Book Review #8: We Were Liars by E Lockhart

Monday, 29 December 2014

Product details:
Publisher: Hot KeyBooks
Format: Paperback
Length: 227 pages
Published: 2014
Rating: ☆☆☆
Source: Purchased
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.

Right, We Were Liars! What an amazingly interesting book. I first heard about We Were Liars thanks to Booktube. If you don’t know what that is then it’s a community of people who post and discuss book videos on Youtube. Some well known Booktubers include Katytastic (Kat), ArielBissett (Ariel), JessetheReader (Jesse), PolandBananaBooks (Christine) to name just a few. Now these book tubers in particular run this book club called Booksplosion and each month they choose a new book to read and review. One of their months happened to be We Were Liars and after watching all of their non spoiler reviews on the book, the premise just intrigued me and made me want to get to this book as soon as possible! So what did I think about it?
  • Well from the beginning the first thing I noticed was E Lockhart’s beautiful writing style, and the personification she uses to explore emotion?Drop dead gorgeous. Theres a beautiful example of this near the beginning of the novel when Cadence is describing her father leaving her and her mother, she mentions that he father took out a gun and shot her in the chest, leaving her to fall on the ground while her mother told her to pick herself up and then went inside. Such a beautiful idea there of how much her father leaving her effected her, so much so that it was literally like he shot her, and what about the mother’s neglect? It really speaks volumes about the characterisation of her mother. 
  • So another plus point is that the plot of this book is incredible. It kept me intrigued throughout the entire novel. I have to admit that there was not a dull moment in this book and I think that was wholeheartedly down to the way E Lockhart structured it. The entire way through we were slowly introduced to scenes from the past, and we were given an insight into this accident of Cadences. It’s not until towards the end of the novel when we come to realise just what happened. 
  • Speaking of the ending, unfortunately as there had been so much hype behind the book at the time, the ending and the event Cadence speaks of was spoiled by me. Obviously I don’t want to divulge the biggest spoiler in the book, but I felt that throughout the entire novel I was just waiting for this to happen, which I have to admit spoilt my reading experience but never once turned me away from the book. E Lockhart made sure in her writing that this wasn’t the case! I loved as well that the ending was very open to interpretation over what was happening, and I believe Ariel Bissett creates a beautiful argument over on her channel because it really does amplify just how much interpretation you can put on this book. Basically the question at hand is, and this is where I might spoil it for some people; ghosts or drugged hallucinations? In retrospect I can see genuine merit to both arguments and I like to think positively about each idea. Were they ghosts who stayed with Cadence while she returned to the island, having adventures with her? or were they simply the hallucinations of her girl so lonely she recreated her friends to be with her? Friendships they say are one of the strongest bonds in terms of emotional wellbeing. Obviously though there are some negatives to the idea, the hallucinations of a girl drugged by depression over what has happened, or the guilty hauntings of memories long gone. I personally linger more towards the hallucination scenario because there didn’t seem to be any other clues that really levitated towards the book being pitched as a paranormal novel, but that’s just my opinion. 
  • Going back to my initial thoughts about the book, I thought the way E Lockhart wrote her characters was really interesting, especially those of the Liars and that of the Grandfather. I think realistically I would have liked a bit more explanation to why the liars were called the liars, but I suppose interpretation can be put on that and seen as them lying over their happiness to please their parents? Speaking of the parents, oh my goodness I have never in my life come across any people just so spoilt. The liars, who in the novel are children seem to have a bigger moral understanding of the world than these parents do. My god, I mean I love the characters to bits and I find that E Lockharts representation of them is spot on, but fighting over who gets the larger estate?! Grow up! You have children you should be looking after. 

Anyway, that is all I am going to say in terms of my review for this book. I strongly suggest you go out and read it. The writing as i’ve said is flawless, the characters give you all of the feelings and the plot is driven in the right direction, even if the ending had me screaming at the children for being idiots. It also spurred a lot of emotion in me in regards to Cadence’s life after the liars. But overall, a fantastic read, definitely worth the 5 star classification I give this novel.

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