We Were Liars
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
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.
It was important, she said; it was kind; it was best. Don't cause distress, she said. Don't remind people of a loss. "Do you understand, Cady? Silence is a protective coating over pain."
I hadn't planned on reading this book so quickly. On the contrary, I currently need to read so many books for university that I've been meaning to concentrate on those; I only decided to read something "just for fun" when I noticed that I was spending less and less time reading because after studying for hours I simply felt like I didn't have the energy to read something like Gulliver's Travels, which irked me. "Naturally", I decided I needed a book I could read when I'm too tired to do anything meaningful, something quick and, possibly, short I could fit in-between things. (Also, my mother just recently brought my attention to the English speaking part of the digital library my local library provides and I really wanted to try it out.) We Were Liars fit all those descriptions.
Obviously, my plan didn't quite work out so well. Well, I guess it did work out in a way because I was definitely reading more (I also made more progress on Gulliver's Travels – at first) but it was distracting me from the things I was actually supposed to do (like studying genetics which, granted, just doesn't stand a chance against any good book). Why? you ask. Well, because it was just so darn good!
I perfectly understand how some people would have trouble with Lockharts books (based on the two I've read) because of her writing style but I absolutely adore it. I like how she uses blank space and symbolism and how there seems to be so much ambiguity in most things she says (it reminds me of poetry, or maybe the prose version of some modernist/aesthetic poetry, like Stéphane Mallarmé but actually making sense and therefore nothing like Stéphane Mallarmé, actually – never mind I'm loosing track of the actual topic).
Moreover, I was very intrigued by the story. I have a very loud and open family and we would certainly never suppress our feelings in such a all encompassing way as the Sinclairs do, which made reading about them incredibly creepy. I didn't know what I'd think they were capable of, what Cady was capable of before her accident, how much everyone was willing to hide. That alone made for such a great atmosphere which just sucked me right in. And kept me there, all glued to the pages, dragging me with it to its gruesome end.
Now, I really don't want to go into any details of the plot because you really have to read it but I do want to stress that I, personally, really loved the choices Lockhart made for pretty much everything. I liked how the characters were portrayed because it fit in with the narrative (even if the Liars might seem almost bland sometimes), I liked the fairy-tale stories, I liked how much was open to interpretation. I understand that all these things might not be for everyone but, in this instant, I really, really enjoyed them.
Gat almost always saw, though. When blood dripped on my bare feet or poured over the book I was reading, he was kind. He wrapped my wrists in soft white gauze and asked me questions about what had happened. He asked about Dad and about Gran – as if talking about something could make it better. As if wounds needed attention.
This book managed to touch me in a way I feel like I haven't felt in a while. You know how every know and again there's a book that just rattles you up completely? That was We Were Liars for me. 4.5/5 stars.
Name: We Were Liars
Deutscher Titel: Solange wir lügen
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Delacorte Press