Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Title: We Were Liars
Author: Emily Lockhart
Published: May 13th 2014
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

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.

I have not stumbled upon a negative review for this one yet. Yeah, a few DNF mentions among my GR friends, but mostly just “mind-blown”, “so good”, “loved it”, “brilliant”—these are the words and phrases come to mind from the reviews and thoughts that I have seen. After reading Tanja’s review and wanting to get out of a huge slump, I really wanted to give it a try.

“Do not accept an evil you can change.”

The writing is not for everyone. It reminded me of Tahereh Mafi’s writing in Shatter Me just without the strikethroughs. I didn’t understand why it had to be that way, but when I read the ending? I understood. I understand everything, and yet I understand nothing. The scenery was done beautifully. I could almost feel the warm sun on my skin, hear the children play outside, hear the water run to the shore and feel the tension under my skin from the scenes with all the grown-ups.

The saddest thing is that I can’t tell you anything about what happens after you hit the 70% or even before that. I can tell you nothing about how it will [probably] make you feel. I had emotions. Emotions so big that I started crying (Happy? Sad? Frustrated? Satisfied?) when I told about my feels to Nick (who DNF-d the book) and Tanja (who gave it 5 stars). This book moved me, and the metaphors, the fairy tales, the characters and their actions—gosh, it’s all such a mind-f that I still can’t wrap my head around all of it.

It’s a book you do not want to be spoiled for you. It’s a book that will make you swoon, but want to stab your pillow. It’s a book that will either bore or fascinate you. It’s a book that has a shock value (unless you’re Nick who figured out everything without even having read the ending). It’s a book that will leave you speechless. It’s a book you can’t talk about with people who haven’t read it, because a) you don’t want to spoil them; b) one who hasn’t read it, simply just cannot even begin to understand.

I appreciate what this novel represented and how it made me think. I thought about this one for quite some time and still do weeks after reading it. It’s not for everyone, I can say that. It’s not for everyone and not everyone will appreciate this book. But it does deserve the chance to be read. If you have read this book and would like to know my thoughts and feels, head over to this page and read my spoiler-hidden conversation with Nick and Tanja. Sorry that this review is so vague, just cannot help it. You need to experience it all by yourself and we can discuss later. I'll be waiting!

Overall rating: 4.1 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★★

Meet the author

Website | Tumblr | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. I have seen a couple of negative reviews for this one, but it's all so mysterious. I want to know what happens in the end, but I don't want to be shattered either. I've read about a million mysteries (mysteries were my first love in reading) so I have a feeling I'd figure out the plot like Nick did. have me very intrigued, Siiri! Great non-spoilery review! :)

  2. You know what, I kind of hate myself that I didn't like this as much as I would want to. I mean, it has the making of a mindblowing novel: unreliable narrator, weird writing, WTF mystery. I hate that I spoiled myself with this one, not because I was told what's going to happen, but because I figured out what will happen even before the reveal. It sucks when I get like that. So I guess it was pretty predictable at least for me but I know others, like you, will definitely like it for what it brought to the table. Sigh. I still can't believe my brain cheated me out of having fully experience the mind-f of We Were Liars. That's why I am so glad you liked this, Siiri! Fab review! :)

  3. HA, means you haven't read my review on Goodreads (or my blog.) ;) I absolutely didn't like it but I'm glad you did. I agree, the writing is not for everyone. I actually liked that book Shatter Me because of its atmosphere and it was the first time I stumbled across that kind of writing so yeah liked it. ^^ But not in this book unfortunately. It's fun that you gave this book 4.1 stars. LOL It's the first time I see that. XD Fab honest review, Siiri!

  4. Awesome review, Siiri! Thisis definitely making me want to try it out now. I haven't read it yet, but I did hear about the unreliable narrator and the unique writing style, and I guess the latter made me somehow want to avoid it. But like you said, it's really just something you need to read yourself to even begin to understand the whole picture. So I will! I definitely, definitely will!

    Faye at The Social Potato

  5. Ooooh. I had read this one already and... I have the same opinions with Nick. I didn't like this book but I'm so glad you did!:) I figured out the ending before I even read it and it was such a dull read for me. :( Anyway, i agree that it's definitely not for everyone. Lovely review, Siiri! <3

  6. Okay, I am asking Nick for spoilers. I have a sneaking suspicion about what happened but not sure. YOU CANNOT STOP ME. I actually love the sound of the writing in this one but... I think like Nick, I am going to figure this one out really quickly. I mean I figure out the weirdest things quickly and so does Nick (I JUST FOUND THIS OUT DURING OUR BUDDY READ).




    Ackh. I am glad you sorted out your feels for this one, Siiri! :D I know you were in a little bit of a pickle a while ago :D

    Wonderful review hon, even though you thought it would be totally cool to make this review vague and not give me any spoilers. :P

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  7. This is a completely beautiful review and I totally appreciate how you made it vague for everyone! It's definitely one that can't be spoiled and if anything, these sorts of reviews made me even more curious. I thought it was a really great, shocking and poetic read! Lovely review hun x

  8. But isn't it a ridiculously hard book to review, right?! URGH. It gave me grey hair. I was really worried when I started because I hyped myself up HUGELY, but I did absolutely 1000% love it. And by "Love" I mean totally like "rip my heart out and stomp on it and laugh". I DID NOT SEE THAT ENDING COMING. OMG. I also love the style! With the short choppy sentences and then the broken paragraphs and stuff? Loved. I loved that in Half Bad but I wasn't such a fan in Shatter Me, *shrugs* Ignite Me? Yes yes, but then there was Warner....OKAY I DIGRESS. I do really love We Were Liars. Definitely on my best-of-the-year list.

  9. Very vague review indeed! Well, now I'm left to decide whether or not I want to read this before If I Stay. I like mysteries and it's really nice when you go into a book not knowing what to expect. I'm sure I'm not as good at predicting stuff like Nick, so hopefully, I'll get blown away by this book :D *fingers crossed*

  10. Oh yay! I'm glad you finally figured out your feelings. I have to admit, I'm with Jenn. I love how vague your review. It's as mysterious as the blurb for the book. :D
    Ha! Anyways, you're right in that, this is one of those books people will strongly dislike or love. Unfortunately, I was in the former group and yes, it was so predictable to me and the writing wasn't for me. I knew right away that something was up with the girl because of the way her POV was written, so it was easy to predict.
    I'm glad you had such strong feelings over this book. Now, you better read Dangerous Girls when it arrives because it's going to freaking blow you away because of how good it is and you'll realize why this book was mediocre to me! :P
    Fab review, Siiri! :D

  11. You definitely have me curious Siiri! Sometimes books like this - ones that are written in a slightly different format or style - work really well for me, their unusualness keeping me riveted until the very end, but other times it's the exact opposite and I just can't settle in. Given Nick DNF'd it and Tanja gave it 5 stars, clearly this book is capable of inspiring both reactions! I'm definitely intrigued by the end, I want to know what happens and why everything about the writing suddenly made sense:)

  12. This is such a hard book to review because, obviously, you want to tell readers as much as you can about the book, but at the same time you don't want to spoil it for everyone. I think you did a wonderful job balancing that out though Siiri! :)

    Like you mentioned, this book seems to definitely have gotten reactions on both sides of the reading spectrum. I think that definitely has to do with the writing style (it's definitely not for everyone!) and Candace as a protagonist. However, if you are able to connect to both those aspects (as Tanja, you, and I were!) this definitely has the potential to be an amazing story.

    Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf


  13. I really want to know what the big secret is. I tried listening to the audio. Heard about 3 hours of it and was so freaking bored. This one was a DNF for me. I do want to know what all the fuss is about. Glad to see you loved it!

  14. Yeah, this one is really hard to review and yeah I live to tease people. I really didn't know how to do my review differently, as this book is not really usual. But you did an amazing job girl, as it's hard not to mention or spoil things here. I'm so glad that this book made you feel so much and that despite the fact that the ending is not something you usually enjoy you still liked it that much. SIMPLY SAID - I'M OVER THE MOON! I'll make you read some other favorites of mine. Just wait ;)))

    1. Forgot to say - "You need to experience it all by yourself and we can discuss later. I'll be waiting!" ME TOO!! ME TOO! :)

  15. My gosh, I have no idea what to think of this book! I have no idea whether I'd like it or not, but you have me so intrigued, Siiri. Fantastic review!

  16. This is a beautifully written review, Siiri! I think you handled the difficulty of talking about this story perfectly. This book also worked so well for me. I did figure out the end - but I was close to being there, and it really just made everything more interesting to think about. I love how you describe your mixed up emotions. And I agree, this isn't going to be for everyone, but you kind of just have to read it to decide if it's for you or not. I'm glad I gave it a chance and I'm happy you did too <3

  17. I keep meaning to pick this one up.

  18. Beautiful review, I actually have this and need to crack it open. I love the Shatter Me series and think the writing is beautiful so you have me even more excited and curious based on your comments.

  19. The writing does remind me of Tahereh Mafi's too! I liked the writing at some times and didn't like it other times. Your review is lovely as usual! The more vague, the more surprising and unexpected the read! Unfortunately I didn't like this, but I'm glad you did :) There were some great metaphors and total "feels" overload. Wonderful review!!

    Rachel @A Perfection Called Books

  20. Glad that this book moved you! Definitely an emotional read, especially at the end. And agreed about the scenery - it was so well described!

    Lovely review :D