I don’t think I’ve actually done a book review on this blog, I’ve only done a couple of monthly summaries. I do, however, write many book reviews. For some reason, I keep them to myself. Today, I felt like if I didn’t write this and post it on my blog, I would burst.
I’ve heard a lot about the novel We Were Liars. Today at the library, I found it on accident. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it. Apparently it had a horribly dramatic plot twist right smack bang at the end. I borrowed it, of course I did. I had to see what it was actually about.
The cover everyone seems to have
The cover my library has- I think I prefer the first one much more
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.
To me, We Were Liars had a lot of unnecessary things.
The writing style was extremely weird. I did not like it. The repeated verses were unnecessary. The overuse of short sentences was annoying. Just like the disjointed example that the back cover (see above) offered us.
On the topic of the format, I don’t really understand why it is separated into parts,
for the most part. And the numbers were distracting- they didn’t seem much like chapters, more like sections? With numbers to remind you of them? I’m not sure.
Also, I do not like swearing in a book. It is unnecessary, apart from the showing that the author has no better words in his or her vocabulary bank. (Other than occasionally, just occasionally when explicit words actually somewhat enhance a character. But still I hate swearing.) Aside from the above oddness, We Were Liars seemed to have swearing in the weirdest places.
My reaction to the strange things in We Were Liars
What I mentioned above, however, are actually, (compared to the below) some of the minor things that I disliked.
Let’s discuss the characters.
They seemed so unrealistic, so bland. I couldn’t relate to them at all. Cadence seemed the most fake of all the ‘liars’, all the characters. It stars from the beginning, page 2. Which teenager calls her mother ‘Mummy?’ Aside from that, on the back of the book, she is described as ‘brilliant and damaged.’ I certainly saw the damaged part of Cadence, but the brilliant part?
Where is her brilliance?
The introduction to the Sinclair family, given right at the beginning of the book and even more times throughout, told us that everyone was ‘beautiful’. No one is a criminal, no one is an addict, and no one is a failure. So I take it that everyone’s perfect? Now obviously no one can have no flaws at all, but just say everyone is supposed to be perfect as per the introduction, and then we find everyone has a problem, some conflict. This could lead to some nice character development. BUT NO. From an imagined wealthy family, we find the Sinclair adults appear to always get hopelessly drunk. Is repeated alcoholic intoxication not a form of addiction? I don’t think I’m making much sense here, so I’ll leave that at that.
Also, I found that apart from wanting to get to know the Liars more, and the main characters, I wanted to get to know the minor characters a bit more as well. Take Ed for an example. He was mentioned a few times. We don’t get to know him much. Does he even have any impact to the book at all?
And that, is in short my feelings for the characters in We Were Liars. Ask me to pick a favourite, and I really would find it difficult. Maybe Johnny? At least I felt him rather mysterious.
…I would rather not talk about the romance in this novel.
To me, it doesn’t add anything to the book at all, unless you count making it a little worse. It fills up more pages, but in those filled up pages I would have much rather seen say, a character arc, some minor plot twists, something interesting.
However, I guess there are some okay if not good things about this book.
I kept on reading. Although I hardly ever don’t finish a book, (it’s mostly because I still have that shimmer of hope that something AMAZING will change a boring or bad book.) We Were Liars, I think, kept me reading for two reasons. One, I think was actually the oddness. The writing style and story were strange. Apparently it has it’s positive side to it though. The second reason, I think was purely the hype everyone who has read it has caused about the ending. I had to finish it. See what this mind shattering ending actually was. (So I guess that’s not actually from the book itself.)
Also, although I said before the story was boring, the idea certainly isn’t.
I just don’t think I like the idea, and I don’t think the idea was executed well.
Lastly, the ending. Oh, the famous ending.
To be completely honest with you, I didn’t find it that shocking. It almost seemed predictable- some parts of it anyway. I won’t go into the details, because I’m supposed to actually lie about the ending, but it just seemed hopelessly unrealistic, hopelessly unfitting. Like I said before, I do admire the idea, however much I don’t actually like it. The thing is, I think if the rest of the book was written better, the ending would have in turn seemed amazing. Making the whole book pretty good, really. SO, to keep this a spoiler free review, I won’t say any more.
And now for the numbers…
I don’t like giving low ratings, or negative reviews. I understand many people loved this book (after a stalk-a-thon of goodreads.) However, I really can’t say the same for myself. Despite the couple of things I liked (surprisingly majorly linked to things I didn’t like) my rating is still pretty low. Really low.
My Rating: 1.5/5
PS: Sorry about the weird format of this post, I played around with it and this was the best I could get it to be, due to the theme. And yes, I’ve been using gifs in my posts a bit more now, eh? THEY ARE AWESOME. 😀