Published by Delacorte Press on May 13, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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I loved We Were Liars. From the first page I was at once confused and utterly captivated. I enjoy ambiguousness at the beginning of a novel, when the author gives me a little bit of a challenge by expecting me to jump in headlong and keep up. Some people hate it, which I get. But for me it created immediate intimacy in We Were Liars; like I was suddenly immersed in Cadence Sinclair’s mind, almost mid-thought. And what a mind. Chaotic and damaged, yes, but also deeply intelligent. Things came together as the story progressed, but in a kind of sinister way, both for me as the reader and for Cadence. There’s a sense of creeping darkness that steadily built as the story progressed. So naturally I could not put it down. I read it in one afternoon.
The tension and sense of urgency developed quickly and never let up. It felt like if I just read fast enough, maybe I could stop the impending doom – which indicates a pretty powerful bit of storytelling. I think E. Lockhart is a master at building suspense in a subtle way, and I found her characters deeply flawed and also immensely lovable – in a nutshell, human. And her writing is gorgeous. Lyrical, rhythmic and challenging, it’s intensely atmospheric and almost melodic. There’s so much wordplay and imagery, somehow she manages to put words together in totally original ways. I am a huge fan, and also just a teeny bit jealous.
Add a family dynasty with lots of skeletons in the closet, epic friendships and star-crossed lovers and I was in heaven. Before the story even starts there’s a map. And a family tree. Two things that pretty much guarantee I will be up all night reading. It’s hard not to wax a little poetic about a novel that combines all of my favorite elements and is beautifully written. Simply put, We Were Liars is the best YA book I’ve read in a while. I kind of wish I hadn’t read it yet just so I could experience it again for the first time.