5-star-book, e. lockhart, mystery, realism, romance, thriller, we were liars, young adult

E. Lockhart: We Were Liars – review

Author: E. Lockhart
Publish Date: 13 May 2014
Genre: Realism, romance, mystery, thriller
Audience: Young adult

5 stars

This is my second read off the Zoella Book Club reading list, and MY GOD was it incredible. Both the reviews and blurb made me extremely excited to discover the mystery that lies within this book, and it did not disappoint.

The first thing that must be praised is the superb writing. Lockhart weaves unique metaphors into heart-breaking moments, leaving you wondering what is real and what is not. This distinctive way of personifying events is unlike any other I have seen in YA novels, and adds a mysterious yet emotive depth. In addition, the increasingly frequent line breaks add pauses and repetition, creating an intense amount of emotion to strung situations. I am aware that the writing style is one that many have found infuriating, but I absolutely adored it as I felt it added an extra layer or meaning and oddness to the unusual atmosphere.

Secondly, it was very easy to form huge attachments to the side characters without knowing a great deal about their background or personalities. They felt incredibly important, despite not having massive amounts of dialogue, and it was easy to gauge a sense of their priorities and motives. These side characters weren’t exactly relatable as such due to the setting of the novel, but they were delicately and sensitively handled.

The sheer immense mystery and tension that features in ‘We Were Liars’ is something that I think is severely absent from current YA novels. Throughout the whole book I was theorising the ending, and the characters’ refusal to let the main character know what had happened was so infuriating that I was desperate to reach the end. Speaking of the ending: IT WAS INCREDIBLE. As always, I will give no spoilers, but I simply cannot believe I did not suspect that. Looking back on events, it is so blindly obvious, and I think a re-read will be needed to spot everything that I missed! Having expressed my frustration at myself, I must say it was especially pleasing when everything clicked into place, and a satisfaction that I haven’t experienced with a novel in a while.

The use of fairy tales to reflect the current situation was also something that I found unique and enchanting. It added an extra layer of surrealism, and fitted with the plot’s intertwining themes of beauty and tragedy. In regards to the overall theme, I loved how the idyllic set-up slowly becomes corrupted as it corresponds with the main character’s perceptions of reality.

I am aware that this review is slightly vague in its details , but I am making a conscious effort not to give away a single thing that might spoil the plot as this is a novel that requires you to go in completely blind – hence why I did not even mention that characters’ names! In summary, ‘We Were Liars’ is an insanely addictive novel; unlike anything I’ve ever read before, it entwines an intense mystery with typical YA themes, creating a unique and unforgettable reading experience. In other words, “there’s not even a Scrabble word for how I’m feeling right now”

Next read: ‘On The Other Side’ by Carrie Hope Fletcher



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