We Were Liars has been blowing up the bestseller lists all year – it’s the hottest thing in YA in 2014, and is making it onto all kinds of lists of best books of the year. Thus, naturally, I had to try it out and see what all the fuss was about.
And, while I can see why many people are lauding it, I wasn’t particularly impressed.
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.
This book is surprisingly short – I read it in less than two days, over a few train journeys to and from Uni. It’s a really evocative book – the pages are laced through with imagery and artistic sentence constructions and I can see why some people would think it beautiful. For me, though, it pushed all the wrong buttons. I didn’t like the choppy sentence style, I didn’t like the heavy use of metaphor which was occasionally difficult to distinguish from reality, and the imagery just didn’t work for me.
The characters were incredibly disagreeable. This, of course, was how it was supposed to be, that the reader doesn’t really empathise with the spoiled, rich, judgemental, horrible Sinclairs. I will give E. Lockhart points for that – she certainly knows how to write a collection of thoroughly dislikeable characters, most of whom are women.
Throughout the book, I disliked the characters, disliked the style of writing, didn’t really believe the love story, disagreed with the motivations of the characters and generally wasn’t really enjoying it at all – but that ending!
The ending of We Were Liars packs a punch which rocketed the book from a one-star to a three-star as it was just – beautifully executed. Incredibly well-done, I was floored by it. I’d say more, but the ending is where, in my opinion, all the strength of the book lies. It’s worth slogging through the first 90% just to get to the payoff at the end.
Not a fantastic book, in my opinion, and certainly not a book I’d be putting on my Goodreads choice list, but I can see why other people would.