Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 227 pages

Published: May 13, 2014

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre: Young Adult


“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.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.”

I thought that

this would be an interesting

mystery novel

to read. But sadly

that was not the case at all.

The plot felt

scattered. The characters were

severely under-developed. It came off

as pretentious and a little

condescending. Frankly I

didn’t see the point.

Does this format annoy you? How I wrote it this way? Well, imagine reading this type of style throughout an entire novel. 

I don’t know what motive the author had for writing in this style. But not only it was very annoying but found it ridiculous. Due to this writing style, the story was scattered and consistently repetitive. All these fragment sentences caused certain moments to be repeated, prompting inconsistencies and too many metaphorical sentences that I feel confuse the reader. I had a hard time deciphering what was literal or what was perceived to be a metaphor. If this story was printed single space and with complete sentences, then it would be considered as a novella, not a novel. So it makes me wonder if this form of writing style was intentional, both by the publisher and the author, to give the appearance of a long novel. If that is the case, I find that insulting. It’s like they think that young adults can handle long, complete sentences so they have to dumb down the language. And that’s how I saw this story, dumb downed.

Here, we go on to the next issue: the story. Albeit, the plot line was interesting, the twist came out of nowhere, but in the end, it left more questions than answers. I know that fictional stories are not supposed to be true but I had hard time believing any of this was plausible. I mean, the outcome at the end? It just felt incomplete and would definitely not happen in reality. The ending left me feel wanting, honestly I don’t know what. An incomplete ending? Unanswered questions? Who knows.

The characters are under-developed and not likable, which usually is not a problem for me, but with this story, it was hard for me to feel any sympathy for any of the characters when they didn’t portray positive characteristics. And maybe someone can answer this question for me: why were they called “the Liars”? I mean, get that characterization for the rest of the family but not for these teenagers. It just didn’t make any sense.

I sense with this novel we were suppose to make our own interpretations, which in most cases I love to do with books. But with so much ambiguity and inconsistent writing, I just found it frustrating to read. Maybe the author thought this book would be the first literary novel in the young adult genre. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Overall rating: 2 out of 5 stars. 

Published by karma2015

I was born and raised in New York. I still live in New York but kind of sick of the city and one day I wish to move to the UK.I have a Masters degree in Library Science and I currently work in a special collections library. I loved books ever since I was a little girl. Through the hard times in my life, my love for books has always gotten me through. Just entering another world different from my own intrigues me. As long as I am entering in another universe, I like to create my own as well. I love to write and hopefully I will be able to complete a novel.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

  1. I really did not like this book and I’m always on the hunt for similar unpopular opinions about it since everyone else seems to love it. I completely agree with you about the annoying format (I did the same thing as you in my review, haha) and the characters. Just not a winner for me.

  2. This book is def over hyped in my opinion. I was so excited to read this. I love mystery novels but I kinda guessed the plot and it was kind of disappointing…

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