Book twenty of my summer reading challenge and one that was actually on my original list.
We Were Liars
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.
We Were Liars is such a tough book to review because, in all honesty, I wasn’t really sure I was enjoying it, it’s not that it’s a bad book but I guess I just didn’t really see where it was going I was starting to wonder if anything was going to happen. I kept reading because whilst I didn’t read any reviews before I picked it up I knew that it had done very well and had been thought of really favourably, and then all of a sudden I really started to connect with it for the last 40% of the story.
The writing style is an interesting choice, to me, a lot of it read like a literary fiction book that thinks too highly of itself and decided to steal some structure from a poetry book, it’s definitely not a style that I have ever come across in YA before and I’m not sure it worked but that is just my opinion. It has short and snappy chapters which I did like and includes some fairytale verses, which I wasn’t convinced of the relevance of but I actually enjoyed the reprieve from the main narrative because I felt like I was waiting for some form of plot to materialise.
I didn’t really feel connected to any of the characters, we don’t really get the chance to deep dive into their relationships and they all feel very surface. Now that could have been a choice by the author because the Sinclairs are supposed to be an elite family so they are greedy and manipulative and it probably isn’t easy to form close relationships in that kind of atmosphere but I feel like it would have added a bit more depth to the story and helped to get me invested in the story a lot sooner. I also really didn’t understand why they called themselves the liars, it didn’t make sense.
As the book turns toward Cady trying to figure out what happened during summer fifteen, that’s when things started to actually become interesting for me. I can’t really say much about what happens after 60% when it does pick up because there is nothing that can be said that won’t spoil it for anyone that hasn’t read it. However, it was very surprising and I got a bit emotional, which I definitely did not expect, and even though I didn’t feel invested in the characters at the start of the book they certainly stayed with me for a bit more than I thought they would.
Strangely enough, even though this isn’t a glowing review, there is something about this story that I do think a lot of people will like and find fascinating, plus it isn’t a very long book so it is worth a read.