Monday, June 22, 2015

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Title: We Were Liars
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.
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.
(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.  



  1. Great review. I totally agree with everything you said. I didn’t really like this book. I predicted the twist and hated the characters, but the writing was amazing.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Thanks, AJ. I had a hard time rating this one. Usually not loving the plot or the characters earns it 2 stars or less, but Lockhart's writing just had to have that extra star.

  2. Ooh this sounds really good! Thanks for the review, I'll definitely be adding it to my TBR list :)

    1. I definitely recommend giving it a go. Everyone needs to make up their own mind about this one, I think. It's one of those books, you know? I hope you enjoy it. :-)

  3. I'm definitely one of the many (or is it few? lol) that really enjoyed this book! Your thoughts are similar to many reviews I've read, and I definitely see where your coming from! I think my experience was slightly better with this book because I didn't guess the plot twist early on. Too be honest, I didn't guess it at all. Looks like I'll never make it as a detective lmao. The plot twist came completely off guard for me, but was ruined by others who were able to figure it out like yourself. I definitely agree that her writing style is what made this book. I loved her prose, and I adored how the fairytale stories tied into the chapters! Great review, I'm glad you were able to enjoy this . . . a little lol.

    1. I think there's many that love it and many that hate it, haha! It seems to be one of those sort of jarring books that people feel a little extreme about. I absolutely think I would have liked it more if I didn't predict it, but that happens. It gets a higher rating though because I could still enjoy the story despite that...which is rare. I can't say I'd ever have loved this one though, as I just couldn't connect with the characters. But yes, her prose - so very good. It's what kept me hooked just enough. :-D Thanks, Martika!

  4. I loved We Were Liars and I think the best thing is to read it without knowing anything about it..... makes the shock factor even more extreme as you don't see it coming! Great book and a great review!

    1. I totally agree, Thea. If you go into this book with no prior knowledge and don't predict the twist, it'd definitely be a killer! Thanks so much. :-D