May 1, 2014

Latest Read: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Here are the basics ...
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Publication date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received from publisher via Netgalley (Thanks!)
Summary: 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. Read it. And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE. (Adapted goodreads.com)


The good
I didn't know anything We Were Liars going into the story. The synopsis doesn't exactly say much and truthfully, the less you know the better. What you are allowed to know is that the book involves: a rich entitled family, a private island (which I kept picturing as the Hamptons), a group of four friends known as the Liars and memorable summers of friendship and love.

What stood out to me most was the distinct storytelling style. Regardless of whether or not it works for you, I definitely appreciated how the author decided to write this. For one thing, We Were Liars was told from the point-of-view of Cadence (one of the four Liars) and she's struggling to remember the summer before. She has amnesia, gets little snippets of what she thinks could be memories and no one - not her friends, her family or the boy she falls in love with - will tell her the truth. That alone makes her an unreliable narrator and there were many times when I wondered how mentally or emotionally sound she was. I think writing from a perspective like that is risky and interesting.

Another little detail I really enjoyed was the random fairy tales the author incorporated throughout the book. The fairy tales were parallels to the drama going on in Cadence's family and they were very telling of the secrets, competitive and controlling natures of everyone around her.

(Major) reservations
I would say that for the first 75% of the book, the readers are kept in the dark. Obviously something is wrong and you can sense that something huge is going to be revealed but once I got to that part, I was very much underwhelmed. I felt bad for the situation Cadence was in but I knew so little about her, the Liars, what their friendships truly meant to each person. And because I didn't particularly like or connect to any characters or their relationships, the twist and story in general just didn't work for me overall. Which was disappointing because I did want to know more. I wanted to know more about each Liar and Cadence's family, the romance. Everything substantial about the book seemed underdeveloped in favor of a "shocking" ending.

Do I recommend?
This may surprise you but yes. I recommend finding out for yourself. I really feel like it's a toss up and it just so happened that I felt on the side of not loving it as much as everyone else. But despite that, I can understand why other people enjoyed it so much.

Collaborative feature with Alexa! 

Share about a summer vacation with your family OR a family tradition.
My most memorable family summer vacation (which I hope will turn into a tradition!) was a road trip to Portland, Maine a couple years ago. It was just the cousins, and nephews. None of the parents, aunts, uncles or my grandmother. And it was amazing. I love the adults in our family but let me tell you, taking a trip with them is usually one big headache. So a cousins only trip was perfect. We had never done that before and it was so much fun. We did some sight-seeing, ate a lot of good food (I think I had like 4 lobster rolls!) and went to the beach. I hope we can do another vacation together in the nearby future. 

2 comments:

  1. Excellent review! I've heard great things about this book so I'll definitely have to check it out.

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  2. I can't wait until my cousins and I get to go on our cousins only trip! We've been talking about it for ages, but now that we're mostly grown up, I think it's more likely to happen. Also, I like your review! You very much hit the nail on the head with this one - people just have to read for themselves to see if it'll work for them or not ;)

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