Monday, April 28, 2014

If You Ask, I'll Lie

"It is what I am afraid to do, and I do it."
--E. Lockhart, We Were Liars

Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Delacorte Press, 240 pages
Publication Date: May 13th, 2014
Source: ARC provided via publisher in exchange for an honest review
Goodreads 
Goodreads Description 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.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.




The writing. Wow. The writing style and prose of this novel is unlike any other. It is lyrical yet fragmented and jagged. A beautiful piece of broken glass. I was so impressed with how the writing style molded perfectly with the plot. What do I mean by this? Cadence—Cady—is a girl who had an accident that caused a brain injury and is trying to piece together what happened two summers ago. Nobody is telling her anything. She is frustrated. Angry. Sad. Emotional. Everything. She is everything and nothing. As a reader, you become Cady because you don’t know what is going on…she doesn’t know what is going on…everyone is keeping secrets and you want to tear your hair out with frustration because nobody is telling her anything. Brilliant. The only writing style I can compare this to is Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi and we all know how beautiful I find her writing style.

The Pace. While the novel isn’t fast-paced it definitely keeps you interested. Because you HAVE to know what happened! I found myself furiously reading and turning pages because I had to know what the hell happened on this island.

The Themes. The idea of racial discrimination is definitely present and the way of how some old money families function was fascinating to read about. They talk about the importance of family when none of these people see each other as family. The manipulation, the greed, the blindness to what real problems are was both sickening and fascinating to read about. Gat bringing honesty and objectivity to the situation was a light in the dark. I loved his character and his view of their opulent wealth. Reading about how fucked up their family is made me really sad that people who share blood can treat each other as they do.

The Narration. Cady as a narrator, like I said previously, was fantastic. I really liked her narration and inner dialogue. She was clever without trying to be. Honest when she shouldn’t be. She just wanted to put back the pieces of her broken life. My heart went out to her.

The End. The end. THE END?! Amazing. Heart-wrenching. Chest heaving. It was just incredible.

The Distance. What didn’t work for me was due in part to what I loved about the story. I LOVED how the writing of Cady’s narration was but with that come the downside of one person point of view. It was difficult for me to feel the emotional connection between the Liars because I am only seeing things through Cady’s eyes. I’m seeing them being distant and lying and not reaching out to her when she’s sick. I can understand how they spent every summer together and were inseparable but I found it hard to reconcile the fact that they never spoke during the school year. I WISH I would have been able to feel more emotion for them as a cohesive group but it just didn’t happen for me. 

Oh most definitely yes. The prose. The writing. The exploration of the lives of the most beautiful and wealthy. THE END! I cannot say anymore…and if you ask me…I’ll LIE.

13 comments:

  1. The writing is what I loved most about this book. But I still don't know if I loved this book itself (I definitely liked it though). I agree with you - I didn't quite feel a connection to/between characters. But I read this so fast and my jaw dropped when the big revelation comes, so it was definitely an enthralling read. But at the same time - HOW STUPID. Ya know? I'm still processing...

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    1. I agree. I wrote this review so long ago and while I remember just blowing through it the lack of character connections didn't work for me. While this is usually a deal breaker for me, I need to be rooting for the characters, this is maybe the only exception to that rule for me because I was just blown away by the writing and yes...I think we're all a little stupid for not seeing it coming...I'm usually so good at that!

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  3. I just finished this one recently and am still trying to digest my feelings about it. There were things I loved, things I hated, things that blew me away, things that underwhelmed me... I just feel all over the place! The thing that got me was the build up to the ending. I could barely wrap my head around it!

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    1. It was a very jarring book for sure! Elements I love and there were elements that didn't work but even so, I could NOT get over how amazing I thought the writing was! Totally blew me away and upped what I thought of the book. It's always a good sign when it gets you talking about it though, right?

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  4. OH MY WORD THIS BOOK!

    I feel a post traumatic sob coming up.

    Seriously though, I loved it and yes, I loved Gat's role in pointing out the privilege of the Sinclairs.

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    1. Gah, I know! I think I would have been having a LOT more tears if I felt more emotionally connected but that's just me. I wanted sooo badly to really feel for them but it fell a little short for but I'm not sure if that's how she wrote it on purpose...if that makes sense. Me too! I loved how he was all, uh, you know a lot of people DO NOT live like you fools do, right?

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  5. I just finished this last night and I totally think the hype monster got me on this one. I liked it, but I didn't fall in love with it. The ending shocked me and the story was definitely one of the most unique I've ever read, but the writing style really didn't work for me. I had a hard time connecting to any of the characters because of how choppy and unreliable our narrator was. But it was an interesting book and I would totally recommend it to other people.

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    1. Ha, I think that's a lot of people's reactions. Either deep love or kind of confused. Yes! I thought it was super unique but for the writing just blew me away! I don't mind unreliable narrators but I can totally see how it could go the other way for people.

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  6. I was torn on this one because I loved the writing but like you, I felt a little disconnected. I know other readers said they got emotional and there was ONE part where I was like wow wow wow but I wasn't crying or anything. My review of this is live next week but one thing I did like was the dialogue. Super real and sharp. I think it was brave of Lockhart to do something different with this book, and I appreciated it. Even if it wasn't a total winner.

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    1. Yes. For the first time ever, the writing just won out for me over the complete lack of emotional connection. And you know me, I'm all about the feels and emotions which was why I was so shocked I still liked it as much as I did. The dialogue was super sharp and I agree, even if it didn't completely work for everyone, everyone was still talking about it!

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  7. I really liked how We Were Liars was written. There were such beautiful turns of phrase, and I always really love that in a book! But I didn't connect well with any of the characters, even Cady. Still, it's a pretty solid read!

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    1. Yes, exactly what you said! It's so hard because I thrive on emotional connection but this writing was so legit it made up ten-fold for what I thought lacked!

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