Review: We Were Liars

Posted July 16, 2014 / Book Reviews / 13 Comments

Review: We Were LiarsWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Genres: Young Adult
Published by Random House on May 13th 2014
Also by this author: How to Be Bad
Format: Audiobook (227 pages) • Source: Audible
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two-half-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.

Review: Well, I decided to make my first review about a book I didn’t like too much. I have mixed emotions about this book, so let me try to work through them here. I have to admit, I was extremely interested in the book based on the cover. I don’t know who is making all these cool, graphic book covers lately, but I love them. I was fascinated by the small amount of plot-related information that was out there and it kept getting rave reviews, so I decided to try it out. The general plot, without giving anything away, is that a rich family goes to their own private island every summer. The kids play while the adults get drunk. Sounds about right for my family gatherings (minus the private island thing). The book goes back and forth between past summers and the current summer, which surprisingly wasn’t too confusing. The main character loved to repeat the same effing phrases over and over again. If I read “Gatt… my Gatt” one more time, I think my head would have exploded. The writing style was choppy and not what I normally like.

She wrote paragraphs that seemed literal but were actually figurative. At one point, she says something along the lines of “my father shot me; my brains were all over the grass,” or some shit. As I’m reading, I was like holy shit this dude just shot his daughter… Oh wait, that wasn’t literal. Unfortunately, this was one of the first scenes in the book; it didn’t really start me on the right foot. The charaters were incredibly underdeveloped as well. Even the main character, Cady, was barely fleshed out. Half of the time, I couldn’t tell who was a “Liar” or who was a “Little.” I didn’t really care, either. Characters, in general, are the most important pieces of the book for me; if I don’t like or am not interested in their story, I’m not going to like the book. Maybe the author didn’t develop the characters for a particular reason (which may make sense). Regardless, no one was complex enough to care about. Not even Cady. The ending certainly made my jaw drop, and not in a good way. I won’t spoil anything here; some people said they figured it out ahead of time. The book was climbing towards a climax so. incredibly. slowly. that I truly didn’t think it would reach one. Most books keep that part towards the late-middle, then have some kind of conclusion afterwards. This book chugged its way to the defining moment where you FINALLY learn what the fuck happened, and then it pretty much ends. The conclusion happens (quickly) and then it’s over. What the fuck? What was the point of this book???
Now that I’ve explained all the reasons I wasn’t a fan of the book, it’s hard to even put together what I liked about it. So, all anger aside, I can say that I really didn’t hate this book. I liked seeing what it was like to be a part of a rich family that happens to own its own private island, even though all of their problems are superficial or boring. The ending was a shocker for me, and I give the author props for not being predictable. The less you know about this book before reading it, the better. If I were to write a thirty-second plot summary, the book sounds extremely interesting and worth reading. Unfortunately, the underdeveloped characters and the slowest moving plot of all time really killed this one for me.

13 responses to “Review: We Were Liars

  1. OMG, so true!! Cady’s love for Gat was actually annoying!! And you know what?? On Goodreads, I actually put a ”what the fuck” gif!!! Such a coincidence,lol. Great review but I see you liked it better than I did. xd

    • I have such a hard time giving books less than three stars but reading your review reminded me how much I really didn’t like it! Haha I changed my goodreads rating to two stars lol

  2. […] Review: Goddamnit Kate Brian, you never disappoint me. I can’t think of the last time I read one of her books and wasn’t completely shocked, intrigued, and/or baffled by the ending. Let me start out by saying that the only reason I read this book is because it was written by Kate Brian — I would usually never pick up a book that sounds this creepy. The other books I’ve read by her (primarily the Private series) can get a little freaky, but not this much. It took me a little while to get into, but that was mostly because I refused to read it at night and scare myself into thinking I was going to be murdered before bed. I just steamrolled through the second half of the book this afternoon because I could not put it down. The book begins with Rory being chased by a serial killer through the woods and her escaping from him. Her family, which includes her father and her sister Darcy, is going into “witness protection” to the island of Jupiter Landing. Let me just say it is extremely unreasonable that the FBI had the family head off in a car by themselves while a killer was on the loose, but whatever. Steven Nell, the man attempting to kill her, has seemingly followed her to the island and is plotting when he can kill her. The island seems like a typical vacation spot, but many of the locals treat Riley differently. It seems that there are secrets that they’re not telling Rory as she begins to uncover weird happenings and more evidence that Nell has followed her family to the island. Hindsight is 20/20 with books like this; I never pick up on little clues as they’re happening, but everything becomes so obvious at the end. A lot of reviewers predicted the ending, but I did not see it coming at all. Even until the very last sentence of the book. Thank god the second book was already released (and the third book was actually released this week too). I immediately started with the second book, Hereafter, and it has a completely different vibe. As usual, my reviews are spoiler free, but the genre of the book almost completely changes. If you’ve read her Private series before, you are no stranger to Kate Brian pulling this kind of switch, but again for some reason I did not see it coming. I won’t get too much into it, but the twist has me looking forward to the rest of the series even more. I was expecting to be relieved when this book ended, because it seemed too creepy for me to fully enjoy, but it completely exceeded my expectations. Any book that makes me repeat “holy shit” to myself for the next few minutes is a keeper in my mind. With the exception of We Were Liars. Fuck that book. […]

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