Thursday, June 4, 2015

We Were Liars gets 4 Stars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is a modern realistic mystery coming of age story about healing.  I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars in my book review of this YA novel.  It's a short book and a quick read that will leave you surprised with the ending.  Alohamora Open a Book YA Teen High School book quick fast read great book to write an essay analyzing

Ever since I read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by Lockhart I have been a fan of her as an author.  I think she is a great author and writes well.  I love the girl power, complex, and fun story of Disreputable.  If you have not read that book you most definitely should check it out.

Since I was already a fan of the author I picked up We Were Liars from the library, and I was glad I did. 

I give We Were Liars 4 out of 5 Stars. It's a great well written story with some language, but otherwise a pretty clean read.  I liked the complexity of the story with depth, and I appreciated that it's storyline was unpredictable.  

I found myself completely surprised with the ending, and surprised that at one point I had to look up the definition of a word neither my husband or I knew.  Lockhart is a fabulous author that doesn't dumb things down for high school students.   

I felt Cadence, as the main character and the narrator of the book, showed some healing and growth throughout the book, and I appreciated that.  However, I didn't feel for her as a character, and at times I was even annoyed with her.  My feelings for Cadence is the main reason the book lost a star.  Though, to be honest many of her reactions and actions were probably how a teenager would react and act to a situation.  

At the beginning of the book I was a bit confused with the vague short sentence almost free verse format. It was slightly confusing to me, but to others it is disturbing.  However, I enjoyed that Lockhart connected the unique beginning format by ending the book the same way.  

This book is a quick read at just over 200 pages that boys and girls in the 9th grade or up would enjoy.  I also think this would be a great book for a high school student to write an English paper analyzing the novel.  It's a great story with a lot of potential and possibility in the school paper aspect.  However, I think a reluctant reader may struggle to get into the story b/c it doesn't completely grab you and throughout the book you are constantly wondering, questioning, and almost confused.  

A few of my favorite parts is the mention of handball; I played handball in grad school and few people know anything about the sport.  Therefore to see it mentioned in a book is fun.  I also loved what Cadence's Granddad said about Gran, aka his wife that passed away, "A part of me died." He says "And it was the best part."  It's a sad thought but probably a true thought for those that deeply love another.

As silly as it seems, I also appreciated that the story made me cry.  Even though I didn't feel a huge connection for Cadence, I was touched and surprised with the story.  All in all, it was a great story and I'm glad I read it.  You should definitely check it out.  

Amazon had the following book review

"Cadence Sinclair Easton comes from an old-money family, headed by a patriarch who owns a private island off of Cape Cod. Each summer, the extended family gathers at the various houses on the island, and Cadence, her cousins Johnny and Mirren, and friend Gat (the four "Liars"), have been inseparable since age eight. During their fifteenth summer however, Cadence suffers a mysterious accident. She spends the next two years—and the course of the book—in a haze of amnesia, debilitating migraines, and painkillers, trying to piece together just what happened. Lockhart writes in a somewhat sparse style filled with metaphor and jumps from past to present and back again—rather fitting for a main character struggling with a sudden and unexplainable life change. The story, while lightly touching on issues of class and race, more fully focuses on dysfunctional family drama, a heart-wrenching romance between Cadence and Gat, and, ultimately, the suspense of what happened during that fateful summer. The ending is a stunner that will haunt readers for a long time to come."
Have you read We Were Liars?  What did you think?

Happy Well Written YA book reading

*****SPOILER ALERT***** 

Don't read this if you don't want to read about the surprise ending. 

I was actually surprised and did not predict at all the fact that the other "Liars" had died and were ghosts.   I actually thought Mirren was prego or had an illness.  However, after looking back at the story with this new knowledge I realized the other liars never spoke to anyone else.  I was so sad they had died, and I was so sad for Cadence.  

The whole not know they were ghosts things reminded me of the movie, The Sixth Sense.  

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