Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Rating: 4/5 Stars
I feel like I should start with a disclaimer that I did not include the writing style as a factor when rating this book. I'm not a huge fan of the fragmented writing style just because of how my brain works and what it needs in order to connect the dots, and I didn't feel like it was fair to give this book 2 or 3 stars because I loved everything about it but the writing style. I'm trying to separate my feelings about the writing style and my feelings about the story, since I know that some people love the whole fragments thing.
Review disclaimed. (Not even sure that's how you use that word but whatever I'm going with it)
So this book required me to go out of my comfort zone a little bit. I mean first of all I had to walk to the OTHER SIDE of the library (Fun fact: I walked to the science fiction/fantasy side out of habit and had to be pointed in the other direction. That's how frequently I venture away from "my side" of the library) And secondly I read a book that was NOT science fiction or fantasy. Putting sci-fi/fantasy aside, my next favorite genres are mystery, crime, and horror (can't watch scary movies by Stephen King books are okay for some reason?) so it wasn't like I was reading romance or anything, but it was still abnormal for me. Also it was like 200 pages shorter than my normal read. My books are normally 400-1000 pages, and this was a whopping like 220 pages. That said... I really liked it!
The first part of the book is confusing as heck. I had no idea where I was, who was speaking, what was going on, any of that. And what I didn't know when reading this part (it makes sense in the middle/end of the book but it's not a spoiler so... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ) is that there is an actual purpose behind how the beginning of this book is structured. The fragments have a purpose, it's just really hard to know/understand that until later in the book. Once you get past the first part of the book the writing becomes more "normal" and it was a lot easier to understand. And then the end gets all fragmenty again but, like I said before, there's a purpose to it and by that point in the book I realized what was going on and why the writing style was like that.
Basically this book is about this huge mystery surrounding Cadence's (the narrator) accident, but it also touches on some really important issues surrounding family dynamics and how the families on the island treat other people (and their own children). There were two things that I really liked about this book, but they are so different from each other that it's almost hard to imagine that they come from the same book.
So I made a list-ish thing because lists.
1. The plot. Specifically the ending. I pride myself in being able to tell when plot twists are coming pretty easily (except in A Song of Ice and Fire because the plot twists are insane in that thing) but when the ending came I just sat there in shock for a good minute or so. The book was like "turn left here" and I was like nope I'm gonna turn right because I'm SO SMART but the book predicted that ahead of time and I'm having a meltdown as I type this because I still feel so betrayed/shocked. Basically if you think you know what's going on in the book YOU DON'T.
2. The issues it talked about. The whole thing about Gat, the double speak that everyone on that entire island used, how the parents treated the Liars (which was just so messed up)... during some of these scenes I was honestly disgusted at the behavior of the adults. I really don't want to say anything more than I already have because it would get really spoiler-y but it was messed up.
This book was a really quick read, and I would definitely recommend it! The fragment writing wasn't my favorite thing, but it was a price I was willing to pay for the story.