Book Review – We Were Liars by E. Lockhart



This weeks review is a little different. Myself and Kiera decided on a whim to ‘buddy’ read We Were Liars. Being my first ever buddy read, I really enjoyed reading this way. We were able to discuss our thoughts and feelings about the story as we read.

To start this review off, here is the books synopsis:-

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.

I’ve got quite a lot to say about this book, so I’m going to break it down. Here goes…

The plot

We Were Liars is a story about a girl, Cady, who suffered a traumatic accident and was left with selective amnesia and terrible migraines. The story is split into sections and the timeline shifts, sometimes without warning, between before, at the time of and after the accident.

There is a huge twist at the end of the story, which I did not see coming, but after you find out the twist, thinking back on the rest of the story, there are clues weaved throughout, but do not seem significant until you find out.

The writing

The story is written in first person narrative which isn’t my favourite but it worked well in this story. The writing was lyrical, poetic and metaphorical at times and I really enjoyed the mini fairy tale re-tellings throughout the book. It is a beautifully written and fast paced novel.

The characters

Although I didn’t relate to any of the characters, they were well fleshed out and they all had their own distinctive personalities. My favourite, I think, was Johnny. He’s quite a playful and funny character.

Things I loved…

The Map – Although not helpful to the story, I still loved it. They do say the greatest stories begin with a map….

The Family Tree – To begin with it confused me, this family tree, but as I read the story it made sense and whilst reading if I forgot who was in whose family line, I just referred to the family tree.

The Metaphors – I’ll admit to start with they confused me, one particular line floored me and I had to re-read the paragraph:-

‘Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest’.

A fantastic and shocking metaphor for how Cady’s father made her feel when he left her and her mother.

The fairytale re-tellings – Great mini stories all on their own, they made you really think about the politics going on inside of the Sinclair family. They held a moral and thought provoking story in themselves which related brilliantly to Cady’s story.

The mystery – I do love a mystery in a novel. The suspensefulness of the minute clues woven throughout. Sometimes you pick up on them. Sometimes you don’t. I like it when I don’t. As much as I love feeling brilliant when I’ve figured out a story and guessed the plot correctly, I much prefer being totally shocked and gripped to the very end in anticipation of the story’s climax. We Were Liars did that for me, I didn’t see it coming at all.

In conclusion, I loved the story, it was brilliantly written and left me guessing to the very end. My verdict – read it but don’t read any spoilers before you do, it will ruin the experience otherwise!

Over to my fellow buddy reader, Kiera.

I have to say that I really enjoyed reading We Were Liars. The writing style made me feel like I was in the brain of a dramatic, self absorbed and privileged teenager. That being said Cady’s character really appealed to me, and the connection she had with the liars was palpable. I knew going in to this story that it wasn’t going to end the way I thought it would, but even then it took me most of the book to figure out what was happening. This is such a clever story, and you will find yourself thinking about it for quite a while after finishing it and having moments of clarity, or ‘how did I miss that?!’ moments. All in all a very enjoyable read.


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