Friday, 23 May 2014

WE WERE LIARS

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We are the Liars.

We are beautiful, privileged and live a life of carefree luxury.

We are cracked and broken.

A story of love and romance.

A tale of tragedy.

Which are lies?

Which is truth?
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Oh, dear. We Were Liars was one of my most highly anticipated reads of the year. And I think that was the problem. If you haven't heard about this book then I have to assume that you don't have access to the internet, although if that's the case then how are you reading this review? But seriously, this book has been raved about online for months. Months. I've been dying to get my hands on it since the first review of it that I read, something that mentioned a twist ending and utter devastation. Now, that should have been a red flag for me, but we'll get to that in a minute.

I want to point out that I don't think this was a bad book, I just didn't enjoy any of it. Like, at all. I thought the characters were boring and vapid. I thought the writing was fairly average. And the plot just didn't work for me. I know I'm a nitpicky person, there's no getting around that fact, but I strongly suspect that the hype surrounding this book killed it for me. My expectations had been built and built and built - no book was going to satisfy them. This is a problem I have so often that I almost expect it now, but it doesn't keep me from getting excited about books. Especially books with twist endings. 

I love a twist ending. I do. Except I called it halfway through the book. A random thought about how something was being written occurred to me and that was it. Boom. Ending ruined. The thing is, I wouldn't have spotted it if I hadn't been looking for the twist. I don't do it on purpose, I swear I don't set out to ruin books for myself, but if someone tells me there's a twist ending, I'll try to figure it out before it happens. My brain just works on that in the background while I'm reading. It's like if I told you not to think about elephants, you'd think about elephants (thank you, Inception.) You just can't help it. And every single review I've seen mentions the shocking twist ending. It's the first sentence on the back of the book:



It's the second sentence inside of the book:


Can it really be a twist ending if you're waiting for the twist to occur? If you're totally, one hundred per cent prepared for something shocking, can you actually be shocked? (This has happened to me before - I knew something big was coming and had a theory about what it might be. My theory was a lot more shocking than what actually happened, leaving me disappointed. And wondering if I ought to consult a psychiatrist.)



2 comments:

  1. Yeah, I think all the people talking about the twist ending actually ended up doing a disservice to the book. I read it really early, so I was surprised by it, but had I read it around now I would have probably guessed the ending. I mean, it's not like it's underused. But I did like how the twist was handled. I'd like to know what your theory was, though!

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    1. Ah, that would be my theory about the ending of "If You Find Me," by Emily Murdoch. [SPOILERS FOR ANYONE WHO HASN'T READ IT - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED] Without being too specific, I was utterly convinced that she'd allowed something to happen to Nessa so that she wouldn't have to go through it herself and then regretted it. Which I personally think is worse than what happened, although I'm not saying that what actually happened is a small or lesser thing.

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