About a month ago, my husband came up with a new segment for my blog. He suggested that I curate books for him to read (that I’ve already read) and then we review them together to see if our thoughts are similar or wildly different. I decided We Were Liars was a great one to start with. It’s mysterious, mind-blowing and dark. This post will be structured like my regular reviews. You will see my thoughts down below and then his. We will compare notes on plot, characters, writing style and an overall star-rating. I hope you enjoy!
The one thing I always say in regards to this book, is that you should go into it not knowing too much. I still stand by that. When I handed this book to Francis, I only used one word to describe it: mysterious. To be super brief and vague, it takes place on a private island with extremely complex characters. This novel is an immersive experience. I felt like I was there in a dream-state; not knowing what was real and what wasn’t.
I do not like a single character in this book but that’s what made it such an interesting reading experience. The Sinclair family appear perfect, but there are layers upon layers that are slowly peeled back as we move through the story. Our protagonist, Cadence, is the eldest grandchild of Harris Sinclair. She is an unreliable witness to the events of Summer Fifteen (as she calls it) due to a serious head injury. Her murky memory leads the reader to question every single thing that arises post trauma. You have really have to keep reading to understand everything that has been building up since the beginning.
THE WRITING STYLE
To be perfectly honest, this writing style isn’t going to suit everybody (see my husband’s thoughts below) because it is very slow-moving. Despite being a short book, the language is super dense, giving the illusion of more length. I love a slow story if it is done well and I believe E. Lockhart is a uniquely, beautiful author. She fills the pages with ethereal metaphors and vivid imagery. I felt like I was a ghost on the island, watching everything play out.
I gave it 5/5 stars.
MY HUSBAND’S THOUGHTS:
I feel like the ending was a bit rushed and that was the biggest downside to the book – there was so much build up towards it but then in the end everything was just kind of nonchalantly explained to us. That said it was an interesting ending and I didn’t see it coming. I had my predictions throughout but was wrong and that is always a good thing. I was still left with certain questions at the end and wasn’t sure if the author wanted to leave us thinking or just failed to adequately explain certain events that had transpired.
I loved the characters attachment to spending each summer on the island together and the bonds they formed. Just about everybody in the book was unlikable as a person though. It was very different to anything I’ve read before and it felt insightful to witness their messed up lives full of privilege, ignorance and greed.
THE WRITING STYLE
I loved the writing style. It was quite unique and flowed well with a touch of poetry about it.
I gave it 3/5 stars.
I hope you enjoyed this post! As you can see, I definitely enjoyed the book more than my husband but I feel he made some very valid points that made me reevaluate my original opinion. Thank you to Francis for all of his notes and coming up with this awesome idea. The next book we will be reviewing together is One the Come Up by Angie Thomas. Stay tuned!
Peace & Love xoxo