We Were Liars – E. Lockhart
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.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
For some reason that I don’t completely understand, every time I see this title, I think of the Taking Back Sunday song, “We Were Younger Then”.
Before I start my review, let me admit three things:
1) Upon starting this book, all I could think about were those episodes of Gossip Girl where they went to the Hamptons: you know, people wearing a lot of white and basically acting like pretentious tools.
2) I accidentally spoiled the ending for myself because I was flipping ahead to see how many “parts” there were, and I read a very crucial sentence. I was totally that kid who read the end of the book when I was only halfway through, just to make sure it was going to be worth it.
3) In this case, it was worth it. It was this very crucial sentence that made me want to finish reading this book. Not that I would have abandoned it because it was just starting to get good when I spoiled it, but it was the kick in the pants I needed to really get into the story.
This book has been garnering rave reviews from pretty much everyone, so when I found a copy, I decided to give it a try. I generally like contemporary YA (and I think I’ve been reading more contemporary than anything else recently), but snotty privileged people aren’t really my thing.
Turns out, snotty privileged people weren’t really the Liars’ thing either.
I really liked Cadence’s “fairy tales” about the three favoured daughters. It added a touch of whimsy, but it also sometimes felt ominous, especially if you consider how creepy most of the original Grimm stories were.
I also liked how it was written: the choppy, fragmented sentences, especially when Cady was struggling to remember what happened. It evoked her hesitation, her uncertainty and, ultimately, her guilt and grief. And while I’m not normally a fan of over-the-top descriptions, there was something oddly beautiful about her metaphors for her migraine-level headaches.
Maybe it’s because I had a headache when I was reading the last half, so I could totally relate to the “it feels like someone’s sawing my brain open” feeling.
There is also a massive twist at the end (you know, the “crucial sentence” I mentioned earlier), which I probably wouldn’t have seen coming if I hadn’t spoiled it for myself
I probably talk about this one particular episode of Scrubs too much, but it’s really relevant this time. So I’m just going to leave this clip here and you can work out for yourself how it relates to We Were Liars.