We Were Liars – E.Lockhart

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Once again at the recommendation of others I picked up this book, only to find for me it didn’t live up to the supposed expectations and this is often a rare occurrence.

We Were Liars tells the story of a wealthy family that always appears formal, strong and moral. It focuses strongly on four teenagers who gather with the rest of the family on an island each summer and spend their days together. Again this is another book where I have to be careful with what I say as it could spoil the book for any potential readers.

The characters throughout the novel mostly come across as snobbish and at the start I found them unbearable due to their disregard for others feelings and frivolous attitude towards money. The main character Cady who the reader seems to learn more about starts to show some redeeming features as the plot continues. The plot spans out over a few years so it was interesting to see the characters develop with age and grow in understanding as they watch the wealth and accompanying snobbery unfold around them.

The majority of the plot takes place on the family island which is showered in expensive products, ornaments and styles. Again as the plot continues it’s interesting to watch the settings change and with it the attitudes of the characters.

This novel is mostly known for its writing style as it’s constructed in a poetic, pseudo-literary style. It was inventive and unlike anything I had read before, however after a few chapters I started to find it made the flow of the novel disjointed and slightly irritating. In saying this, towards the end of the novel I started to understand more why this style was used, although that’s not to say I didn’t struggle to get to a point where I could appreciate its effect.

Overall I found the plot a little sad, for me it was a continuous downhill spiral of emotions. As a reader I like to experience an array of different novels however I don’t feel putting myself though something melancholic as an enjoyable reading experience. Most novels will have points of happiness or at least the illusion of good things ahead, yet for me this plot lacked hope or the ability for change on a larger scale. As I always say with books, this is just my opinion and doesn’t mean other readers will feel the same way. Every book provokes different experiences so don’t be put off by me, give it a go because regardless of how I felt at the end, the journey to get there was worth it.

Despite giving this book 3 out of 5 stars on goodreads I would recommend it, it’s an individual read in its own right. It’s true what many reviews are saying that if you want to read this book don’t research it, just pick it up and start. It’s not a long novel, the chapters are short but structured in such a way that they provoke thought and contemplation therefore they feel longer. I understand the brilliance of this novel and the unique style in which it was written. To an extent I did enjoy it, however I think for me it will be a once-only read.

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