Review – We Were Liars

Posted October 5, 2016 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of We Were Liars by E. LockhartWe Were Liars, E. Lockhart

It’s been a while since I picked this up, encouraged by the rave reviews of some of my YA reading friends. It’s not in one of my primary genres, being arguably totally non-fantastical (depending on how you interpret one particular aspect of the story), and so I found myself putting it off. I’m also not usually a fan of stylistic choices like running sentences over several lines, as often used in this book, so once I realised that was a feature… well, I was put off.

In the end, I found it a compelling enough read; not, as I expected, my favourite sort of book, but well put together and giving tantalising hints all the way through, asking you to slowly assemble the pieces of the puzzle and figure out the plot. The exhortation to, “If anyone asks you how it ends, lie” is justified, though I like spoilers (and am conscious of that), so I checked reviews and went into it knowing what was up. That way, I got to see how the structure slowly unfolded the story.

The draw of the book is mostly the unreliable narrator and that mystery, though I can see people enjoying the style too — there are sometimes some very dramatic, vivid images from the narrator, violent metaphors which show the truth of what she’s feeling even though she outwardly smiles, lies and carries on. Sometimes that was a little too dramatic for my tastes.

Being out of my usual genre, I suspect that’s probably partly why I have a more lukewarm response to the book, but if it sounds interesting to you, it’s probably worth picking up and giving it a go. But I did find the stylistic stuff very annoying, just a warning… enjambment is for poetry, in my view. But I’m cranky that way.

Rating: 3/5

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