We Were Liars is a book that had briefly been on my radar a few years ago, but it never held much interest to me. There were reviews likening it to Pretty Little Liars, which is a far too melodramatic-teenage-drama for me. Luckily for me, I’m an impulse book buyer and bought a copy on whim the other day. I still wasn’t convinced that I would enjoy it, but I figured I should see what the hype was about. This is one time where my impulsiveness really paid off: We Were Liars turned out to be one of the best books I’ve read this year.
“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. True Love. The truth.”
The first thing you’ll notice when you pick up this book is just how short it is. It rings in at only 225 pages, but those pages pack one hell of a punch. At first the odd narrative style threw me for a loop – but once I got further into the book and learned more about the main character, Cadence, the more this writing style made sense. Once I got used to the pseudo-lyrical style, it added a lot to the atmosphere of the book. It helped me understand to some degree what Cadence was going through, and really put me into the environment of the private island.
A lot of books add multitudes of characters and all they do is take away from the story. This book, however, used it’s large cast to the fullest. The family is the heart and driving force behind the mystery and thrill of this book. Their complex family dynamics added a layer of nuance to this book – one that really sets the stage for the final sharp corner. I particularly loved the dynamics between the patriarch of the family and his daughters. There was tension, aggression, and realistic fighting – nothing too over the top or unfeasible.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fantastic fast read. I can’t draw any comparisons without spoiling critical plot points: just do yourself a favor and don’t read anything about this book except for the summary on the jacket. The full effect of this book comes from its shocking turns. It’s unpredictable, it’s well written, and it’s one of my favorite reads of the year.