{Turkey Diaries: Day Three} Book Review: We Were Liars

by The Dreamer

We Were Liars – E. Lockhart


You know a book is really good when you’re feeling acutely nauseous from the jerkiness of the bus ride, and your only source of light is this slant of brightness from the driver’s seat, yet you continue to read on. I stared at the cover of the book long after I had finished it during my long travelling time from Canakkale to Kusadasi, and outside it was pitch black. I wasn’t even sure what I was staring it. I couldn’t even see my fingers in this inky darkness, yet I kind of just spaced out. Was it awe? Satisfaction? Confusion? At that point of moment, I didn’t know. I just knew that We Were Liars hit me like a gazillion bricks and I was barely surviving under the rubble.

We Were Liars is the Goodreads Choice Awards Winner for 2014 under the category Young Adult Fiction. I borrowed it a day before the results were announced, and the award confirmed my resolve to bring it along with me to Turkey to read it. Indeed, it was a truly unforgettable read.

It has been really long before I have jumped onto the “suspense” wagon, because honestly I kind of hated the jittery feelings they gave me. But Lockhart infused romance so smoothly into her words that the jittery feels felt more like excitement and multiple question marks.

The book was very, very cleverly written. I honestly don’t want to add in any spoilers into this review for you, but all I can say is it definitely was beyond any of my expectations. It was a very effective execution of suspense that left me really satisfied. The ending was completely different from my predictions. And that really tugs you emotionally. Lockhart uses very modern writing techniques that are very refreshing to read. She doesn’t follow the standard kind of writing format, you know, like filling up pages with words, words, words. Instead, her sentences are short, impactful and ten times more intense than ten sentences ever could achieve. This is what makes her a very successful writer in my opinion. To use quality words over a quantity of words.

Now onto the characters. We follow Cadence Sinclair through her bumpy two-year-ride, as she tries to pick up the pieces of a forgotten memory that was the key to why her life completely fell apart. We were as confused as Cadence to be honest. Lockhart doesn’t let up on any clues for us. She struggles to see past fact, fiction, lies and truths and she tries hard to find the missing part of herself — this gaping hole that leaves her empty and disillusioned. The only setback to this book was that I didn’t really feel much for any particular character. I just kind of went like “yeah, I quite pity you occasionally” or “aw, you’re undergoing unrequited love. that’s sad. carrying on.”

I did like Gat’s character (the love subject) because he has some special thinking processes going on. He touched Cadence with his passion and brought some actual colour and depth into Cadence’s role in the book. He did touch me too, with his big questions and big quotes and big ideas. I would have liked having Gat as a friend, just laying on the rooftop, enthralled by the vastness of the universe and the negligibility of our being in this planet. A mere speck of stardust. Yeah, Gat gets me deep.

The fact that I read finished this book in one sitting shows how compelling it was, and it shows how it flowed so smoothly that there wasn’t any way to pause it by placing a bookmark or folding a dog-ear in between any of the pages. Every page gives you a slight revelation, so there is always an element of surprise and mystique that will never leave you bored.

I really liked the little fairytale sessions with an alternate endings that really oozed sarcasm and cynicism. There were the little touch of life in this book, and really gave you more perspective about everything revolving around the Sinclair family.

Okay, I’ve said enough. I gave this book a 4 out of 5 because while it did leave me reeling, it didn’t really give me the urge to spazz about this book. Maybe I placed too high expectations for this one because of the ravings over it, so I just felt it lacked a certain substance to make it perfect.

“Do not accept an evil you can change.”

“But the thing that makes me really messed up is the contradiction: when I’m not hating myself, I feel righteous and victimized. Like the world is so unfair.”

“She confused being spartan with being charitable, and gave away her possessions without truly doing good with them.
She confused being sick with being brave, and suffered agonies while imagining she merited praise for it.
She confused wit with intelligence, and made people laugh rather than lightening their hearts or making them think.”

钧 x x

j e a n x x