Sunday, July 17, 2016

Book Review: We Were Liars

Book: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, mystery
Awards: Bookworm Best Award for Best Fiction (2014), Goodreads Choice Award for Young Adult Fiction (2014), The Magnolia Award for 9-12 (2016)
My rating: 4/5 stars
One-word description: Truthful

What an odd word to describe a book with the word Liars in the title, right? How could a book like that possibly be truthful? Allow me to explain: fiction can show truth through narrative, even made up narrative. Even though in the final pages of the book, readers may or may not be given the truth, this story reveals some truths about life, love, and yes, even truth itself. 

Even after I first read the premise, this book somehow never made it to my TBR list. But I checked it out from my library anyway. It surprised me. I didn’t expect much from it, but wow, I’m impressed. I don’t usually read contemporary fiction, and the sophisticated nature of the family originally made me think I wouldn’t like the characters any more than I liked those in The Great Gatsby.

But I was wrong. The characters were rather interesting, and they felt like real people. In some ways I could relate with Cadence. I may not come from a rich and sophisticated family, but I’ve been blessed with the places I’ve been. But in other ways I couldn’t. She suffers from amnesia and intense migraines, which makes her more sympathetic and more real.

Another aspect I like about this book were all the literary references, which gave the story more depth and helped me understand the characters more. The most memorable reference is Gat’s comparison to Heathcliff, and while I didn’t particularly enjoy Wuthering Heights, and the reference doesn’t fit in some ways, it does in others.

As for the ending, well, I can say I didn’t see it coming. But I spent most of my time enjoying the book and not trying to piece it all together.

I gave this book 4/5 stars because it made me reflect on my own life but it wasn’t long enough (which was in another way, a blessing because that meant I had time to finish it). The writing style was also a little jarring at first, but it became more clear as the book progressed, and fit in with Cady. I’d recommend this book to anybody who enjoys YA or contemporary fiction. 


Let’s chat! Has We Were Liars made it to your to TBR (To Be Read) List yet? If you’ve read it already, what did you think? Which contemporary YA fiction books would you recommend?

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