Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

July 11, 2014 Book 16 ★★

Review: We Were Liars by E. LockhartWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Genres: Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Family, General, Social Issues, Young Adult
Published by Random House LLC on 2014-05-13
Source: Netgalley
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two-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.
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.

Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family.
No one is a criminal.
No one is an addict.
No one is a failure.

We Were Liars is by no means an interesting book. Sad but true. You’ll be reading page after page of what could be stream of consciousness narration from Cadence and you’ll see her try to piece together a “not so mysterious mystery”.

I feel really bad writing this review, because there has been so much hype around this book. For me, personally, I really couldn’t get it.

I didn’t connect with Cadence, our main character. I found her selfish, vain, and snobby. She’s a rich girl, and acts every bit as much as rich girls do. She does random acts of charity that are really anything but, and doesn’t really care much for anything other than her own life.

My favourite (if only) character in this book is Gat, because he seems to be the only one who’s “aware”. Gat is not rich, he’s an outsider from the Sinclair family, and I think that’s what made him so much better than everyone else. He wasn’t privileged so he knew the real value of money and hard work. He appreciated things more.

I didn’t really understand his relationship with Cadence because as I’ve mentioned before, I couldn’t see anything worthwhile in her. Their relationship was always a dance of “should I?” “This is wrong” “we shouldn’t, but we are”. It was unsettling.

I will agree though with everyone else, that it’s best if you don’t know what happens in the book. The less you know, the better. This is because the book is essentially plot-less. As Cadence narrates, we get flashbacks of different summers and different times. These really do nothing except add more pages to the book. I didn’t feel as if anything at all was happening with the book, and even with the supposed shocking ending I was left feeling unimpressed.

I did enjoy the writing. The author had a way with words that was really beautiful to read. Sometimes the purple prose was too much and sometimes difficult to decipher, for example:

Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound,
then from my eyes,
my ears,
my mouth.

It took me a while to realize he had not actually shot her. And this happens many times.

Now, the ending… it was a twist. I saw it coming, but it was a pretty good twist considering the rest of the book. It definitely gave me a set of philosophical questions that I know ask myself all the time.

Overall, the hype really didn’t do much for the story for me. I do hope that if you read this one you’ll enjoy it more than me.

“We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken.”

Think my review helped you? Would you consider marking it as “helpful” on Amazon? 🙂 

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I'm Marianne. Professional Fangirl, part-time Blogger. Full-time college student. GIFs are a natural part of my posts, so be warned. I LOVE reading, so definitely feel free to discuss books with me. Opinions are welcome.
  • We agree on so much about this book. *twinsies*
    I think the reason why the synopsis is vague, is because there is no plot. Some people did like this book, but since I’m not alone with my thoughts, I reckon my feelings towards this book is valid!

    • Yeah this book is either a book you love completely or one you really don’t get. I didn’t get it, lol. I feel like I didn’t read the same book as everyone else. Oh well. Yay for being on the same boat!

  • Thanks for being honest, I really appreciate it. And yeah, that quote you shared about getting shot, but not really is totally confusing! I’m definitely passing on this book. Have an excellent weekend, Marianne!

  • I just finished this book yesterday, so it’s all fresh in my miiiiind!

    I get what you’re saying, really I do buuuuut I liked Cady and I was so interested to see how her story ended and also how it even begun.

    Plus the prose was gorgeous and flowing. Simple, but beautiful in its simplicity. TOTAL WITH YOU ON THE SHOOTING THING THOUGH. Those passages annoyed me and it took me a while to realise he hadn’t shot her either haha. And when she kept talking about bleeding throughout the book *eye roll* Really got on my nerves!

    • I know, I know! This book worked for some people, just not for me. I guess I’m the black sheep in this case, lol. I’m glad you enjoyed it, though!!

  • I’ve also seen a lot of hype about this book, but I heard it being compared to ‘The Great Gatsby’ and stayed away because that’s just not really my kind of book. Good to hear someone didn’t like it because now I feel justified in not reading it…haha

    • I had not made that connection until now! It kind of those have a Gatsby element… Haha if you don’t think it’s for you then you definitely shouldn’t read it.

  • I’ve just started reading this book, thank you for not offering any spoilers lol otherwise I would have been like noooo! I’m really enjoying it so far, I’m not far in the book yet though. That whole handgun passage was really weird, I was just like huh?

    • I try not to give out spoilers! Especially with this book. It’s a sin to give out spoilers, lol. There’s a lot more weird passages, so be warned!

  • It’s always so hard to tell with books that are so hyped up. Usually it’s 100% deserved, or just completely, horribly undeserved. I originally thought the synopsis sounded boring, then I was seeing so many raving reviews, but now that I see this I’m rethinking getting this one. Maybe if I see it at the library one day I’ll give it a ago.

    • I think that’s the best choice. I don’t want to discourage you from reading it, but better that you don’t actually spend your money… just in case you don’t like it either. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reviews on this are so mixed I have no idea if I would like it. I have to say that it’s not looking so good though because a lot of these negatives would bother me a lot, especially the issues with the main character and predictability :/

    • I say give it a try. While I didn’t enjoy it, there are many who have. Maybe borrow it from a library or something just in case?

  • OMG, I feel totally the SAME! Though, I’m currently reading this so maybe my opinion will change? I’m 40% in the story and it feels SO pretentious. Like the author wanted this book to be phenomenal but no. It’s just boring and confusing and I don’t get why they’re called ‘Liars.’ I don’t recall any information about it in the book. I understand why you feel bad giving this book 2 stars but don’t, ahah, it’s your opinion and you have the right to feel the way you feel about it. The fact that JOHN GREEN praised the book surprised me…:P

    Thank you for stopping by! 😀

    • I never got why they were called “liars” either. They didn’t even lie much, did they? Anyways, at least I know I’m not the only one feeling this way! Yeah, John Green is a favourite of mine, so it was weird to see that he praised it so highly.

      Thanks for stopping by, too! xD