I don’t want to give too much away about We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This is a book best read without knowing too much. The basic premise involves a privileged teenage girl and the family island that she visits every summer. She and two cousins, plus a close friend, make up the “Liars.” The Liars are as close as you can be, until an accident happens and changes everything.
*I have tried to keep this review as free of spoilers as possible so as not to ruin the ending, but read with caution*
It took me awhile to figure out what to rate We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I’ve read better books, but the story was suspenseful and I couldn’t put it down. I was in shock at the ending and kept thinking about it, unsure of how to feel. I really enjoyed reading the book but I had some problems with it. To start with, it is weirdly written.
It also contains odd metaphors that come out of nowhere (like when the main character describes how her dad pulled out a gun and shot her in the chest… only to reveal that didn’t actually happen, it’s just how she felt). The main character frequently describes how her veins opened up and blood spilled down her arms, which sounds like another metaphor, until she talks about how the boy she loved bandaged her up (a metaphor, or did it really happen? I’m still not sure). The book is depressing and melodramatic, but it is about teenagers. The main character suffers from “poor little rich girl” syndrome and themes throughout the book include greed, racism, manipulation, and materialism. Also, for a family of Ivy-Leaguers, the Liars sure make some stupid mistakes.
This book was a quick read. Even though the story was fairly simple, it was interesting and suspenseful and kept me guessing up until the end. The characters are flawed but not completely unlikeable. The story slowly unfolds and the twist at the end was shocking. It didn’t immediately make sense and took me a minute to process because it was not at all what I was expecting. Throughout the book, the title doesn’t make much sense, until you get to the big reveal and realize everything you just read is not what you thought it was. We Were Liars is tragic and devastating, but in a good way. It left me feeling depressed and thinking about the ending and I can’t wait to read it again knowing what I know now. I think this is a book that will be more satisfying and depressing during the reread, but I’ll never be able to recreate what I felt when I read the twist for the first time.
There seemed to be a lot of hype for this book, and I would say it mostly lived up to it. It’s not the most well-written book I’ve read, but it had a good story with a surprising ending. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is an unforgettable book that everyone should read.
4 out of 5, a must read.