We Were Liars
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, YA
Publication date: May 13th 2014
by Delacorte Press
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
-A copy was provided by Delacorte Press for review-
I have been sitting on writing this review for over a day and a half now. WE WERE LIARS is one of those books that I loved so much as a reader and of course I want to share that love with everyone. But I also want people to go into the book just as blindly as I did so they can be taken by surprise as I was. So this review is going to be quite vague and I won’t be touching on many of the plot points.
What I can talk about here is the wonderful writing. I have an update on my Goodreads at 7% where I say that I loved the writing already. The words literally grabbed me at page 1 and did not let go until I had read the final one. Yes, this was a one day read for me because I just couldn’t walk away from it. The descriptions are really quite beautiful and the mysterious way that things are approached had me looking for double meanings in almost everything that I read. The vivid descriptions that Lockhart uses to describe the way emotions and pain affect the characters is fantastic. A few examples: A shot to the heart leaving the character lying bloody on the front lawn is the pain of a broken heart and bloody wrists that bleed and bleed from unsaid feelings about the death of a grandmother, I thoroughly enjoyed the physical descriptions used to explain the pain the characters were feeling. What is strongest about the writing is the fogginess that comes along with it. I have talked about this before after reading novels by Nova Ren Suma (the comparison came to mind quite a few times while reading WE WERE LIARS.) As the reader you are not sure who is good or bad, what is real and what isn’t and you are just wading your way out of the fog as things become clearer for you.
This style of writing is really perfect for the novel because Cadence is making her way out of a fog as well. She suffers a head injury pretty early on in the novel and has no idea the circumstances surrounding what happened to her. Why was she alone that night? Why did she go where she went? A trip back to the private island where she spends her summers with her aunties, cousins and grandfather is her chance to piece back together what happened 2 summers prior. While on the island there is a very remote sense given to the reader. It’s as if no one exists but the people on the island and nothing happens outside of the island. We get to know the characters in Cadence’s extended family quite well because they are really all we know of this world. I’m not going to talk about any of them really because I want you to come to your own conclusions about them but just know that I liked the development used for each and every one and I liked how my perspective of them changed so much throughout the novel.
I think that’s about all that I can do here for my part as reviewer of the novel. I hope my vagueness doesn’t turn you off of it because I really want everybody and their dog to pick this one up and give it a go. I haven’t read anything else by E. Lockhart but I will definitely be grabbing anything that I can by her, though it seems this is the first of her novels that is written in this vein, the others seem fluffy and fun. But, anyway, back on topic: READ THIS BOOK. PLEASE. FOR ME.