Monday, May 5, 2014

We Were Liars (Early Book Review)

Monday, May 5, 2014 9:36 PM with 19 comments

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We Were Liars

Author: e. lockhart
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Number of Pages: 240
May 13, 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.


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MY THOUGHTS:

I absolutely adore e. lockhart. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is one of my all-time favorite books, and I love the Rudy Oliver series, as well. So when I was given the chance to read an ARC of We Were Liars, I leaped at the chance. This really is one of those books that is both hard to review and one that people should be weary of reading early reviews. As such, this should be pretty brief (but you never know with me. Sometimes when I start typing...).

We Were Liars follows Cadence (Cady) Sinclair, an East Coast princess that is as blue-blooded as they come. Every summer, Cady spends the summer on her grandfather's private island alongside her mother, her two aunts, and her various cousins. Cady is the eldest Sinclair grandchild and thus heir to the family fortune. The "Liars" of the title are Cady; her cousin, Mirren; Mirren's brother, Johnny; and Johnny's friend, Gat. The four are all the same age, and so summers are called by their age: Summer eight, summer fifteen, etc. The bulk of the story takes place during summer seventeen, but the story--or the mystery--is about what happened during summer fifteen. 

It is during summer fifteen that two major things happen (all of this is early in the story) 1. Cady finds herself falling in love with Gat, the boy of Indian descent that spends the summers with Johnny Sinclair, and 2. Cady is involved in an accident that has left her with a traumatic brain injury and debilitating migraines. I'll be honest, I figured out the big reveal pretty early on, but I was intrigued by the how of it all and the book easily held my attention even though I guessed what was going on from almost the beginning.

We Were Liars is very different from e. lockhart's earlier books. While the Ruby Oliver series deals with some serious issues and occasionally dips into a melancholy tone, this book was darker than her usual style. I loved the look at an old blue-blood family. I've always loved stories that focus on old money East Coast families. I don't know why, but I LOVE hearing about ivy-covered schools and powerful families. The Sinclairs are the epitome of this. Harris Sinclair, is the patriarch has three daughters: Penny, Carrie, and Bess, and is lost now that he is a widower. 

The Sinclair daughters were sunburnt and blessed. Tall, merry, and rich, those girls were like
princesses in a fairy tale. They were known throughout Boston, Harvard Yard, and 
Martha's Vineyard for their cashmere cardigans and grand parties. They were made
for legends. Made for princes and Ivy League schools, ivory statues and majestic houses. 
Throughout the novel there are echoes of King Lear--intentional, I'm sure. King Lear is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays and I loved the different allusions. I loved the writing in general. It's flower-y, but not overly so. In many ways it reads like the fairy tale. The rhythm of it is almost hypnotic. It is very quickly-paced which I loved. I was going through a bit of a slump when I picked this up, and a fast-paced, slim mystery was exactly what the book doctor ordered. 

I'm not going to say any more about this book. If you are a fan of e. lockhart, I would highly recommend, but be prepared for something quite different than her usual offerings. If you like mysteries, I would highly recommend. If you like old money, I would highly recommend. If you like words, I would highly recommend. So, yeah. Read it.  

*I received an advanced reader's copy of this novel from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review. All quotes were taken from the ARC and are subject to change in the final edition.*

19 comments:

  1. Hmmmmm I am intrigued!! I'll keep an eye out for this one - thanks for the review!!

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    1. You should. Intriguing is the perfect word for it. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Awesome review! I really enjoyed this book as well (Lockhart's writing is fantastic), but I wasn't as blown away as I thought I was going to be. Shockingly, this is the first Lockhart novel I have read and I was definitely impressed with her writing….I should check out the The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks!

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    1. I wouldn't say I was blown away, but I did enjoy it and it was exactly the book I needed to read. The Disreputable History is seriously one of my all-time favs. You should definitely give it a try--it's completely different from this. Thanks, Chris!

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  3. I have read anything by this author, but I am really excited to start with this one!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. I hope you love it. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Great review! This was my first E.Lockhart book, but I am definitely planning to read more novels by her after reading this one, since I really liked the writing style of her.

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    1. I love her writing style, too. The Disreputable History is my fav--just FYI. I'm glad you liked this as well. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I keep reading mixed reviews about this book, but I think I'll end up reading it. Maybe when I forget that there's some big twisty ending because that expectation seems to be troublesome for some people. I've never read this author before, though. ~Pam

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    1. Even if you don't start with this one, I would definitely recommend picking something up from this author. The Disreputable History is my fav. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. I haven't read any of Lockhart's books, but I have heard good things about this book. I think I'll give it a shot. :) Great review, Natalie!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it if you do pick it up. Thanks, Ana!

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  7. This book has so a wide array of feels it seems! I think I might pick this up eventually, it has definitely peaked my interest. I have never read E.Lockhart before so I might have to try a different book first.

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

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    1. She's an awesome writer. My favorite is The Disreputable History, but the Ruby Oliver series is great, too--the first book is The Boyfriend List. This does seem to be hit or miss, but I really liked it. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. I keep forgetting I have a review copy of this one and need to read it! I like words so I guess I need to read it! ;) I haven't read anything by her so this will be my first, and no expectations so yay!

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    1. Oh, I hope you love it. She is one of my favorite authors, and this book is different from her normal fare, so even if you don't enjoy it don't let it deter you from reading some of her earlier offerings. I'm excited to hear what you think!

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  9. Yes, yes, YES! This is such an excellent novel - but I expect no less from E, she is one talented lady ;)

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

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  10. Yeah, it definitely sounds like one that's hard to review, I haven't read it yet, since I have a copy coming from Hot Key books for a read-along this Saturday, so I can't wait to actually be in on this thing already. I haven't read any of her other books (gasp!) but I do kind of like darker reads, and the whole thing just sounds like one big mystery that's going to play havoc with the emotions. I don't think I'm ready for it :(.

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  11. You know, I read Frankie because you'd mentioned before how much you love that book, but I just didn't love it. However, the fact that you say this one is so much darker intrigues me. I have this. I should have already read it. But I'm afraid. I'm afraid I'll be the black sheep. :(

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Hello, there! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I read each and every one and will do my best to respond--usually on your blog instead of on mine. I will, however, always answer direct questions. Due to serious time restraints, this blog is now an award free zone, but I appreciate the thought!