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.
Four Stars: A stunning book that will leave you thinking on it for days.
Cadence pops another pill hoping to numb the throbbing pain in her head. For the last two years, Cady has endured horrific migraines and memory loss. Something happened to her while vacationing on the family's private island when she was fifteen. Cady somehow hit her head while swimming, and as a result, she suffers migraines and memory loss. Cady is happy to finally be returning back to the island were she will be reunited with her fellow liars and best friends, Mirren, Gat and Johnny. Perhaps once Cady is back her memory will return and she will figure out what happened to her. Will the truth set her free?
What I Liked:
- After seeing all the praise and glowing reviews for this one, I had to take the plunge and see for myself what all the fuss was about. We Were Liars doesn't disappoint. It is a mesmerizing read that will keep you on your toes until the final shocking pages. If you are looking for an entertaining, beautifully written suspense story, this is the one to read.
- The writing was amazing. It is hard to describe it, but I will try. Sometimes the scenes flow lyrically and beautifully with elegant descriptions and unique metaphors and similes, and then other times the writing is jagged and fragmented and strange. No matter, it works, and the distinct writing style helps build the suspense. I thought the writing was outstanding, and I would highly recommend this for the writing alone.
- At the heart of the story is the mystery of what happened to Cadence on the island. She was found shivering and alone on the beach. She must have hit her head while swimming, but there is so much more to the story. The author throws out tiny breadcrumbs of information throughout the story, that help you understand everything once you get to the end. These little tidbits at first are strange and jarring, but over time, you start to see that something isn't quite right. When I looked back, I could see the brilliance in the way the story unfolded.
- The tone of the book is haunting and strange, sometimes it feels almost dreamlike. It is hard to describe, but as the story progresses, the reader becomes more and more aware that perhaps the narrator is unreliable, but why? I loved the atmospheric tension.
- Usually a book where the reader doesn't connect with the characters ends up being a not so great read, but that isn't the case with this one. None of the characters in this one are particularly likable. You are introduced to a wealthy family who, of course, appear perfect and happy on the outside, but the further you dig, you see the ugly truth. There is bickering and greed and so much nastiness. At first meeting, I wasn't particularly fond of the four liars, either. They come across as spoiled and privileged children who have everything, but thankfully, my opinion of the liars changed dramatically at the end. They weren't perfect, and they made some poor choices, but I had to admire their spunk and determination, especially when it came to the way they stood up to their avaricious mothers. I didn't feel much connection to any of the characters until the finale, but it didn't matter, I was still sucked into the story.
- The ending.... Wow! It was stunning, shocking and totally unexpected. Everyone who has reviewed this one goes on and on about the disquieting turn of events. I urge you to read this before someone accidentally spoils the ending for you. I assure you that you won't guess the mind boggling truth. It is the type of ending that thrills me because I love when a book can catch me completely off guard, and I love that it is the type of conclusion that I will be pondering for days to come.
And The Not So Much:
- I actually tried to listen to this one on audiobook but ended up giving up because it is the type of read that requires patience and focus. There are so many tiny details that one might miss if they aren't completely engaged in the book. I am a visual learner, and so I had to read this as I was missing to many important clues.
- The overall pace and plot of the book are slow. Not much happens. The reader is caught in this amnesiac/sleep walking state, but I was okay with it as I was fascinated by the writing. Still this is book that requires patience. If you are not one who appreciates creative writing, coupled with a shambling pace, this one won't work for you.
- Don't let the YA label fool you. This is a smart sophisticated piece of literature, and I hope that more people give it a chance.
We Were Liars is a masterful piece of work. It pairs unique, creative writing with a strange mystery leading up to an epic and shocking conclusion that will leave you thinking on it for days. If you are in the mood for something different and challenging, I would urge you to pick this one up.
"Gat seemed spring-loaded. Like he was searching for something. He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I could have looked at him forever."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.