Discussion Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

20935171Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication:  May 13th, 2014
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle Edition, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 227


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?

I've never done a 'discussion book review' before, but I can't imagine executing this one in any other way. If I even tried to state my opinion on something, anything really, it would be unavoidably spoilery and would ruin the main matter of entertainment of the book - mystery. So this, is going to be more of a discussion than a review. First, I'll tell you my opinion and theories and then you come with yours. I hope. I'll need you to make it work. Comment and share and let's have fun. ;)


First off, I have to say, We Were Liars is nothing I had ever encountered. Not necessarily in positive or negative way, that's just that. This book is different. The synopsis is already peculiar - though true it'd put me off in the beginning because I'm not fond of ambiguous synopses -, however, it reflects the book's theme impeccably. 

We Were Liars is very enigmatic and eccentric all along. The first part I'll talk more about later on, however, the latter may be for the fact that Cadence is pretty much damaged by the accident. I loved how the writing style reflected that state. It's not often authors can get it right what it feels like to be depressed or mentally ill otherwise. Not that it's them to blame, it's just that it's nothing like most people say most of the time. You'd have to go through it to really be able to know it, but I don't wish that to anybody. But back to business. Writing style. The text wasn't always broken off at the end of the sentences, but in the middle of them so that it gave the impression Cady was not fully coherent. The descriptions also gave way to it, especially when it came to descriptions of pain. The first time I read it, when her father left them and she told he'd shot her and she was bleeding from her eyes and mouth, but her mom told her to get up, I had to go back and read it again and again to make some sense to it. It took several times of this method to get used to the Cady's picture of pain, but at the same time, it suit the story seamlessly.

The story was made up from several memories of Cady's summer on their island. They were leading up to the accident, I'd guessed that much on my own from the beginning. But when I was at the half of the book and the accident was there, finished, gone, I was nearly clueless as to what would happen afterwards. I say 'nearly' because obviously, I suspected it would be about Cady picking up her life and trying to figure out what happened as she had no recollection of it. But I would never ever have guessed where it was indeed heading. The fire was absolutely unexpected for me until the first pieces of the puzzle got introduced. A.k.a., her first memory returned of their crime. Well, that was nothing compared to the confusion I felt when we found out her friend were gone. "But they are here!" I thought. 

When Cady found out that her cousins weren't real I thought they were ghosts. It's supposed to be a contemporary, realistic fiction not fantasy or paranormal, but who knows? Well, shame on me for not thinking of hallucinations. Seriously, I face-palmed when I read about it. They make much more sense than my theory:

Evidence no. 1: Cadence had this brain damage that no examination showed. Of course they didn't! It wasn't physical. It was mental.

Evidence no. 2: Her cousins only appeared when only Cadence was alone. 

Evidence no. 3: Her cousins never received any of the gifts or replied the the emails. 

Also, it was very tear-jacking. That having been said, I did not cry, but I was in a kind of dazed state of mind. I felt said for them, but I felt something deeper, too, which I couldn't explain. Burning down a house with your cousins who are also your best friends in it. It's in incomprehensible tragedy.

My only complaint is that the four of them, Cadence, Jonny, Mirren and Gat, were called the Liars. It seemed important, just look at the title. But it really isn't. We don't even know why they're called it. 

In fact, there is one more thing, though I'm not sure if it's to me is bad. Usually, if I can't connect a character it's annoying. I should root for the protagonist, but how could I if I can't stand her. This time, nevertheless, I didn't feel like I needed to connect to Cady. She went through something I couldn't begin to think about and became somebody by it I couldn't - wouldn't - understand. But that doesn't mean I didn't like her.

Just as a side-note. It was very interesting to read about a straightly opulent, upper-class family. 

Overall, I can't rate or say how much I liked We Were Liars because I don't know. I really don't. It's never happened before especially regarding the fact that I do have an opinion. I merely don't have a number or a range in mind that I could folder the book into.

Now your turn! :)

What do you think of the writing style? How much did you guess from the story? How much of it did you see it coming? What do you think; were Gat, Jonnya and Mirren ghosts or hallucinations? Could you relate to Cady? Who was your favorite character?


  1. I haven't read We Were Liars yet, so I can't really weigh-in on this discussion, and only skimmed due to your spoiler warning. I've never not been able to rate a book though; granted, sometimes it takes me a while to come to a final decision, but I always manage to get there eventually. How curious. :)

  2. I felt similar with being unable to rate the book straight away - I finally decided a few days later. I did a review/discussion of this book like you did too and basically this is what I said: I personally liked the writing style, especially the descriptions of the migraines because I could relate to them. I had no idea about the fire, but I did guess what the big thing was at the start - only to convince myself it couldn't be true! I think to be hallucinations would fit in a lot better with the story than ghosts, but Mirren's illness and a couple other things make me think it's possible they could have been ghosts too. So I don't know, I'm undecided. I thought it was interesting how Cady started to try making a difference, even if her attempts were misguided. I didn't have a favourite character - I didn't really like any of them to be honest!

  3. Yeah, sometimes it happens that it's hard to decide the rating. But it had never happened to me before that I couldn't rate a book at all either. This time though, I don't even know how much I like it. It's a very weird feeling. XD It really is a...different read. Anyway, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  4. Yes, those were great. It was peculiar and intensive and really relateble. In fact, I'd prefer this to the white-hot stuff and all the general flourishy phrases. Mirren's sickness was definitely hard to place, but I would say it was an excuse for her so that she didn't have to leave the house which prevented others to see Cady talk to nobody. But then again, the others fared just well without that kind of thing. Speaking of which, if it was all in Cady's head, how come it never came about when somebody was within earshot? I partially agree. I'm not saying I abhorred them, but I didn't relate to any of them and I did a little disliked Gat and was neutral to Cadence, while I a little liked Mirren and Johnny.


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