Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Series: None
Publisher: Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 225
Format/Source: Hardback/Purchased 
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary, Mystery

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.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)

A Bit Let Down…

I really loved The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, so I was excited to read another book by her. And We Were Liars sounded like an awesome premise. And it is a cool premise, don’t get me wrong. It is a cool book. But I was kind of spoiled.

And by “kind of spoiled” I mean that someone told me there was a twist. And when I’m told there’s a twist my mind starts trying to figure out the twist from the very beginning of the book. So I knew the twist VERY early on, because I guessed it. I wasn’t 100% sure of the twist during the entire book, but I was pretty sure. So unfortunately, that made the book not as enjoyable for me as it would have been if I hadn’t seen the twist coming at all.

I really hate spoilers. I plan on writing a post soon about spoilers, and about how sometimes, small things like saying “there’s a twist” can constitute a spoiler. I know it’s not a typical, “Snape kills Dumbledore” type of spoiler (and sorry if that spoiled you, but that spoiler is unavoidable if you are the kind of person who likes the internets), but it is a kind of spoiler. Anyway, I’ll save that topic for a later discussion.

So really, Lockhart didn’t disappoint me. I enjoyed the book, the characters, the plot–it really was just me and the fact that I figured out the twist early on that disappointed me. So let’s just change the subject, shall we? Let’s discuss the things I enjoyed.

I LOVED the fact that there’s a map at the front (Lockhart gets 50,000 of my Bonus Points for the map), especially since you don’t normally see maps in contemporary books. I loved the beautiful writing (see some of my favorite quotes below), especially the way some of the characters are described. Lockhart also gets 50,000 Bonus Points for Harry Potter references and 50,000 Bonus Points for Star Wars references. And I enjoyed the fairy tale variations, especially the Beauty and the Beast one.

The only issue I really had, other than figuring out the twist really early, was that sometimes the writing seemed really hyperbolic. I know this is a writing style used by lots of authors, but I’m just not a fan. Not when someone is trying to show emotion by saying something really drastic that could be taken as literal because of the way it is written. I’ve read a few books that did this A LOT, and luckily We Were Liars didn’t have as much drastic hyperbole. But it did still have a bit, and I didn’t enjoy those parts.

Great Quotes…

Here are a couple of my favorite lines from We Were Liars:

“We looked at the sky. So many stars, it seemed like a celebration, a grand, illicit party the galaxy was holding after the humans had been put to bed.”
“We do not discuss our problems in restaurants. We do not believe in displays of distress. Our upper lips are stiff, and it is possible people are curious about us because we do not show them our hearts.
My rating for We Were Liars by E. Lockhart:
Actually about 3.75 stars, almost 4. I’m sure I would have loved it much more if I hadn’t been looking for the twist.
Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Random House
Disclaimer:  I purchased this book myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.

1 Comment

  1. Kami

    July 10, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    I was disappointed with this one as well! It didn't live up the hype, but I was also told there was a twist, and I'm like you! My brain immediately started looking for clues, and I of course I figured it out. It wasn't too hard if you were looking. The book reminded me of an M. Night Shamwhatever movie.

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