I feel like this is going to be a hard book to explain and review without giving away intense spoilers. If you haven’t heard of We Were Liars, then I would like to ask you where’ve you been? Because this book is possibly one of the most hyped young adult books since The Fault in Our Stars. First of all, I’d like to point out, that although I do love how excited the audiences of these novels have greatly improved the promotion of both the authors and the books, hype can lead to disappointment.
We Were Liars is a book that you have to read to understand the hype, and even then, because you’ve been expecting the thrills and mysteries of this heavily hyped book, you can’t help but feel slightly underwhelmed when you actually finish the book. Or, at least, that’s what happened to me.
We Were Liars centers on the Sinclair family, who are heavily explained in an almost confusing way at the very beginning of the book. I think I would have preferred to be introduced to the characters slowly rather than all at once, but for the purpose of the retelling, and the fact that it felt almost like a diary, it worked pretty well. I don’t think we’re supposed to like the main character, Cady, particularly. All of the characters, on a certain level, are very hard to connect to because they are so isolated from any other characters I’ve read. This is a problem, because I couldn’t feel sympathy for Cady when it came to the big reveal, all I could do was nod my head and think, “okay, then. Well…what did I expect?”
I did love the slow reveal, and how everything was tantalizingly brought out. The way in which the variations of different fairytales were woven into the story was also very rewarding for the reader. They could piece together what was going to happen, thanks to the foreshadowing, before they got to that part in the plot. Cady had selective amnesia, so as we learn about her past – even before she does in some cases – she also remembers.
I think I’m going to have to read this book again at a later date after knowing what happens in the ending, just to make sure that everything pieces together how I wanted it to. The relevance of the beginning isn’t really something you can understand or appreciate until the end. At first I was quite bored with the story, because I didn’t get the relevance of the past summers or Cady’s feelings and withdrawal, but by the very end, well, I’ll let you read it for yourself.
Another thing I am very thankful for is the short chapters. It made it such a deliciously quick read, and really added to the pacing of the story. In the slower parts it gave the illusion of a fast read and in the fast parts I was practically tearing through the pages. I’m surprised that such a layered mystery was executed in less than three hundred pages. It certainly wasn’t a mystery where the reader was left pondering for weeks after reading the book, but for such a short book, my my my was is good.
I would like to give We Were Liars, three stars, because although I did enjoy it, I think I probably should have read it when it was first released. The hype sort of spoiled the story. Not the plot, because I hadn’t seen any spoilers, but it definitely left me wanting more and thinking that it wasn’t what I expected.