Monday, June 22, 2015
Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Published Date: 13 May 2014
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia
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. (summary from Goodreads)
We Were Liars is certainly a can't-put-down-as-I-need-to-know-what-happened read, but one that lacks that emphatic connection.
The mystery of We Were Liars is the heart of this story, and why it's earned itself only a good read from me - because it's not much of a mystery. The twist is obvious right from the beginning and as such, it doesn't have the impact it intended to. Added to this is the fact that I didn't care for any of the characters. I didn't hate them, but I didn't like them either. The whole rich, perfect, normal at all costs attitude had me rolling my eyes most of the time. That was pretty much my entire emotional response to the Sinclair's. At least until the end, when a little anger flared at their sheer selfishness and stupidity. But despite my indifference to the characters and the predictability of the plot, I wanted to keep reading We Were Liars because I wanted to know how everything came to be the way it is. That is gripping enough, and as We Were Liars is a short and fast read, it never felt like a chore to finish. I can't say the truth garnered much of an emotional impact either, to be honest. It struck me as completely idiotic, but that's part of the tragedy of We Were Liars - all the ways everything could have simply been avoided and all the ways it was for nothing. Lockhart didn't bring me to tears, but her story still played on my mind a little after finishing.
What I did really like about We Were Liars is Lockhart's writing style. It's snappy. With short or broken sentences, her prose is able to pack a bit of a punch. Her metaphors had me pausing to take note of what I was reading, and I especially enjoyed the 'once upon a time' stories interspersed throughout the book. They're a unique way of foreshadowing the truth and always kept me questioning. I do wish the story evoked a more solid emotional response, but it's compelling none the less.
We Were Liars is an interesting read if not entirely mind blowing. I'd certainly recommend readers at least give it a chance.