I’ve been meaning to read E. Lockhart’s novels for a while now. There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the release of We Were Liars and since it’s a standalone novel, I thought it would be a good introduction to the author’s work.
Here’s the summary from Goodreads:
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.
We Were Liars is a quick read. It starts off strong, with a description of the Sinclairs as a proud, old money type of family. The Sinclairs own an island where they all spend their summers together, living in their own private little world. I couldn’t really relate to the Sinclair’s wealthy lifestyle but I liked Cady well enough. My favorite thing about her is that she loves to read. I thought it was pretty cool that she’s a fan of both Diana Wynne Jones and Jaclyn Moriarty, seeing those authors’ names in there reminded me that I also need to read more of their books. I read a couple of chapters of We Were Liars one night and then finished the whole thing the night after that. I know the format will probably not work for all readers – some sections make it feel like a novel in verse and there are several fairy tales included here and there. I liked how unique it was and I thought E. Lockhart’s writing was beautiful. A snippet that I really liked:
“It was love, and it hit me so hard I leaned against the screen door that still stood between us, just to stay vertical. I wanted to touch him like he was a bunny, a kitten, something so special and soft your fingertips can’t leave it alone. The universe was good because he was in it.”
This is the type of story where it’s better to go into it without knowing anything about the book. If you haven’t read the book, I suggest skipping reviews. It’s the type of story that shouldn’t be spoiled because it would ruin the reading experience. I wasn’t spoiled but prior to going into the book, I saw people talking about the ending and how surprising and unexpected it was. I felt like that influenced my experience because I went in expecting something to happen. I could see where the story was going fairly early on and was not the least bit surprised towards the end of the book. This is where I think the divide will be in terms of reader reactions, those who figured out what was going on will probably be indifferent while others will be amazed by the turn of events. Even though I didn’t love We Were Liars, I think it’s a good book. It’s a story about family, friendships and first love. It made me curious about E. Lockhart’s other novels.