclairs reacted to Gat’s recurring presence every summer?
EL: Racism and class prejudice run deep beneath the surface sometimes. People believe themselves unprejudiced, but that’s just a story they tell themselves. Eventually, the truth outs. I was interested in Gat as a love interest and as a catalyst for the stuff that happens on the island. He is such a strong character, so ambitious and ardent and still so conflicted.

SC: We Were Liars features several literary references, including Shakespeare’s King Lear.  What motivated you to pay tribute to the classic tragedy?
EL: There are only so many plots in the world. “A quest.” “A monster.” “A stranger comes to town.” Then there’s:   “Once upon a time there were three sisters, but only one of them was good.” That’s a familiar one, yes? King Lear, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast. I was interested in that plot, and the many ways it gets told and retold.   Family is a universal. Competition between siblings is a universal, too.
Of course, We Were Liars is also a variation on “a stranger comes to town.”

SC: We appreciated the multicultural romance in the book, because it’s not always handled in such an authentic, mature manner.  What are your thoughts on diversity in YA, and how to you approach writing characters that come from different cultures than your own?
EL: I have written characters whose race and gender and cultural background differ from my own in every book I have ever written. I must, because I am locked into only my own single existence and the books have multiple characters.
Gat in We Were Liars is unlike me because he is an Indian-American young man, but he is very much like me in his New York City home life, his middle-class upbringing, his intellectual curiosity, his anger and his position as an outsider in a privileged environment.
Cadence in We Were Liars is unlike me because she is rich and entitled and suffers chronic pain of a type I have never experienced, but she is like me in being an only child of a single mother, an ardent reader of fairy tales, and a white woman. It is, you see, not so very different to write Gat than to write Cadence.
It is important that books for young readers reflect the world in all its diversity, because one of the jobs that books do is to validate and reflect human experience. It is powerful and empowering to see oneself represented. But that is not all books do: they encourage empathy with people very different from ourselves, they encourage critical thinking, they are inspiring, they are entertaining, they are, sometimes, nothing more than a pleasant way to escape one’s everyday life.

SC: Your book is difficult to discuss without giving important plot points away — how wary are you of spoilers with this book compared to your others?
EL: The readers of We Were Liars have been amazing. Everyone keeps the secret and just shoves the book at other people, saying: “take my word for it — just read it. I won’t tell you any more about it.”
I think that kind of sharing is part of the pleasure of reading and filmgoing — and of doing so in a community. No one spoiled Allegiant for me. No one spoiled Shutter Island. Or Memento. Or The Sixth Sense or The Hunger Games. Everyone knows the fun is in the discovery.

A huge thanks to E. Lockhart for the interview and her participation in this Selective Collective feature! The answers were amazing and I always love how an interview really brings a book to life even more!

And don’t forget to check out the features from when we featured WE WERE LIARS back in May!

Tee @ YA Crush  Roundtable
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  From Page to Screen
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Review
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  “The Long Con” 

 

 

The Selective Collective features WE WERE LIARS: Two Truths and a Lie + Giveaway

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The Selective Collective reads WE WERE LIARS by E. LOCKHART!

The Selective Collective features WE WERE LIARS by E. LOCKHART provided to us by Random House for review and use in The Selective Collective feature!

Before we jump in, here’s a little info on the book:

We Were LiarsPublishing Info: May 13th 2014 by Delacorte Press
Source: Copies provided to us by Random House for review and use for the Selective Collective promotions!

Book Synopsis: 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
.
 — From Goodreads.com

TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIE

For today’s post, I thought it would be fun to play a little game of “two truths and a lie”! Don’t worry, these questions are all for fun. There IS a giveaway later but your answers have no bearing on your entries in the giveaway!

#1: I live in Illinois. // I’ve never lived out of state. // I moved to Illinois when I was two years old.

#2: I’m afraid of snakes. // I’m afraid of heights. // I’m afraid of letting people down.

#3: I have a large extended family. // I have an older brother. // I have an older sister.

#4: In high school I… was in choir // was in plays & musicals // was in band.

#5: I’ve never been to… Maine // California // Washington

#6: I got engaged in… August // my new house // a restaurant

#7: My favorite genres to read are… horror // fantasy // contemporary

#8: I started my blog because… I wanted a place to review books // I already had a base of people who said they’d read it // I became obsessed with Goodreads

#9: I’ve been able to cross-off meeting ____ from my bookish bucket list: Marissa Meyer // Leigh Bardugo // Gayle Forman

#10: I still dream to… write a book // go back to school // open an Etsy store

Want to see how you did? Check out the answer guide & let me know!

 

GIVEAWAY

We also have a giveaway! One lucky winner will win a copy of WE WERE LIARS!
Sorry, this is for US entries only. Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter! The giveaway will be open for one week.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of WE WERE LIARS so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush  Roundtable
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  From Page to Screen
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Review
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  “The Long Con” 

 

 

We Were Liars – E. Lockhart

We Were Liars – E. LockhartTitle: 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 // Goodreads
Date 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.
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.

bookreview1

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.

view_from_goodreads1

“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!

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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.

addiction_factor1

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.

Addiction Rating
Try it!

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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