Author: E. Lockhart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: Fantasy/pnr/everything untoward, Recipe for awesomesauce
I am such a turd-ball and this book was ghastly and relentless. Man, I had to instantly pick up a way too fluffy book to neutralize all my feels.
The writing style is rather jarring in We Were Liars and it took me a while to get into it. Hell, I loved the first two pages but almost gave up on it at around 20% in because the narrator’s voice was whiny and extensively florid at times, with prose that made no sense. After a while, however, it grew on me and while I’d rather not read a 500-page story with similar writing style, I could see where the book was coming from, considering our protagonist was a narrator not exactly in the sanest condition. An indicator, of sorts, that she isn’t all the well. (Though I must admit, I really didn’t know what to make of strong coffee and ambition).
The Sinclair family dynamic, the adults and their ways, was my favorite part of the book till the very end. The Liars’ story absolutely broke my heart but it was the changing of the faces of the Sinclair’s that truly thrilled an roped me in. I only wish it had started earlier, though I didn’t really mind getting to know the Liars in the skewed reminiscence of Cadence. That set a slightly crooked frame for the story to play out in.
Tragedy is ugly and tangled, stupid and confusing
That is what the children know
And they know that the stories
about their family
are both true and untrue.
There are endless variations.
And people will continue to tell them.
(WOW. I think I could read this book again. Maybe from the second part. Maybe only the last few pages.)
Unlike the majority of readers, the big reveal didn’t deliver itself as a gift-wrapped present to me early on in the story and I fell pretty fucking hard for the characters and the r-ships in between them.
Me, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat. Gat, Mirren, Johnny, and me.
They weren’t the most likable of teenagers, but I did fall for the force that kept pulling them back to each other to the island, summer after summer. As I mentioned above, Cadence became unbearable at moments or two, and especially after the big reveal, when I looked back on it, I wanted to shake her so fucking bad. Gat even calls on her for that, which was much appreciated.
BONUS: there were short stories retold with subversive questions, like the one about meat and salt and if there’s one way to win me over, it’s so intersperse your novel with snippets of original/retold fairy tales in between. Works instantly.
However, I think We Were Liars isn’t a story you should read for the characters; read it for the consequences and lies and people who never change, read it for the story and forget about the Liars, but don’t forget them also.
E. Lockhart forever and ever rules my heart, no matter what kinda story she writes.
Thank you, Random House Children’s!