I only put We Were Liars by E. Lockhart on my wishlist after every single person I follow on twitter was going on (and on and on) about how great it was for about six months. Then I saw it somewhere - I think Tesco - and actually looked at the blurb and was intrigued enough to put it on said wishlist, and then Tracy gifted it to me for Ninja Swap and here we are.
I'll just go ahead and say that this book maaaay be my favourite book of the year because holy fuck it's amazing. If you are very easily spoilered you may not want to read this post. I'm not going to post specifics but I know that some people would rather not know anything so if that's you, look away now and just go buy the book. Then come back and we can talk about the awesome.
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
So here's the bit that could be considered spoilery....
There is a fucking massive plot twist at the end of the book, and it is the best plot twist that I think I have ever read. I finished it and literally couldn't stop thinking about it for about three days. It is so so clever and incredibly well done. E. Lockhart is a masterful writer. I went through the whole book thinking I was reading a novel about a rich, dysfunctional family working out their problems during their annual summer together on their private island after one of the girls had a mysterious accident that leaves her with amnesia about what actually happened to her. That was so not the book I was reading, that's all I'm saying.
We Were Liars is full of characters I fell in love with. The Liars are all awesome - people teenage me would have wanted to be friends with. Cadence is the main character. She's a bit quirky and sort of semi political but honestly the majority of the story deals with the pain she is suffering as a result of the mysterious accident and I felt for her, I really did. She is in love with Gat who is awesome. He's really sharp, very political, has opinions about everything and I adored him. I also really liked Merrin and Johnny, Cadence's cousins. I thought they balanced the other two out really well while actually being fully developed characters in their own right - Johnny a little less than Merrin maybe, but still.
Although I didn't particularly love the adult characters (and wasn't supposed to I don't think) I felt a lot of empathy for them at times. The grandad has a power complex and Cadence's mum and aunts annoyed me with the whining about who got what when their dad died, but overall I was nicely immersed in this family setting where everybody spends the summer in each others houses, trying to pretend they get along even if that's not always the case. Without the twist it would have been a good book, but with the twist it was phenomenal.
I don't think I can talk about it anymore without giving stuff away, but I will just say that it was the first book this year to make me cry. It absolutely broke my heart but it was so fantastic. Please read it.