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Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were LiarsTitle: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Series:  Standalone
Pages:  225
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Date of Publication: 15th May, 2014
Source: Publisher for review*
Synopsis from Goodreads:

We are the Liars.

We are beautiful, privileged and live a life of carefree luxury.

We are cracked and broken.

A story of love and romance.

A tale of tragedy.

Which are lies?

Which is truth?

My Thoughts:
I knew very little about We Were Liars before I read it. Really, all I knew was that this book is the current big thing and so when I got an email about the live read that took place this weekend, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy if possible to take part. I actually think that knowing relatively little made me enjoy it even more, since I literally had no idea what I was walking into, and I think that the mystery and slight uneasiness you feel when reading since nothing quite seems to sit right and fit together nicely, only adds to the reading experience.

As I mentioned, I read We Were Liars as part of a global live read along that happened on Twitter, using the hashtag #liarsliveread. If you head on over to Twitter and search that you'll get a whole load of tweets about people's reactions to the story as they reached certain pages. Reading along with the rest of the world was great fun and I loved seeing other people having slight 'what the hell is going here?!' moments at exactly the same time as I did. So perhaps my review is a little biased based on that, but whatever :P The book would have been FAB anyway.

E. Lockhart throws us straight in at the deep end with We Were Liars. Cadence, our main character, has been in an accident but we don't know what happened or where or why. We're kept in the dark for a while as the story builds up and while it was frustrating not knowing what happened, it only made me more eager to read on in order to find out. The plot is SUPER TWISTY and I frequently found myself a little bit lost as to what the hell was going on. It's so easy to read and I understood everything, it just didn't make much sense, plot-wise. It is called, We Were LIARS, after all, so it's really difficult to work out what's the truth and what's just another lie. It definitely makes for really interesting reading!

There are A WHOLE LOT of characters in We Were Liars. Like, a lot. The Sinclair family is huge and it did take me quite a long time to get to grips with all them and who was related to whom (well they're (almost) all related, but they're cousins and aunts and grandchildren so it took a while to work out who they all were in relation to each other, if that makes sense.) and where they all lived etc. Luckily though, there's a handy map and family tree at the beginning of the novel that I could keep referring back to, which made things a lot easier (and let's face it - maps and family trees just make books BETTER, right? Right! ;) )

I really liked Cadence. It took a while for me to warm to her, since she most definitely has a flair for the dramatic (which is immediately seen on page five - WOH.) and at first I found it a little grating. As the book went on however I warmed to her and began to understand her and why she was that way. I felt I could connect to her pain because she suffers from severe migraines, and if you were following me on Twitter about a year and a half ago you may know that I also have been diagnosed with migraines and stress-induced tension headaches. They're actually very manageable now but every so often I'll get a migraine that'll knock me out for a day or two. They can be agonisingly painful and while I would not exactly describe it as someone bringing an axe to my head and cracking open my skull as Cadence does, I could completely sympathise with the frustration and the pain she must have been feeling since, like me, there was nothing wrong with her brain physically and it's all psychological, which only makes it worse since you know that it's only YOU that's causing these headaches yet you cannot seem to escape them. So while she was very dramatic, I could totally understand and that made me feel closer to her and root for her even more.

I don't want to say too much in a bid to not give anything away, but the end is like WHAT THE...?! I've seen this described as mind-f and yeah, I would totally agree with that. When you finally reach Part Five, entitled Truth, just take a deep breath and brace yourself for the last thing you're expecting. It's a shocker, let me tell you! It's written so well though that it totally works. Completely.

Overall I was surprised and confused by We Were Liars but in the best way possible. It played with my mind and totally threw me with all the lies and deceit that by the end, it's almost impossible to determine what on Earth is going on. However, it's so cleverly done and so well written that it's not weird or disjointed in the slightest, as can sometimes happen with an overly complicated plot. Now, I recommend that you go get yourself a copy of We Were Liars as soon as you can, as you certainly do not want to miss out on this fantastic page turner.

*Huge thanks to Hot Key Books for sending me this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the novel. 


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