Posted in Book Reviews, Posts

We Were Liars

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

We Were Liars

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.
And why,
Was the writing always
Like this?
I like to have
Real
Sentences, all on
One line
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…

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Author:

I was a book blogger for a while, and I now blog about every little thing in life I can think of. Bear with me while I try all these new posts out... I'm a New Zealand teen who gets angry about the world (but not angry enough for tumblr). I like to capture the world through photos and words, and read in all the moments in nz-squadbetween. I have an overwhelming desire to see every corner of the world I possibly can, and hug the people I love in all those corners. I can't do make up to save myself, and you're more likely to find me buying matching stationary than matching clothes. My nerd hobbies include a new found love of the Avengers, reading YA, watching Game of Thrones, How I Met Your Mother, and every vlogger I can find, and being the last person on the music bandwagons. I have big plans for the rest of my life, including university, teaching, travelling, and having an army of puppies. I plan to blog every second of it!

91 thoughts on “We Were Liars

  1. I AGREE SO MUCH.
    I hate, hate, HATE that faux literary line jumping, it drives me up the wall! It wasn’t even poetic, it served no purpose!
    The Liars thing definitely wasn’t explained, we can’t have both missed that. They didn’t do anything remotely close to being deserving of that title at all. They were just a pack of 4 insipid, brainless and spineless idiots. Who burns a house down the way they did? You’d have to be a total freaking moron!
    I don’t get the hype around this AT ALL. It’s really not that good.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, you’re really passionate about this!! I thought I was pretty alone in that, but hooray, I’m not! Burning the house was one of the stupidest revenge plans I’ve ever heard of. Try talking to your parents maybe?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I get really passionate when I don’t like a book 😛 perhaps even more than when I love one haha!
        I thought I was alone too, we can be alone together now!
        Omg and starting it on every level?! How did they miss that fire travels?!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I need to review some books I really love, I’ve been reading too many bad ones!
        Yay! The best kind of book club 😛
        OhmyGod how did they ever think that was a good idea?!? And she just ran down to the other house, she didn’t do anything useful!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I went through a bad spate of books in December, it felt like all the good ones had gone walkabout!
        Definitely the best kind!
        Ughhh it’s so infuriating! I didn’t like Cady before that and I felt so justified when I read that bit! Such a stupid ending haha

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t see the twist coming either and totally agree with your points. This book left me feeling conflicted as it was original and thrilled without a doubt but didn’t hit all the high notes it should have. I read and awarded it a reluctant four stars. Great review.

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  3. It was really interesting to read your thoughts and your review was very amusing. I really liked this book, which was mostly for the twist at the end, but I can definitely see where you’re coming from with the trying-to-be-creative writing style 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I just finished Landline by Rainbow Rowell tonight and I adored it!!! She is a goddess personified. I can’t wait to actually write a happy review 🙂 I’m thinking the final Maze Runner book next, it’s always good to stick to a world I know

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have that book on my pile next to my bed, so hopefully I’ll get to it after I’ve read the other three I have to read before it! I’m so looking forward to it because I love Rainbow Rowell so much and that’s the only book I haven’t read by her 🙂 Is it shameful that I’ve only read the first Maze Runner book? I just didn’t really like the writing style and never continued. Can I even call myself a real fangirl? *Hiding face in shame* 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Too many books, too little time! Luckily it was a library book so it had to get top priority 🙂
        I only just read them in the last few months, I thought I was the last one!! You can come hide from the rabid fangirls with me, and I can use We Were Liars as a shield, and you can use those books!!
        I’m off to bed now, but I will be back to defend you in the morning! I’m not leaving you to face them alone, I swear! 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      4. See, I can’t do library books because I always give my bought books priority because I feel obliged to read them if I’ve paid for them 🙂 Haha you’re not the last one! Thank you, I’ll need some shelter from them!
        I should get some sleep too, though I know I’ll realistically be reading for another two hours. I’m thinking of starting Falls the Shadow tonight after just finishing Burned by Ellen Hopkins.
        Thanks! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That completely makes sense! That’s why I shouldn’t go to the library, my pile by my bed is massive. But there are so many other good books I don’t own!!
        I hope you went to bed at some point 😛 I haven’t read either of those, are they good?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Haha I understand that problem completely! I did, after doing more reading than I probably should have though – I just can’t stop sometimes! I really liked Burned and I’m only 40 pages into Falls the Shadow so it’s too soon to tell, but I think I’m really going to like it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Exactly! My blog does end up a little neglected though… I finally caught up on all my reviews, so I have a lot ready to be posted. That’s the one bad thing about reading a lot! Hopefully we can agree on Burned, unlike If I Stay and We Were Liars 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      8. That’s definitely true! I try to review each book I finish reading either the day of, but it’s usually the day after. I like having a bit of time to reflect on it rather than write a review in a daze because I’ve just finished it and the ending was on my mind. I really hope so, have you read other books by Ellen Hopkins? 🙂

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      9. At least you ended up reviewing them all! You definitely should, she’s an author I think everyone should try reading. Her writing style might not be for everyone, but I really love it and I hope you do too when you get around to reading it 🙂

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      10. I know she’s on my TBR somewhere… But that list gets longer and longer every day! Then I buy some that weren’t on the list, or I read the first one in a series and have to add all the rest… It just gets too complicated! 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      11. That’s a really good idea. There’s a lot of series that I’ve started and I never got around to finishing. Those are also on my list. But the thing I hate most is reading a book and not realising it has a series two years later when the other books are published and then I have to go back and read the first book all over again because I’ve forgotten everything! Oh, the problems of being a book nerd 😉

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      12. Yes, that’s the worst!! That’s what I’m doing with the Mortal Instruments. I did know it was a series (I’m not totally dumb :P) but didn’t read the rest. I had to re-read it, and now I’m finally reading City of Ashes! It can be just as bad when you do know it’s a series, but the next book doesn’t come out for another year, and then you’ve forgotten what happens when it comes out. Or worse, you forget it’s release date and don’t get it until another year later!

        Liked by 1 person

      13. That’s so good, I love TMI and TID. I can’t wait for the new Shadowhunter series to come out! Ugh, I totally hate that too! Funny story – I was on a holiday in China when Allegiant was released and because there were no English book stores there that I could find, I was so desperate to read it that I resorted to downloading it and because I don’t like reading on a screen, I printed out the entire book! It was worth it though. So that’s another problem with being so addicted to the series that you have to do something like that!
        And I finished Allegiant on the way back from The Great Wall of China and was sobbing my eyes out on the tourist bus! Ahh, the memories… 😉

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      14. I couldn’t have been more devastated with the ending and I really didn’t like Veronica Roth for a while after she did that to us, but I understand why she did that now and I forgive her, even though she broke my heart into tiny little pieces 😉

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      15. I know, but I really like his arrogance and his witty remarks always make me laugh! Dorky guys are the best though and most of the time I fall hopelessly in love with them 😉 I love Simon, just not to be with Clary because she has Jace 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      16. I know, that’s one of my favourite things about him. I admit that he can be cold sometimes and there are times where he really frustrates me, but I love him nonetheless! You’ll have to keep me updated on how far you are in the series 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      17. I just re read the first one actually! I really liked the plot, but did you notice all the characters are the same? Tessa is Clary, Jace is Will, Jem is Alec, Jessamine is Isabelle… I really wanted to get around to the rest, but it just frustrated me that they were all the same!!

        Liked by 1 person

      18. I’d read City of Bones and Clockwork Angel ages ago around the same time, and I’ve re read them both recently. But TMI seems better, so I’ll go with that one first, even though I know I shouldn’t 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I was eagerly waiting this post when you mentioned that you would be reviewing it soon because I knew you didn’t like it. I loved it, though I have to agree with you about the fact that I’m still confused as to whose child is whose lol! Great review, nonetheless. I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award too 🙂 ^

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Haha, I’ve never picked up this book and now that I read your review, I’m even happier that I decided to spend my time reading other books. I’ve read a few books where the lines were spread out, as if to be poetry, and it always struck me wrong, too. It definitely can get irritating after a while, lol.

    Great review! It’s always more fun to read the critical ones. 😉

    Brittany @ http://www.spacebetweenthespines.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ugh, yes! I normally like disjointed, stream-of-conscious writing, but it was just annoying here. I couldn’t keep track of any of the characters either, and as a result, I didn’t care about any of them, and as a result of THAT, the ending didn’t affect me at all. I was so disappointed. 😦

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by my “Before I Read Skyscraping” post!

    Like

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