I really enjoyed most of E. Lockhart's Ruby Oliver series. (The first book is actually a favorite of mine.) I loved the writing in The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, but had some issues with the execution of the story and characterization. I was nervous going into We Were Liars, Lockhart's latest YA, as so many people have sung its praises and loved it. And again, I find myself torn.
These thoughts are on an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.
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.
I am calling these "thoughts" because it isn't really a review. We are Liars is really impossible to discuss without spoilers. And this shouldn't be spoiled. I'm very much convinced of that. There will be people utterly shocked by the turn of some events. Some, like me, are going to know what is happening from the beginning. (No one spoiled me. I figured it out.) Those two reading experiences are very different. I can see that. And boy would I love to be a part of a discussion of this book with a room full of people who have read it and experienced it differently, because I am eager to see what everyone's different reactions.
One thing I do know is the book is gorgeously written. Cady, the narrator, has a beautiful voice. It is a perfect balance of haughty, terrified, sarcastic, mournful, desperate, and broken. I love the way Lockhart used fables and fairytales through the story too, just briefly and in snatches. Cadence is piecing together a story about her life, a story that will explain her broken world and why she is the way she is. Each tale she uses to attempt to illustrate her situation is full of truth and full of lies at the same time.
There are some aspects of the book that didn't sit perfectly with me, but it's one that anyone who works in the world of YA literature in any capacity should read. It is already being talked about everywhere, and I have a strong suspicion that will only increase as the year continues.
I read an e-galley received from the publisher, Delacorte Press, via Netgalley. We Were Liars goes on sale May 13th.
Feel free to post spoiler discussions in the comments. DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS IF YOU WANT TO AVOID SPOILERS. I really am curious as to how everyone else read this.