Friday, June 13, 2014

We Were Liars

We Were Liars
By: E. Lockhart
We Were Liars
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.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
This book has been so polarizing in the book community. There are those who really didn't like this book and there are those who loved it. Knowing that, I lowered my expectations and expected to be disappointed, but I wasn't. I absolutely adored this book. I devoured it all in one day because I didn't want to put it down. The language is absorbing and beautiful.
The thing is, I can understand why people disliked this book and I don't begrudge them that, I just happened to be drawn to all the things that they found annoying. I loved the vagueness of the writing and I loved what it accomplished in the emotion of the reader, and in me particularly. I felt like I knew these kids, not because they were so well described, but because I have met kids like them. I have felt relationships like this, where you love someone and hate them at the same time. Where you feel alone, but also surrounded and loved. It's confusing and confounding, but I identified with those aspects of this book.
I think a lot of the controversy of this book stems from what you were expecting. If you were expecting a plot-heavy mystery, you were bound to be disappointed. I was not expecting that, I was expecting an ethereal and vague and emotional story, which is what I think this book happened to deliver.
Like I said earlier, it's not that I related to the characters, it's that I understand their essence. Even if I have never been them, I have known them. I understand their emotions, if not their situation. I have peers who are passionate and apathetic simultaneously, that are in love and heartbroken simultaneously, that are scared and happy simultaneously. So seeing these characters struggling throughout this book, it affected me so deeply.
And the writing. THE WRITING. So gloriously gritty and dark with a veneer of the beautiful and the misleading. I really loved the atmosphere of this story. That's this story's strong point, the complete immersion into this island community, into this family in all its deepness and all its rot. The words felt visceral and real, they felt urgent and carefree at the same time.
This book blew me away. It hasn't done that for everyone and it won't, but it did that for me. I was affected in the way that truly great literature affects me and I adored the day I spent reading this book, letting it permeate my own life.
This is a book I know I will reread at some point, and might even get more out of now that I know the ending. There are things not yet connected in my mind, things that have been slowly working themselves out in the week since I read this book.
"We looked at the sky. So many stars, it seemed like a celebration, a grand, illicit party the galaxy was holding after the humans had been put to bed."
“If you want to live where people are not afraid of mice, you must give up living in palaces.”  
Spoiler Quotes:
"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."
"Tragedy is ugly and tangled, stupid and confusing.
That is what the children know.
And they know that the stories
about their family
are both true and untrue.
There are endless variations.
And people will continue to tell them."


  1. Wow, I think your review more than any others might push me to read this one for myself! Mostly I've read VERY positive reviews for this one but since I don't read all that many books in this genre, they kind of went over my head, but the way you describe the writing style especially makes me think this one might be worth checking out! And the mystery surrounding the plot is definitely making me curious...and curiosity tends to lure me in like a moth to a flame >.< Thanks for the wonderfully written review Abby, I loved reading your thoughts on this one!

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

  2. I really wan to read this book! Your review has made me want to read it even more, it sounds incredible. I hope I enjoy is as much as you did.

    Chloe @ A Booky Place