- We Were Liars
- E. Lockhart
- Delacorte Press
- May 13, 2014
- 3 stars
“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 New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.”
This book kills me. Because I love the concept, but hate the writing.
The book begins like this:
Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family.
No one is a criminal.
No on is an addict.
No one is a failure.
The Sinclairs are athletic, tall, and handsome. We are old-money Democrats. Our smiles are wide, our chins square, and our tennis serves aggressive.
Which might have been fine had it been used as an attention grabber or had it been part of short story. But this repetitive, fragmented style continued for the entirety of a novel. And while I understand that it gives a certain effect that would have been very appropriate for the novel in small doses, it got tiresome.
Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound,
then from my eyes,
It tasted like salt and failure. The bright red shame of being unloved soaked the grass in front of our house, the bricks of the pack, the steps to the porch. My heart spasmed among the peonies like a trout.
There were times when I wanted to shut the book, because the prose got to be so exhausting.
That being said, in all other respects (and the writing thing is just a matter of taste), E. Lockhart did a fine job of crafting a story. The concept is ingenious, and Lockhart builds the book in a very effective and sophisticated manner. I can’t say much else without giving away the ending, but I will say this: I had read a book with a similar ending going into this. As a result, I saw it coming and that kind of took away the novelty of it. HOWEVER, it’s still worth your time. Because– and this is why I gave it 3 stars– the conclusion can be exhilarating if you don’t expect it.
Similar Reads: These will give the ending away.