When a Book Completely Catches You Off Guard: “Review” of We Were Liars

16143347Title/Author: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Psychological

Published: May 13th, 2014 by Delacorte Press

Hardcover, 227 pages

How I Got This Book: Checked it out from the library

Why I Picked It Up?: Because this is a book that EVERYONE has been talking about in the weeks since this has been published

Book Jacket Blurb:

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.

Read it.”


(This will be a free-formatted post. Just FYI. And that is actually quite fitting for this novel.)

For me, this is one of those books where I sat down and started reading, and I didn’t get up until I finished it. (Granted, I did accidentally take a nap in the middle, but it wasn’t because I was bored. I was just tired!)

And this book hit me so hard. SO HARD. And it was completely unexpected.

And honestly, I can’t even really tell you WHY this book hit me so hard. Because going into it, I was expecting something crazy and unexpected. But I just don’t think I was expecting to like it as much as I did. And I definitely wasn’t expecting it to catch me completely off guard.

I read a lot of adult psychological thrillers (it is probably my favorite genre). I am always looking for YA psychological thrillers, but many of them just are not of the same caliber as some adult writers (PLEASE, if you have read some great P.T. YA books, PLEASE tell me about them!). But this book! This book was so incredibly thrilling! It was intriguing and incredibly well-written, and I didn’t want to stop reading it. Which is why I didn’t until it was over.

And then I just sat there. Completely in awe. Completely knocked over, caught off guard by how much I felt it! How real this story was to me, in that “my-life-could-never-be-like-that-but-if-it-was-WOAH” kind of way.

I will tell you a couple of secrets.
(Nothing spoilery, just things in response to some other reviews and thoughts I have read).

1. This is not just a story about rich snobby teenagers. Many reviews on Goodreads and the like have made comments to this effect. But honestly, that is not my takeaway from this book at all. Sure, the characters in this book are well-off. And yes, there is family drama regarding money. And yeah, sometimes you do want to strangle these teens for being annoying. But I honestly did not get the “rich snobby teenagers, here us roar!” vibe from this story at all. Actually, this story is about a group of teenage cousins who are kind of sick of their family. A lot of family dynamics are explored in this book, from Cady’s relationship with her mother to the drama between “who is the best daughter”, and how that trickles down to the kids. This story also explores the dynamic of cousins being best friends, which is something that occurs frequently in real life but I rarely see this type of relationship explored in books. So that was a really cool addition to this story.

2. The style of writing is not for everyone, but it was absolutely perfect for me. This book is written in what I would consider “free-verse prose.” E. Lockhart uses incomplete sentences to continue to add more to a thought or an idea. EXACTLY LIKE I DO WHEN I WRITE (i.e. look three paragraphs above). Also, sometimes her sentences
take a break like this
to put even more emphasis on a single
Some readers have found this style to be annoying. I find it to be beautiful, truthful, and real. Especially because this story is told in 1st person. There is a sense of authenticity with prose like this. There is a lot more emotion and depth to to the words written on the page. And I absolutely loved that.

Those are the two things that I have continuously seen in comments and reviews regarding this novel. So those are the two things I really wanted to address in this post.

The other things about this novel…well, you will just have to read it to know. That’s really all I can tell you.


Have you read this book yet? Are you planning on reading it? Let me know! I am interested to see what you thought!

My Bookshelf Rating:

4shelf1A Fourth Shelf Book!

4.5 beautiful, thrilling, intriguing, emotional, truthful, wow-evoking stars.

And that’s really all I have to say about it.

Just go read it.

Love and Mini Oreos,


5 thoughts on “When a Book Completely Catches You Off Guard: “Review” of We Were Liars

  1. Leila @ LeilaReads says:

    I also checked this one out from the library, and returned it after about 10 pages. The snobby rich kids on a private island thing turned me off. But I’ve seen a couple other reviews that share your sentiments. I was clearly missing something, and should have persevered and reserved judgement. So I’ll put it back on my TBR list. BTW I love the style of this post. I too am very free-form (and make liberal use of parentheses).

    • alibrarianslibrary says:

      Awww thank you! I really liked this format of writing….I may do it more often! 😉

      And yes, this story is not just snobby rich kids. Now, they are snobby (on occasion) and they are always rich, but there is more to them than just that! Thank you for reading my review. I appreciate the nice sentiments. =)

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