Emily Lockhart has written quite a few novels, but mystery – We Were Liars is her most famous one…It first came out in 2014 and was a goodreads choice winner! It has fascinated many people and although is short, is also very strong young adult novel.
It is set on an island, which is owned by granddad Sinclair and four children – three of them Sinclairs and one outsider spend their summers together there. Other children come, but Cadice, Johnny, Mirren and Gat are the same age and they become the group of Liars, they do everything together, but never stay in touch during the school year and have this friendship only during Summers. It speaks of how money spoils people and they become blind and find entertainment in pain of their beloved ones. The Liars seek way to resolve the family problems and manipulative nature of granddad Sinclair in order to save their own little Summer paradise.
I am back from my holidays in Germany! It was really cold and as you could see, I did zero reading while being there, so I will start the good work again now that I am back in London which (you might be surprised) is so much warmer!
Before I say or judge anything – a little remark – this book is definitely worth reading and (if you haven’t) you should do it. The ending can be predictable, in my opinion, only if you have read spoilers or are a clairvoyant. And, if you know me, you know that all the books that are unpredictable, are the ones I like the most. But let’s not get ahead of time, because I did not love this one.
I went into this book not knowing what it is about – just that so many people love it! Probably saying as little about the book as possible is best for you as future readers, so I will keep that in mind while writing this review. The reason why I still hadn’t read this book was simple – I disliked the cover. So, yeah, the cover’s important!
From the very beginning the aim of the story was very unclear, which made me feel like everything I am reading at the beginning is not relevant. I didn’t attach to anything in the first half as it was very unclear of what Cady – the main character of the book – actually wants to achieve. But slightly after the middle we get a clear goal of what Cady is going for and what is important for her. And we actually start to get hints – why she wants to achieve that and why that is of any importance, but the first part of the novel would have been a lot better, if the hints would come earlier.
The characters seemed quite flat and underdeveloped (which I guess you can expect in such a short book), I mean I did get the idea of some of them by the end of the book, but I didn’t really feel like I know them and that prevented me from attaching to them. I suppose that Mirren was the closest one to me to attach to, but I could never know because there were so many characters and just one or two (and not always the main) characteristics were given for each plus sometimes hobbies, but that unfortunately is not enough to relate to a character.
We find out the most about Cady – our main heroine and I did hate her a lot. She was stupid and ignorant, and in my eyes everything she concluded about herself at the end of the book, was completely true. I had hard time caring for her and the more into book I was the more frustrating she became. Partially I probably disliked her so much because she has money, but I do not, but mostly because she thinks of herself as smart, but she really is not.
Writing was sometimes disturbing. I mean it wasn’t very bad, but it was annoying, sentences were structured in the same way over and over again and it did get old. Also I minded that sometimes the passages without capital letter and with spaces between the lines, took up almost the whole page. I get that the author tried to stress the meaning or importance of those words, but when it went in more than three or four lines, I hated it and didn’t pay as much attention to it. I also really disliked the bleeding metaphor that came up so many times and for the first few just confused the shit out of me.
The big plot twist! Okay, so without giving it away, it is a completely brilliant thing the author does and it is cool and interesting, but because the way that leads to this plot twist (which is so stupid and idiotic), the way kind of takes the wind away from it a bit. To be honest I did have a bit of trouble to accept the ending, because COME ON, but I managed to do it and I did like it. So obviously the reveal of all the events at the end was my favourite part of the book, but unfortunately everything before that did not turn my pages and I was bored and did look at the page count a lot, to see, how many are left.
I know that in many people this book caused a lot of emotions and feelings, but it didn’t for me. I don’t know, if I am past Cady’s age and that’s why it happened, but I am pretty sure that even at her age I would find her actions stupid. So, yeah, no crying from me this time.
The only reason this book received three stars on my goodreads page is because of the ending, as I said before, I was bored during the first half of this book. I know very little people who disliked this book (most of them loved it from cover to cover) and as a person who liked the book from half to almost cover, I would say that this is a young adult and/or new adult book. I do recommend to read it, because it’s cool and although I found many things stupid (as I’ve said so many times in this review), I try to accept that in some places, families and minds that kind of stuff actually happens. So, yeah, go and read it!
Let me know in the comments how you found out about the book and how much your mind was blown (or wasn’t)!