Book Review: We Were Liars (E Lockhart)

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Pages: 242

Release Date: May 13th 2014

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.
True love.
The truth.

Review:

I know this was quite a hyped up book when it came out, but I missed all that as I was still at uni and not really reading much, outside of research books (can’t imagine that now!) When I saw this free on iBooks I thought I’d pick it up and give it a go.

There’s been a lot said about the writing style, as it is kind of disjointed/laid out strangely. I have to say, I didn’t really notice this. I read it on the Kindle app on my phone, which makes the layout a bit strange sometimes anyway. It also happens a lot with review e-books, which I’ve read a lot of lately, so I just didn’t notice the difference. Maybe it would have had more of an effect on me if I’d read this in paperback. The pacing was also a little odd and it did take me a while to get into it: it felt like things didn’t really kick off until Summer Seventeen, which was part three of the book.

Cady, the main character, wasn’t particularly likeable, but I quite like that in a protagonist. I love flawed characters, and while she was irritating and selfish to me sometimes, I still enjoyed reading her story. She was also the most fleshed out of the characters – I felt the other Liars (and no, I don’t know why they are called that, which is irritating) were all a bit 2D and didn’t really feel like real people.

As for the plot twist – which I won’t reveal, of course – I was a little let down by it all. It feels like quite a cliche, and I just feel I’ve read that kind of story before. I started getting suspicious about half way through as to what was going on, and when those suspicions were confirmed I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed. It’s probably due to the hype around it, which isn’t the books fault, but it just meant I was expecting something spectacular, and it didn’t live up to that.

Despite being disappointed, I did enjoy this book: it was easy to read and I flew through it, and can see why other (possibly less skeptical) readers would appreciate it.

3

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