Monday, 29 December 2014

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: May 15
Source: Copy in exchange for review

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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.


Big thank you to the amazing Hot Key Books for sending a copy of this novel in exchange for a review. This does in no way impact my opinion of the novel and all opinions stated below are my own. 

I read this novel a few months ago, around July I think, while I was on a family holiday in Alicante (see picture below of me reading on the balcony from my Instagram). When I first started reading We Were Liars I had read mountains and mountains of gushing reviews & tweets about how amazing and mindblowing this novel was. I have to say that when I first started reading this book, I really wasn't seeing the evidence of the hype surrounding how "awesome" this novel was, but by the time I had finished it- I too was blown away.

The first thing I loved about We Were Liars was the setting. The book opens up with a family tree and map of the Island the family owns and stays at during the summer, both of these little extra pieces made me immediately excited to begin the novel ... Who doesn't love books with maps?! The setting of the island was so vivid and unlike most of the contemporary novels I ever read. I thought the descriptions of the island and the many homes there really created a crystal clear visual in my mind and transported me to the island. I really felt like I was drawn into the setting of the novel, which I loved as I found it very unique. 

The characters in We Were Liars were so very memorable and strong. I LOVED the narration of the novel by our main protagonist. Cadence was the perfect narrator for this story as she provided a semi unreliable narrative of the story as she suffered from bouts of amnesia and severe migraines. Cadence also had trouble with exaggeration and every time she was placed in an intense situation began to create these fairy tale like stories that had a crucial message hidden within. I really loved all these unusual elements to both her narration style and her character.

I also enjoyed reading about the other teenagers on the Island, which are Candence's cousins Johnny and Mirren and Johnny's friend Gat. I enjoyed reading about their friendship, the relationship between Cadence & Gat and also about their little traditions. I felt they were all very unique characters. I really disliked the adults in this novel as all they cared about was wealth and money, which really made them come across as uncaring, selfish and unlikeable. It was stated in the novel that the children, Cadence, Mirren, Johnny & Gat, were referred to as "The Liars" by the adults and the reasoning behind this wasn't ever explained. I was annoyed that I never received any back story on this. 

The wealth in this novel is so apart of the world and setting of the story, that I felt it distanced the reader a little from fully connecting with the characters and sympathising with their situation in a way. I certainly felt it distanced me a little from  the plot as I am not a wealthy American and so could not fully grasp references or roots of their problems in terms of that. 

The plot of the novel is extremely gripping and fast paced, If you've already read the novel, you'll understand me when I say that there was one part of the novel where everything just hit the fan and the plot twists and turns were everywhere. I was somewhat spoiled on  the major twist in  the novel, but trust me you really should enter the novel blind, not knowing anything of what it is about. It's definitely one of those twists that makes you want to reread the novel to try and spot where this came from. My advice if you haven't read We Were Liars; Do not read any reviews, don't even read the blurb- JUST READ THE BOOK and you will be so blown away. 

One thing I think this novel presents well is the problems within a family, especially when money and wealth is viewed as synonymous with self worth and power. The novel also inspires the reader to reflect on their own life choices, their friends and their treatment of family and others.

E. Lockhart's writing style is so very beautiful, captivating and poetic. The novel will have the reader entertained throughout and is the perfect summer contemporary read as it is unlike most light hearted, fluffy summer reads but will keep the reader gripped to the page while still getting a good romance and beautiful exotic island in summer descriptions. E. Lockhart demonstrates perfect suspense, her fluid and poetic writing skills, gorgeous prose and entertaining dialogue.

Don't think it needs saying but I would definitely recommend you pick this book up for yourself and give it a go. Also, if anyone asks you about how the book ends, lie. #ProtectTheLie 

Favourite Quotes from WWL : 

“Be a little kinder than you have to.”

“The universe is seeming really huge right now. I need something to hold on to.” 

“Do not accept an evil you can change.”

“Always do what you're afraid to do.”


Four & a half stars

*     *     *      *      1/2 

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