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.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE
So last Top Ten Tuesday, we talked about books I’d like to read in a book club. One of the ones I picked was We Were Liars, because so many people loved it. For all of you who commented and agreed with me about how awful it was, this is for you! 😛
My thoughts on this book? You want to know my thoughts on this book? It took me a long time to get around to writing this review, because I have a LOT of thoughts.
And probably one of them is positive.
Let’s start on a good note, right? The ending seriously shocked me. I mean, it was a little dumb, because even with a head injury you’d think that was something you’d notice… But I’ll allow writers licence, and give Lockhart credit for really shocking me. I also cried. But mostly because I was already quite vulnerable, and thought reading it at midnight would make me feel better… Yeah, no.
And why did I not like it? Oh, because of EVERYTHING ELSE. Cadence was an incredibly average main character. Basically apart from that one thing, the big plot twist, she had no personality. She never, ever stood up for herself. Her mum told her to get over herself, her Granddad made her lie to people, Gat treated her absolutely terribly, and she never cared. Yes, she’s allowed a little innocence as a child, but not that much. There’s innocence, and there’s having no spine. She fell into the latter.
Was the writing always
I like to have
Sentences, all on
Was she trying to be creative? Was it meant to be like a poem in the middle of the book? It just made it more frustrating to read!
Then there was the rest of the family. I know, the aunts were meant to be awful. That was the point of the book (I think. Let’s be honest, who knows?). But it was done unrealistically. No mother, let alone THREE mothers, would treat her child like that. There’s being strict, there’s using them, then there’s treating them like slaves. They fought over the money and the real estate, and used their children to beg their Granddad for it. Luckily by summer 15, they realised what was happening. But I got the impression that it’d been happening their whole lives. Not over the same things, since their Nana was still alive, but other things. Especially with Cadence and Johnny being the oldest. Their mothers wanted them to inherit everything. God forbid they spare a thought for either of their sister! I bet the littles were still getting the same treatment, even after the Liars rebelled.
I could go on forever criticising the characters. But don’t you worry, that’s not all that’s wrong with this book! Read the last sentence of that last paragraph again. “The littles” and “the Liars”. That’s what they were called in the book, so I thought I better carry on calling them that. Even though it makes me REALLY. REALLY. MAD. For most of the book, I had no idea who the littles actually were. I mean, I knew they were the younger siblings of the Liars. At one point, Cadence mentioned that Liberty said something to her. And I re-read the sentence a few times – was that her mother? Did she mean Mireen? No, it still said Liberty…
So I carried on reading, not dwelling too much on it. Then Taft called. And I realised that him and Liberty must be the mysterious littles! There were others too, who were introduced just as awkwardly. It took me a while to work out which child belonged to which aunt, and even now I’m still not 100%.
The Liars, too, have a stupid name. Why are they called that?!? That isn’t a rhetorical question by the way. I really want to know where they got that name from! They never explained it. It was just “our family called us the Liars” and we moved on. I sort of wondered at the end if it was because we didn’t know what was true and what was false. And that’s all very well with the way the book ended. But they couldn’t have magically known about the accident and the amnesia when they were young…
Last thing about names, I promise! Why did Cadence feel the need to call her mother Mummy? She’s 17 years old! You can be smothered by your mum, but even smothered children aren’t that babyish. No one else did it. Why did she? It bothers me way more than it should’ve.
Wow, this review is going on a lot longer than I wanted it too… But I need to say one more thing! The plot dragged a little. I read it really fast, in less than a day. But not much happened. We very slowly found out what happened during summer 15, but it was just a lot of randomly placed clues. Oh, and some memories that you weren’t sure when they ended. They swapped a lot between summers, which obviously I understand, but it wasn’t very clear where we were all the time.
Okay, I’ll stop now, honest! I just want to know how this book ever won Goodreads award…