Time Magazine recently presented their 15 Best Books of 2014 so far and We Were Liars was included in this list. I think this quickie little synopsis is brilliant as it doesn’t give too much away but does give just the right amount to tweak your interest:
Four fast friends—three cousins plus one outsider—spend summers together on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts with their extended family, most of whom are thoroughly pickled in money and alcohol. One night Cadence, our heroine and narrator, has an accident that changes everything—but she can’t remember what happened, and nobody will tell her.
Here is another synopsis of it, perhaps shedding perhaps a wee bit more light on it for you:
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. True love. The truth. We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
We Were Liars is certainly one of the buzz books of the moment and we are quite grateful to Random House Canada for sending us a copy! It’s placed within the YA genre, which is a genre normally outside each of our reading interests, but this is one of those “crossover” stories that all may enjoy. It was a fairly quick read, certainly one you could read in a weekend. Perhaps this is why it will top many of these “Summer Reading Lists”. It’s also one of those where you cannot share too much as to how it unravels because that’s the whole fun of reading it. Many have written saying they gobbled it up in five-minutes flat or over one holiday weekend because it is one of those stories that make it difficult to put down.
While reading, I did make many comparisons to The Dinner by Herman Koch. And as much as I loathe those “If you liked “xxxx” then you’ll also want to read “xxx” type recommendations, I can draw strong parallels between the two, and indeed if you did enjoy The Dinner, We Were Liars will certainly have the same appeal. The Dinner was a book both Jackie and I loved (Elizabeth, not so much!) and while I was blown out of my seat for The Dinner, my understanding that We Were Liars was going to be similar perhaps tempered my grand enthusiasm for it ( a kind of, okay, I’ve read “this” before kind of thing). One thing is for certain, the shock and perhaps disgust for the characters and their behaviour in We Were Liars was very similar to those feelings and emotions I had for the ones in The Dinner.
Those feelings, emotions and sense of how the consequence, influence and their privilege had on certain behaviours (be they despicable or not) is what I am trying to say. So, I can’t say my jaw hit the ground when reaching the end of this one, (there were hints along the way as to how it may all come to its end), nor was I certainly not left weeping (as I’ve read other comments say) because it was that affluence and privilege of the characters and how they behaved even after the cause of the accident was revealed (to them at first, or their knowing what truly did happen) was what really irked me more than anything when finishing this story. For Cadence to slough off the depths of what happened only to say “but I was in love” and to put that first and foremost over everything that happened just drove me batty – it is the perfect teenage response/perspective to it all – but still. Argh! (I’m trying my hardest to be cagey about it, but it’s not right to reveal too much and ruin it for others.)
At any rate, the hardcopy of this book has been passed on to fellow Hoarder Jackie for her to enjoy and experience, as I was actually able to find it in audio format. And here is one where the audiobook version enhanced the overall reading experience for me. Ariadne Meyers was the perfect choice to narrate this one. She makes this journey in revealing the truth and discovering it along with Cadence, an immensely enjoyable one. 4 stars.