Author: E. Lockhart
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher, and I must say it exceeded my expectations. Most books I get advanced reading copies of are not very good, which every once in a while makes me stop to wonder if it is even worth doing the reviews for the mediocre to just plain bad books. But then I get to a book like We Were Liars, and I remember what all the excitement is about.
The novel does not particularly start off strong, but there is a subtle uniqueness to the narration through Cadence's voice as she tries to piece together the happenings of one very important summer with her friends and family. While it takes a while to warm up to Cadence (at first she seems a bit like a whiny teenager whose entire summers seem to revolve around - yes you guessed it - a boy). But as it becomes clear that something disturbing happened that summer, you start to sympathize with her while you try to put the puzzle pieces together faster than she does.
I will admit, the ending is not at all what I expected, which make it interesting right to the end while at the same time disappointed me a bit that I wasn't even close to guessing the truth.
As for the other plot elements besides the mystery of the main event of that summer, the dynamics of Cadence's family were also interesting to read. Her mother and two aunts are all fighting for control of an estate that they hope to inherit when their father dies, and their father likes to hold the trump card to bait them all on and try to control them. On the one hand, her entire family bothers me because none of them seem to appreciate what they have and how well off they are. They all take advantage of the fact that they were born wealthy and never had to work a single day in their lives. On the other hand, growing up with a mother that was a middle child between two sisters, I can kind of see how this scenario comes to be. While the story is a work of fiction, I can't help but feel that in families this is how it tends to work with wealthy families sometimes, and I dare say I almost felt a little pity for them.
While We Were Liars did not keep me up through all hours of the night making me contemplate the great questions of life, it was certainly a novel that sucks you in towards the late beginning/early middle and holds your attention with an air of mystery to solve. It's a book I would even consider buying to add to my collection.