How do you review a book like We Were Liars (Goodreads | Amazon)? This is the question I've been asking myself for a couple of weeks. How do I review this book? Of course it's good. It's REALLY good. You've seen other people's reviews and you know how I feel about E. Lockhart.
But this book is something else entirely. It's not light and fluffy with hidden depths like the Ruby Oliver series. This books depths are obvious from the start, deep, mysterious, aching with secrets that need to be told.
The main character is painfully fragile, her memories missing and mind broken from experiences she can't remember. And since this book is told through Cady's eyes, we know nothing more than she does. As readers, we vividly experience the confusion and longing to discover what she can't remember.
I'm amazed at the way E. Lockhart turned a bunch of spoiled rich kids, the Sinclairs who vacation yearly on a private island, into sympathetic, complex characters. The prestige of their family name defines, gives them opportunity yet limits them all at the same time. The characters Cady, Mirren, Johnny and Gat (who is the outlier, as a non-Sinclair quasi-step cousin Indian boy), become real throughout the book. E. Lockhart shows you who they are through Cady's eyes.
The writing is elegant and haunting. It reads like the interior of Cady's fractured mind, with broken up sentences and thoughts that repeat numerous times throughout the novel. While it may look imperfect, it's not. It's a reflection of the character and the story, beautifully and tellingly written.
"Be normal, now. Right now.That's about all I can tell you about this book. It was hard to say even that much. Just read it. Trust me.
Because you are. Because you can be."
I received an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.