When you read a book with such a hyped ending, with quotes in the front like…
‘Liars details the summers of a girl who harbors a dark secret, and delivers a satisfying but shocking twist ending’
‘The ending? Shhhh. Not telling (But it’s a doozy)’
how could it possibly live up to its reputation?
I completely expected We Were Liars to be a victim of its own reviews. The ending might be quite clever, but it would never be as good as the reviewers would have you believe. And as I’m reading it I’m thinking ‘oh I see where this is going, very clever E Lockhart, but not quite clever enough.’
But I never came even close to the truth.
The twist was proper hand-over-mouth, yelling-at-people-to-shut-up-when-they-tried-to-talk-to-me-while-I-was-reading, I-never-in-a-million-years-saw-that-coming awesome. And yet, like all the best plot twists, I can’t believe I missed it!
Having just finished watching the BBC adaptation of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie it’s nice to know that a book can still properly surprise you. And Then There Were None has been on my TBR list for years because of the hype about its ending but to be honest I was incredibly underwhelmed by the whole thing (apart from Aiden Turner, obviously). And I know you can’t judge a book on its TV adaptation and I could be kicked out of the bookish community for the mere suggestion but I can’t think of anyway that that ending could have been written that would have given it a level of surprise and impact even remotely comparable to We Were Liars.
So I guess you’ve got the message now that the endings pretty good? Time to talk about the actual content of the book then.
We Were Liars is the story of Cadence, the oldest grandchild of the Sinclairs, an incredibly wealthy family who spend every summer on their own private island off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. A blissful, untroubled life until the summer of her 15th year of which all she remembers is what she’s been told – that she went swimming late at night, hit her head and had to be taken to hospital. Two years later she returns to the island to try to piece together what happened.
As well as a great plot the book is also beautifully written. The way Cady’s anxiety and depression were described was beautiful. Something that really impressed me from the other E Lockhart book I’ve read, The Boyfriend List, was how well she can in so few words describe this intense suffering and make you really feel it along with the character.
However, and with me there’s always a however, why oh why does there always have to be a love story? Although I suppose I can see how it added that extra dimension to reasons to suspect people, it’s the love story that drags this book kicking and screaming back to the YA genre. And it’s that that stops me recommending it to every single person I know. Because no matter how good the plot is underneath it you first have to wade through all the mushy teenage romance.
Oh my god I sound old.