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We Were Liars

Author:  E. Lockhart
10
16

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.

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Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

Reviews

Apr 02,2016
5

OMG THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING!! YEA SO AMAZING THAT CAPS ARE 100% NECESSARY!!! It was so easy to read, very mystrious and my gosh was my mind blown. E.lockhart has some serious skill and i'd recommend this book to anyone, its brillant :))

Mar 28,2016
anonymous's picture
anonymous (not verified)
5

THIS BOOK IS INSANE!!!!!!!!!

I finished this in two days and I think that is the best way to go with. Reading it too fast ruins the whole suprise and intensity of the story. Yet reading it too slow makes you forget the details and ruin the intensity of the story. You need some thinking time but not too much. 

The writing and the wording is absolutely beautiful and makes the story x10 more enjoyable.

I'd definitely recommend reading this :-)

Jul 13,2015
0

Find more book reviews at my blog: The Galaxial Word

If you read the reviews on Goodreads or Amazon, We Were Liars seems to have everyone in conflict. Some people have given it 1 star, saying it was superficial and shallow with little plot and an annoying writing style. Other have given it 5 stars, saying that they have been crying for the last 3 hours. So, what this basically all means is that We Were Liars is a love-it or hate-it book. You take a risk by reading it, because you could absolutely love it, or you could gamble 3 hours of your life reading a book that you'll absolutely hate.

Before, I start, I state my contention by saying that I loved We Were Liars. I'm part of the group that raves on and on about how they've been crying for the last 3 hours.

It's interesting, because when I first read this book, I thing that struck me first was her writing style. Occasionally, the writing style will change,

and she

will write like

this. With separate

sentences

spread out over many lines.

I have to disagree with the reviewers on Goodreads who say that E. Lockhart does it for "no reason", because nothing ever happens in a book for "no reason" (otherwise it would be pretty quickly deleted by the editor). The writing style only happens at various turning points in her life, for example, when her father leaves. This kind of disjointed, un-punctuated, spread out writing adds drama, and symbolises her separation from what's happening, as if her mind can't keep up. I really enjoyed this writing style, and thought that it was unique and brilliant. Obviously, some people don't agree with that, and they feel that it is annoying, tedious and pointless. It's really just a matter of reader preference, but I really do recommend you get the book from your local library, read the first 10 pages and stop it if you don't like it there.

Another thing that I noticed about We Were Liars is the vivid use of metaphors and personification. The first time that a major metaphor is used is on Page 5 (if you have a paperback with the same cover as above) when Clarence's father leaves the household:

"My father put a last suitcase into the backseat of the Mercedes, and started the engine.

Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing not the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound,

then from my eyes,

my ears,

my mouth.

It tasted like salt and failure."

When I first read this, I actually thought it was real, and that the book had taken a massive twist where the father suddenly revealed his true psychopathic path and shady connections with the dodgy mafia. But then:

"Mother snapped. She said to get a hold of myself.

Be normal, now, she said. Right now, she said"

This was the first sign that certain intense events throughout the book were not going to be real. I really liked the use of metaphors and vivid imagery. I thought that it brought colour and flair to the book, branding it as a Unique E. Lockhart Book. Obviously, this was not the case with everybody and some people complained that it was confusing and they couldn't really understand the difference, which I don't really agree with (oh wow, her father just shot her, this must be real). I do believe, however, that E Lockhart was going for a magic realism kind of style when she included the metaphors, and she has certainly succeeded.

Among the metaphors, there is also scattered segments of personification, especially when Clarence feels sadness of pain. This personification, married with the metaphors take the book to a whole new level. Her sadness can be a wave, a bullet or a knife. Her pain can be a witch, a giant or a crone, hacking away at her head with an axe, a statue or sharpened fingernails. The personification was amazingly done, and stunningly beautiful.

With the generous use of the word "Welcome" at the entrance of the novel, the general feel of the book is like you have been invited into their house:

You have arrived at their house and Clarence opens the door. She smiles and gestures her way to the magnificent hall. "Come in", she says, as her sweeping arms hold the door open. You walk in and your feet sink into the deep carpet. You are a guest at their house, a lodger at a grand hotel. She beckons, "Come with me. Your room is just around the corner". You follow her and suddenly the lights flicker. The chandelier dims and the lights cut. "Don't worry", she says. "Just a blackout". She takes a candle from the pocket of her skirt and a packet of well used matches from the other. "We get them all the time."  Holding the candle, she moves down the hallway, illuminating only a small distance in front of her. You walk close as not to lose her in the maze-like corridors or the house. She suddenly sweeps her hand to the left, throwing light upon a picture of a family. "Welcome", she says, "to the Beautiful Sinclair Family". 

As you walk down the hall, she shows you pictures of her life, documented between the glass of the frames. 

"This was when my father left. He shot me as he drove away, right in my throbbing heart." 

"This was when I first kissed Gat."

"This was when I had my accident."

As you move down the hallway, you learn more and more about her life. She takes you down her lane of memories. 

When the book ends, you will feel compelled to re-read it, because E Lockhart has foreshadowed the twist ending all the way through, with a certain comment here, or a subtle action there. Some people say that they "guessed the ending 25% into the book" but I don't understand how. It was just too sad to guess, too unpredictable. John Green has commented on this book (see the cover above) and I can certainly understand why. This is John Green's kind of book. The sad, I-don't-care-if-they're-one-of-the-main-characters-I-can-still-kill-them kind of book. I did think it was sadder than The Fault In Our Stars though, and that was pretty damn sad. Please don't read this book if you cry easily, because the tears will leave you dangerously dehydrated.

This is the story of a damaged girl trying to gather the broken fragments of her shattered life, as her family crumbles and her relationships disintegrate, all within the seemingly nuclear, Beautiful Sinclair Family. Haunting, elegant and startlingly real, We Were Liars will linger long after the last page has been turned.


Rating:  10/10

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Jan 13,2015
5

I hate it.

But I love it.

But I hate it.

Captivating. Enticing. Exhilirating. 

It's kinda perfect. 

Cadence is the first born granddaughter of the prestigeous, wealthy Sinclair family. But there's more to them than just that. Cadence and her two cousins, Mirren and Johnny, as well as outsider Gat, make up The Liars. It's Cadence's accident that changes everything. 

Made up of love, family, money, betrayal and mistakes, We Were Liars is like nothing I've ever read. It perfectly captures the adolescent experience and everything in between. It's a must read that I would recommend to everyone. 

Jan 09,2015
5

We Were Liars is quite a quick read, however, the sole reason I finished it in one night was because of E Lockhart's writing. She writes very well. Such a chilling read. 

Sep 03,2014
0

We were liars, by E.Lockhart 

 

We Were Liars is written by E.Lockhart and is a stand alone, teenage read.  She is very experienced writer, other novels include: ‘Flying on the Wall’, ‘The Boyfriend List’ and ‘Dramarama’, just to name a few. ‘We Were Liars.’ , is her latest published in 2014.

It concerns a beautiful and distinguished family, focusing from the point of view of Cadence, one of the daughters and part of a group of four friends- the liars. Although the family has an important reputation, money and power, not everything is as in control as it seems. Cadence, the liars and the rest of the family spend every summer on their private island. Each year, damage is done, secrets are buried and promises are made. How long can lies stay hidden? We Were Liars is a wonderful, disturbing and intelligent novel which is not easily forgotten. 

 The characters in this novel are very strong. Cadence is seventeen years old and is very smart, but quiet. She suffered a head injury while swimming on the island and struggles to connect memories back together. The other members of the family are all very secretive and care very much for money. Throughout the novel we see how the characters grow, behave and change. 

 I really enjoyed We Were Liars and thought it was very well written with it’s contemporary setting and realistic characters. E.Lockhart succeeds in making the novel feel real and creating suspense. I found this book really intelligently written and enjoyed the humorous scenes as well as the sad and haunting. I would rate this book four and a half stars and recommend it for teenage readers.  

 

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