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Yang Safia On Friday, August 1, 2014

Synopsis  from

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?

You decide.


“Goddamnit, this is good.” I said to my sister as I reached the last few pages of We Were Liars (WWL). She merely grunted because she was fully immersed in her 3DS game. I’m not really sure on how I should approach this review because it is very hard to talk about anything without ruining the experience for future readers. First off you have to read this book. I implore you. And this is coming from a person who reads a ton of YA and has become so jaded over the past year that she has a bookshelf of unread books and wants to read them but can’t sit with a book for more than 15 minutes. I now have the attention span of a goldfish, when it comes to books, thanks to the smart-gadgets I have around me. So maybe just maybe WWL is the answer to my fried brain that still craves a good story but doesn’t have the capacity to assess elaborate pieces of literature.

We Were Liars is not a big book. At 225 pages, it is a quick read and I nearly consumed the whole thing when I first bought it. I’m glad I didn’t though because it felt like it was part of a plot trick that E. Lockhart is trying to pull. First I need to clarify that this is my first time reading any of Lockhart’s works so I’m not familiar with her style. Although I have to commend her writing style because it is concise and clean. I believe that it is her writing style that makes it a fast read. I would even go as far to say that her writing is beautiful and has a hint of nostalgia that I can't quite put a finger to. She doesn't dawdle with useless details like we are often associated with Young Adult novels.  Okay maybe that is a broad claim but if you decide to read a YA novel that is about the rich, you are going to face a sh*iload of brand name-dropping. Not with WWL though, Lockhart does not waste time. She has a story to tell and it is important. All we know that the Liars own a private island and somebody happened during Summer 15.

Lockhart's characters are not BIG characters with BIG personalities. Their personalities are distinctive but not overly pronounced. I would say that Lockhart keeps her characters subdued so that the focus is not taken away from the plot. I'm the type of reader who enjoy her characters and look forward to falling in love with them. So am I bummed that Lockhart doesn't really give me space to do so? A bit maybe but all is forgiven in exchange for a good story.

One major tip when reading WWL:

Go slow. 
Savour the little details. Resist the need to finish it in one sitting because that's what Lockhart wants you to do. Because you will miss things. To avoid from rereading the book (if you're lazy like me), really think about where Lockhart is taking you with what she is presenting at the moment. I promise you, it won't disrupt the experience but it will save you time from flipping through the pages again once you reach the end. In fact because I went slow, I really appreciate the ending. A lot of people seemed to be frustrated with the ending because it didn't make sense to them. Why? Because they missed things.

Final thoughts:

a) This can be turned into a movie. A beautiful one.

b) If I have an ideal classroom where kids can read and want to learn, I would teach this book. It's small enough that we can finish it in a couple of sittings but has an abundance of materials that we can discuss. It would be nice if we can geek out together over this book.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Obsession Rating: 5 out of 5