Thursday, May 15, 2014

What I'm Reading Wednesday: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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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.

This is a book where reviews really are polar opposites. Some reviewers LOVE this book and gush about the unexpected twist, the suspense, the sadness, the characters. Jamie of the Perpetual Page Turner had this to say "This book deserves more than 5 stars -- it deserves fireworks and confetti and lots of recognition. I haven’t had a book really wreck me like this one did but I sobbed and I screamed and this is why I love reading…BOOKS LIKE THIS." Leah had an opposite viewpoint "the mystery played out in such a silly and unmoving way. How can I feel sorry for one-dimensional characters I'm not emotionally invested in, whose most complex character trait is their unexamined privilege, and whose ultimate act of rebellion is hilariously symbolic of pampered stupidity? What was I supposed to take away here?" 

My thoughts:  I tend to think like Leah - this book was predictable, not a shocking surprise, and I could not get all involved or care about these uber-rich, privileged teenagers with their own private summer island.  We Were Liars by E.Lockhart is set on Beechwood Island, a fictional island off the coast of Massachusetts. Owned by the Sinclair family, Cady (full name Cadence Sinclair Eastman) and her mother spend every summer there along with the rest of the clan. There’s her grandfather and grandmother, Harris and Tipper. Her aunts, Bess and Carrie, the littles (Bonnie, Liberty, Will, Taft). And then there’s Mirren, Johnny, and Gat, who form the Liars, along with Cady.

Cady is the narrator of this story yet she’s partially unreliable as she cannot recall the events of her fifteenth summer on the island. That was this year that she had an accident and now suffers migraines and memory loss. It is now summer seventeen and Cady returns to the island determined to remember what happened two years ago.

Cady’s voice is alternated with different fairy tales that shed light on the family life of the Sinclairs.  Most start "There was once a king with three daughters...."  and shed light on how the life of the charmed Sinclair family might not be so charming after all.  There is a lot of jealousy, bigotry, manipulating, and failure that shows under the cracked veneer of the Sinclair myth. 

I'd love to hear what YOU think about this book!

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