About the Book
We Were Liars
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Pub Date: May 13, 2014
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.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
We Were Liars is reminiscent of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and A Diamond as Big as the Ritz or Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides. The ideas of F. Scott Fitzgerald, that wealth and ambition create the tragic downfall of the classic American rich melded together with a mysterious quality of Suicides and bled into the pages of this book.
It was also an allegory, a modern-day interpretation of King Lear. I am really glad that I took that Shakespeare class last year, because I was able to see this clearly and it really helped the story mean something more for me. I saw past the words on the page to the meaning of it all.
I can now see why the reviews for this book were so split — why it could be seen as a bland story or as an incredible one. With the beautiful words and tragic unraveling, I fall wholly in the latter category. This book was a mix of lyrical and poetic realism with an ethereal prose. At times, I felt like I was in another world, seeing the lives of these people played out much like a fairy tale. And then, when the surface was scratched, we could see the tinny, dull underpinnings. This wasn’t a fairy-tale: it was a bloody mess of expectations and masks and pretending to be something that it wasn’t.
I will say I figured out what was going on before I was half-way through the book (and all by myself I will add — I had no idea what the book was about going into it! I purposefully didn’t even read the synopsis). So then instead of forcing through the story to find out what was going on, I was pushing to find out if I was right (and I was). It did take a little of the mystery away, but it didn’t lessen the book. I appreciate the story that was told and I absolutely loved the way it was told.
This book was special and definitely left me thinking. For all its hype, I am glad I decided to finally pick it up and find out what all the fuss was about.