mystery-thriller, Suspense, Young Adult

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Today I visited one of my closest friends. She just came back from Australia to spend her two weeks vacation here in the Philippines. We’ve been friends for 10 years now, and I guess, you could say that she is one of the people I  genuinely think I could annoy until we are 90 years old. Haha.

So off to my review!
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 Synopsis: We Were Liars is a young adult mystery/suspense novel written by E. Lockhart published in 2014. It is told by Cadence, the main character, who is a beautiful and smart girl born from an insanely rich family. Every year, she and her cousins spend their summer in their private island. They grow close, and begin to name themselves “The Liars”. On the summer of their 15th year, a family secret was discovered and a terrible accident happened to Cadence leaving her with a gaping memory and painful migraine episodes. She then eventually uncovers what happened to her throughout the course of the book, while also unraveling a dark secret that has been kept by her family for too long.

What I think about it:

You have all the elements of a standard YA novel in this book. Young and passionate love, rebellious desires for change, a penchant for defying authority and self-discovery. Sometimes these elements, when done wrong, becomes an annoying cliché. However, the author did a great job in telling it in a refreshing and twisted way. The mystery behind Cadence memory loss isn’t dragged along and is told by a series of effective flashbacks, which I think is a very smart move by the author. Smart, in the sense that the readers becomes intensely invested in the main character and her quest in finding out the truth. I do love Cadence character. She isn’t the cook-cutter type of female protagonist. She has teenager problems, confused at times in loving a person you can’t be with, but doesn’t really whine about it because she was raised to put up a strong facade, with a mentality that love is a weakness. She isn’t perfect, she is damaged. However the journey on how she comes to terms about these imperfections about herself is written in a compelling and riveting manner. She eventually makes peace with the biggest and fatal mistake in her life that cost her family. This discovery and how she handles was, in my opinion, the most heart-warming part of the story.

As for the other characters, they weren’t as fleshed to me through out the story as I hope them to be. I felt they were skimmed through, like peripherals that gives the main character additional emotional boost. I am also a bit partial to the ending. I don’t really hate it, but I just wished the it could have been written better. I think it would also help if we knew how the other characters came to terms with what happened just as Cadence did. But I guess it was inevitable, since the story was told in Cadence’s POV, and we couldn’t possibly delve into the other characters’ psychology unless the author would written it for us.

I think if you like the Girl on the Train and Gone Girl, with the hopes of having twists like that we’ve seen in the film “A Tale of Two Sisters” (awesome psychological suspense film by the way), then this one is for you.

P.S. I’ve been doing some online window book shopping at the www.bookdepository.com, and my wishlist just keeps on growing everyday, but I can’t bring myself to buy some yet because it’s already out of the budget… DANG it..

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