We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Published by Delacorte Press
Publish Date: May 13, 2014
Source: Book – Library, Audiobook – Library
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon
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. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts: We Were Liars is a perfect example of why hype can be a bad thing. Even though this is a good story and even though I waited this long to read this book, the pre-publication hype still messed it up for me. Because I figured out the thing and thus did not get to GASP at the end.
Regarding my thoughts: they are mixed. First of all, this is a good story.
I like E. Lockhart’s take on privilege and money and corruption. I love the relationships in We Were Liars, be they healthy or unhealthy. I adore this writing style – short, choppy sentences. Blunt, stunted, to-the-point, yet somehow flowy, lyrical thoughts. It reminds me of some of my favorite American Southern classic authors, even though this book is not styled that way at all. These characters are really interesting: they’re not really boring, but they’re really hard to get to know beyond a surface level. Which, okay. But I liked them anyway.
There is a certain point in the book (way near the end) when things began to pick up for me because of a few new details beyond what I had already figured out. So for a little while at the end, I really flew through the story and read it in a completely new way, which was nice. This is probably the way the book was intended to be read. Even so, I waffled back and forth from one extreme to the other, loving and not-loving what I was feeling, feeling excited about the story and also just the opposite.
I guess I need to high five the author for making the story pop at the end. I’m not entirely sure what I feel, ultimately, after finishing it. Had I not figured out the main part of the story, I think I would probably be OH YEAH THIS IS ONE HECK OF A STORY. But I really feel bummed about the publishing hype basically spoiling it, and I can’t help but wonder what my GASP would have been like had this not happened.
The writing is the thing to love here. It is so lovely.
Audiobook Notes: The audiobook format of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is published by Listening Library and is 6 hours and 27 minutes, Unabridged. It is narrated by Ariadne Meyers, who does an amazing job. I went back and forth between a Kindle format and audiobook and LOVED this. The audiobook is pretty great. For those readers that are not a fan of the writing style used in We Were Liars, I would highly recommend the audiobook as an option if you want to give this book a try or perhaps reread now that you know the big secret reveal – the choppy, poetic-type writing seems to flow a little differently in the audio format.
Setting: An island near Cape Cod.
More by E. Lockhart:
I really liked The Boyfriend List!
I need to read more of E. Lockhart’s contemporary titles.