Saturday, May 10, 2014

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Expected Publication Date: May 13, 2014 by Delacorte Press
Hardcover, 240 pages
Received from publisher through NetGalley -- thanks!

In the eARC copy I got, there is actually a note from the publisher, asking you to go into this book blind. The synopsis released is purposefully kept vague, and everything for We Were Liars seems to be all about containing the details and not giving away a lot so you can have the best reading experience ever. And I do not want to be the one who ruins everyone's experience with We Were Liars by writing a probably craptastic synopsis that will likely give away too much. So, here's the Goodreads one:

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.

Gosh, so many things to say about this book. I definitely feel like the black sheep this time even though I did not DISLIKE this book at all. Just didn't love it or see the appeal of it as much as others. 

E. Lockhart's writing was beautiful - the most beautiful I've experienced in a while, I think.
The writing is definitely unconventional. Often, while I was reading the book, I felt like it was a mix between verse and just normal writing, if that makes any sense. There's this sense of rhythm to Lockhart's writing and everything just flowed really nicely. It won't be for those who prefer more structured types of writing that don't sound so much like it's just all the thoughts of the narrator put down into words - randomness and all. I don't know, I can't really explain it all very well but I really enjoyed the lyrical quality of Lockhart's writing and I have to say it was my favourite part about this book.

I felt like We Were Liars had a really interesting idea behind it but I'm not sure if E. Lockhart really achieved what she meant for the book to be.
I don't claim to know what her purpose was for this book but while reading, I just couldn't help but feel like this book was SUPPOSED to make me think deeper and bring across a really important message, while I only found it entertaining at most. It's so frustrating because I can't pinpoint WHAT else was needed to elevate this story, I just had this feeling that there needed to be something MORE. There were so many great bits and pieces in We Were Liars but somehow, they just didn't totally jive together and create something really wonderful, in my opinion.

I want to be fair, so I have to say that I think my expectation of this book was the main reason why it didn't work for me.
By the time I had started this book, a few bloggers I really trust had reviews out totally GUSHING over this book and from everything I had read, it sounded really interesting. I went in with an idea of this book that I think was totally different than what I ended up getting that I think it really lowered my enjoyment. I wish I had gone in without any expectations at all because I think I would have appreciated the book a whole lot more.

But also on the other hand, everything WAS a bit misleading.
How I see it, We Were Liars is being marketed as a mystery and that was my expectation for this book - was to get a mystery. But I thought the mystery was really weak. And nothing really suggested it might have been a mystery until you get to the ending, where you find out what happened and the "whodunnit", which is in quotations because not until the ending do you even think that there might be a whodunnit. AM I GIVING TOO MUCH AWAY? I hope not, but basically the mystery element of this book for me just wasn't there. 

We Were Liars is the kind of book that you almost 99% NEED to reread to get the full picture.
Because the ending turns the entire story on its head. It's a twist for sure (but not one that totally had me surprised), and it provides you with some interesting knowledge. But because there weren't anything pointing to the end outcome - or at least, I didn't feel there were. Some people guessed it straightaway! - it was hard to really see it all coming together when everything is revealed at the end. For me, it felt like there was a really big jump between what was reality and what was fiction and one that didn't really go all so smoothly. So definitely I think you need to reread this book to get the full impact of it when you hold the knowledge of what happens because I think then you might be able to appreciate the story a bit more. I have not reread it yet so. I will get on to that soon though because I have a feeling this book will get to me more when I have a full understanding.

So as you can see, I'm definitely very conflicted about this book. I don't really know what to think in part because this book was so confusing to me. There were a lot of things that I liked in this book but I don't think any of them were really used to their full potential. This was a fairly short book and I liked that but I also feel like a few more pages couldn't have hurt in terms of development of characters and the storyline. So you know, there were a lot of things about We Were Liars that didn't really impact me as fully as it did others but I gave it three stars (more like 2.5 stars but I don't do half stars) in the end because I did enjoy this book. It was an entertaining read and I flew through it. I just think that maybe somewhere along the lines, something got lost in translation because I'm not really getting this book or understanding what makes it so extraordinary - sorry if that sounds a bit harsh. For me, there wasn't anything that really WOWED me as I thought that maybe there would have been so that's why We Were Liars didn't work for me.

They're not really all that similar but I am getting a very Dangerous Girls vibe from this novel so if you liked that book, We Were Liars is worth a shot! 


Ashley @ Nose Graze gives it 2 stars: "My thoughts: meh. More than anything, I was bored for 90% of We Were Liars. Not much happens. It’s just a series of stories about kids on an island.. most of which are just conversations where nothing actually happens."

Stormy @ Book. Blog. Bake gives it 3 stars: "We Were Liars is a terrific book. While it didn’t hit me in an emotional way, I can’t deny that it’s a beautifully written book with a compelling story. I loved how original it was and how everything was handled."

Nara @ Looking for the Panacea gives it 5 stars: "This is one of those books that I'm honestly not sure how to review. I don't even want to say too much about it because it's one of those books where it's best to go in blind. Bigger impact that way."

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