Thursday, August 21, 2014

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Delacorte Press
Release Date:
May 13, 2014
Rating: 4/5

Cover Impressions: Nothing that I would ever pick off a shelf.  The colors are muted and a little bland.  I really dislike when covers use all lower case font, but that is my own personal issue. 

The Gist:

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.



We Were Liars is far more unique than I ever anticipated.  Lockhart certainly has a writing style that is all her own, but one that I feel is dividing readers.  I loved it.  But, I can see where it would annoy others.  It opens with short, choppy sentences that are more statements of fact than storytelling, but it is incredibly effective.  The story is told from Cady's point of view who suffers from memory loss, migraines and is forced to use pain killers to cope.  These facts left me wondering about her reliability as a narrator and questioning everything that she tells the reader.  It also features variations on the the three princesses fairy tale which add charm and depth to the story.

I will admit, there was a point about halfway through where this felt like just another rich girl, whining about her problems.  It certainly took patience to begin to piece the clues together and see that there was a really important story to be told.  There are a lot of characters to get straight and a lot of home names to put into place.  There are actually three group of players on the island: the Liars (the older children), the Aunts and Grandfather, and the Littles.  The Liars are the main characters, teens who have run of the island each summer.  The Aunts constantly fight each other for the Grandfather's attention and bicker over belongings and homes.  The Littles do not play a major role, but, when the book was over, I found myself thinking back to some of their actions in light of the new information which added some great depth and enjoyment.  In fact, by the end, the reader realizes that there were clues from the very first page, we were just unable to see them in context without more information.

To be honest, this review is really difficult to write without giving away too much of the story, so I will probably stop there.  We Were Liars is a beautiful, melancholy mystery that is beautiful in it's style and storytelling.

Teaching/Parental Notes:

13 and up
Sex: Kissing
Violence: Death by Fire
Inappropriate Language: Bastard, Bullshit, Fuck
Substance Use/Abuse: Underage Drinking


Anonymous said...

Oh goodness I LOVED the writing style! That's why I love this book so much. I also just so happens to be how I think/write/process choppy, incomplete sentences that build to form full ideas. Love. <3

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