Wednesday, May 7, 2014

ARC Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

240 pages
Expected publication: May 13th 2014 
Published by: Delacorte Press
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 5/5
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.
How do I even review something like We Were Liars? That's the question I asked myself every night for weeks. How do I talk about it without really taking about it? You know? But I came up with a strategy. This is me being as vague as possible while at the same time urging you to read a book you know nothing about. Enjoy.

This is my first experience with E. Lockhart's writing and it couldn't have been any better. It is lyrical and captivating. It touches your every nerve and stays in your head long after you read the last page. For that fact alone, We Were Liars deserves a million stars.

Since We Were Liars is such a intense novel, I came up with a formula for a pleasant reading experience:

Stop. Rewind. Reread. Repeat a couple of pages later.

You can thank me later. 

As you can gather from the synopsis, an accident takes place at some point in the book (it happens early on but Lockhart keeps you in the dark until the last few pages) and the rest of the novel is based on how it impacts the characters. Our narrator, seventeen year old Cadence Sinclair Eastman, doesn't remember the accident so her accounts are very unreliable. Lies upon lies. The little she recalls from that night is introduced slowly, making it nearly impossible to piece the puzzle together.

Cadence spends her summers with her friends, two of which are relatives. Cadence, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat. Always together during the summer, always in the same place. They are referred to as "the four liars," which immediate raises red flags. Not knowing if you can trust anything being said makes for such an interesting reading experience. These teenagers--excluding Gat since he's not part of the family--are rich, entitled, selfish, and as far from likable as you can get. Somehow, these characters work so well with the story that you are left feeling conflicted and devastated by the turn of events. I didn't want to become invested in their lives and I definitely didn't want to care about them. I ended up getting emotionally attached to their stories without even realizing it.

Now, let's discuss the way this story ends. Just kidding. Whatever you think might be going on is probably far from the truth. Was the ending a little bit pretentious? Maybe. It doesn't make it any less shocking, though. I think I have a very good poker face while I'm reading but I honestly couldn't keep the emotions in check while reading the conclusion. Once that bomb hits you---and Lockhart is pretty merciless in the way she delivers it to you---you WILL look like this:


I've never felt the urge to discuss the ending of a book as I do with this one. I had my theories but I didn't see it coming. At all. Never in a million years. Nope. Okay, I'm done.  In all seriousness, I can't wait until this book comes out so I can A) read other people's reaction and B) I can finally talk about the "accident" with everyone.

At the end of the day, We Were Liars is a brilliantly written novel that manages to capture you emotionally before you even finish the first chapter. It might not be for everyone but I couldn't find anything I didn't like. As a blogger, I'm instantly in love with an ARC that compels me to place a pre-order. That's when I know for certain that the novel is something special. That's exactly happened with We Were Liars. I couldn't place the order fast enough. If you're looking for a book that has the perfect blend between unique and beautiful, please do yourself a favor and get a copy May 13th!
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