Thursday, March 20, 2014

We Were LiarsY'all, we need to talk.

Don't worry, this isn't a break-up post. This is a full-out-in-love post. And the object of our affection? WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart.

The problem is, we can't really talk about it. At least not about the plot, because there's a strong element of mystery, and giving it away would really hurt the reading experience.

(Seriously, do NOT look at spoilers for this one. I say that as someone who usually doesn't mind knowing the twist.)

Here are a few truths that are safe to share:

• The characters. Cadence and her friends (collectively known as the Liars) are a charming and eclectic bunch. Sweet Mirren, swaggering Johnny, and philosophical Gat. Lockhart paints the foursome in vivid strokes, to the point where I felt like I was lying on the beach right next to them.

• Unreliability. It's not so much that the characters are liars, it's more that Cady only has bits and pieces of her family's story (due in part to amnesia, and in part to being an individual and a teen). What she knows isn't everything, and what she learns will break your heart.

• The setting. The Sinclairs spend their summers on a private island, with each branch of the family tree getting their own house. From the beaches to the cliffs, the motor boats to the Golden Retrievers, Lockhart weaves the details in a wonderful way, creating a wistful, balmy mood for her story.

• The relationships. More so than even the twist at the end, this is what WE WERE LIARS is about. Love of all kinds. Family love, friendship love, romantic love. Pure love, worried love, angry love. Like any family, the Sinclairs have twisted each other up in a number of ways, and those tangles provide powerful, believable fuel for the book.

In short: Read this one. Maybe you won't love it as much as I do, but I certainly don't think you'll regret it.

And hey,  you don't have to take my word for it...

For some spoiler-free, behind-the-scenes fun, check out this Publishers Weekly feature on E. Lockhart, or this blog about publisher Hot Key Books' clever pitch to secure WE WERE LIARS for the UK.


Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

Yes, this book was definitely awesome! I love E.'s writing. Frankie Landau-Banks is one of my fave books ever.

I have to say that the twist... it was like HOLY CRAP and yet I was a bit disappointed, and I feel like I'm the only one who's said that. Everyone else seems SO IMPRESSED and I'm over here like "it shocked me, but at the same time I've read that kind of book before or seen that type of movie". So... there's that. :/

But I still think it's a great book, gorgeously written. I want to re-read it, actually, and see if I can catch hints on the ending -- that, I think, will be very interesting.

Kristan said...

Yeah, I didn't think the truth itself was that *impressive* either... Just heartbreaking. And yes, it's been done. But I *was* impressed by the way it was kept under wraps throughout the story, without it feeling like Cady was dumb or the author was toying with me.

DISREPUTABLE HISTORY is definitely on my to-read list after this! And probably anything else Lockhart comes out with.

Sandie said...

So glad, because some of my friends have given it mixed reviews (I haven't read them, but I've looked at the star ratings). Good to know.

Cicely said...

Yeah, I really liked We Were Liars too! Though I'm still not 100% sure on how I feel about the twist... I feel like it's one that I'm definitely going to have to reread at some point, just to see if it's the same the second time around. Maybe rereading it will give me a chance to pay more attention to the characters and other things without the twist overshadowing them...

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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



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