Friday, November 14, 2014

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 240 
Genre: Contemporary
Synopsis: 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.

Review: It may be better to go into this book knowing nothing, and this is spoiler free, but you may still want to read this first to get the full experience.
Let me just say: I really, really liked this book.  Contemporary is not my favorite genre, but this book blew me away.  It is quite extraordinary.  

First of all, the writing was phenomenal.  Eerie, hazy, and had an almost dreamlike quality.  The subtle hints scattered throughout were written perfectly, so discreet that you did not realize they were foreshadowing until the end, where you were left stunned.  It was mysterious and clear cut;  no more was said than what had to be to get to the point, yet it always left me questioning in the best possible way.  The metaphors were clever and dramatic.  So astutely written that at some points you wouldn't see they were metaphors at first, and only when they fully played out could you appreciate the beauty of them.  Also, the protagonist, Cadence, suffers severe migraines, and the descriptions of them were stunning and vivid.  "Welcome to my skull. A truck is rolling over the bones of my neck and head. The vertebrae break, the brains pop and ooze. A thousand flashlights shine in my eyes. The world tilts. I throw up. I black out. This happens all the time. It’s nothing but an ordinary day."  There are little fairy tales Cadence has written sprinkled through, and I adored these.  

The characters were just as complex as the story.  Cadence, the main character, is thoughtful and sad and witty.  I liked her a lot.  She was very well done, and her story was incredible.  Plus, I do enjoy an unreliable narrator, as she does have amnesia.  Her cousins, Johnny and Mirren were likable as well.  Johnny was a little one-sided, but Mirren was sweet and kind.  Gat, now he was a little arrogant and self-important for my tastes.  He was not my favorite character, but interesting nonetheless.  The whole family on that island is complicated and interesting.  I didn't even realize I had grown to care for them until the end. 

The message of the story was powerful, and I liked the vaguely open-end.  It was a short book, but reading it didn't feel rushed at all.  The cover, too, and the map and family tree inside were excellent additions.  The binding itself was gorgeous, just like the story inside.  

We Were Liars was tragic and beautifully written.  It was haunting and dark, and if anyone asks about the end "Just lie".

5 Stars

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