Hello lovely followers and visitors!
As I said in my last post (January Book Haul), today is time to review a book that was the talk of all the online book community: We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart.
Find any editions of this book at Book Depository
In an old old post, I referred We Were Liars as one of the books I was most excited to purchase. A lot of time has passed since September (when that post was firstly put online) and a lot more has happened to prevented me from buy this title sooner. (I still need to get Fangirl! Only after I can make another list of books that have caught my attention.) Thank god that giveaway happened and I won, otherwise I probably was still unaware of what greatness I was missing from these beautiful pages.
Emily Jenkins is an american writer, who writes for the young adult market as E. Lockhart and under her own name for both children or more adult audiences. During her career, she has been a finalist in several important literary prizes, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. We Were Liars brought her to a much bigger public eye, being one of the biggest talks of 2014 and winning the Goodreads Choice Award for that year.
This book caught my eye earlier on, when all my favourite Booktubers and Booklrs started to talk about it. With a lot of caps lock and internal scream noises, the excitement and hype was HUGE. Not a lot was said about the plot or the characters, which only made me more curious. All the secrecy and mystery drove me absolutely crazy! Maybe I float to much with the crowd but when a book gets so much people talking about it, it has to be good! I’ll try to keep this review as spoiler free as spoiler, but I hope my excitement for this book comes through as well.
We Were Liars focusses on four friends: Cadence, John, Mirren and Gat (even though it’s told only by Cadence perspective). The first three are cousins: all blond, beautiful and very very rich. Gat is an indian boy, the nephew of John’s “step-father”. The four, and the rest of the Sinclair family spend their summers in their private island, surrounded by golden retrievers, staff they don’t know the names of and the ocean. The group is so tight and troublesome, that they are known as The Liars. On summer fifteen (as they are counted, according to The Liars age), Cadence has some weird accident that leaves her unable to remember anything that happened during her stay in the island that year. Because of the migraines she started to get after the accident, her mother prevents her from spending the next vacations with her family. When Cadence does come back to the island, a few years later, she is set on finding out what really happened.
From all the fuss and secrecy surrounding this title, I knew it would be a ride! But I didn’t expect this much!! The whole book progressively builds to the climax, which is completely unexpected. As an experienced reader, I like to thing that I’m prepared for all the clichés. I see them from miles and miles away. As I was reading this book, a million of possibilities and theories rushed through my mind and I was utterly convinced that at least one for those were right. But oh lord, how wrong I was! I was so into the book that the most obvious things completely passed right through me. After the climax, you look back and think “OF COURSE, OF COURSE, OF COURSE!!! That’s why this and this happened”! The thing is, the book is so beautifully written that your mind is completely unaware of the clues that are given throughout.
Regarding the author’s style and writing, I specifically like the usage of the language. Since the book’s main public is young people, I felt that the words used weren’t too childish but neither too complicated. There was a whole variety of words, which, as a second-language speaker of English, I truly appreciated. I also enjoyed the little repetitions throughout this book. Sometimes the narrator repeats some words or phrases to herself, like some kind of motto. They are always incredible important to not only the main characters but all of the events. One of the most talked about topics throughout the book is self pity and the variety of ways you have deal with it, something I’m very guilty of. I loved how it is emphasised that we shouldn’t feel sorry for ourselves and live constantly with that in mind. We need to appreciate every single thing and experience we have, without concentrating only in the bad things. That’s something I need to work on and this book definitely inspired me to do so.
Also, this edition is utterly beautiful! The cover has some gorgeous colours, and the fonts works perfectly. In the inside, there’s a map of the island and family three, that are very helpful throughout the read. There’s a lot of characters and weird names so it’s a bit difficult to keep up with who’s who so the illustrations were incredibly helpful. Hot Key Books did a wonderful job! I’ve been following their work for quite some time and I hope to read more of their titles, since they have a great selection, always paired with some amazing covers!
I actually don’t have anything bad to say about this book. I loved every single thing. I’ve been trying to get a lot more into YA fiction and I feel like this was a great start. I highly recommend this book. If you’re into YA, you’ve probably already read this one. If, by some chance, this title slipped through your fingers, GO. GET. NOW! If you’re not that familiar with this genre, like me, it’s definitely a good one so start. It’s exciting, fun and above all, fresh! I cannot even wait to read more books from this author.
Here’s a not so revealing favourite quote:
She confused being spartan with being charitable, and gave away her possessions without truly doing good with them.
She confused being sick with being brave, and suffered agonies while imagining she merited praise for it.
She confused wit with intelligence, and made people laugh rather than lightening their hearts or making them think.
Thank you so much for reading guys! I hope you enjoyed this review. If you read this title, let me know what your thoughts are! See you next time.