Rating: it was ok
Once upon a time there were three bears who lived in a wee house in the woods.It was a better coming of age than Catcher in the Rye, but I also thought Twilight was a better coming-of-age than Catcher in the Rye (fuck you, Holden Caulfield). It wasn't a terrible book. I've read far worse. It's just that the writing style sometimes get on my nerves. The sentences are sometimes written fully, and oftentimes
Once upon a time there were three billy goats who lived near a bridge.
Once upon a time there were three soldiers, tramping together down the roads after the war.
Once upon a time there were three little pigs.
Once upon a time there were three brothers.
No, this is it. This is the variation I want.
My full name is Cadence Sinclair Eastman.Poor little Cadence Sinclair is wealthy. She is loved. She is one of the Sinclairs, a good-looking "old-money Democrat" family, think the Kennedys, without the political aspirations. They have names like Liberty, Taft, and Tipper. They go to Ivy League schools. They have trust funds. They have sired a generation of children, the leader of which is Cadence. Cadence and her crew call themselves "The Liars." The Liars are composed of her cousins Mirren, Johnny, and the outcast "Healthcliff," Indian love interest, Gat.
I am nearly eighteen.
I used to be blond, but now my hair is black.
I used to be strong, but now I am weak.
I used to be pretty, but now I look sick.
It is true I suffer migraines since my accident.
It is true I do not suffer fools.
It’s a beautiful night, and we are indeed a beautiful family.This is the story about a girl's headaches.
I do not know what changed.
Why did I go into the water alone at night?This is a story about The Liars. And their spectacularly brilliant conversations for the entire fucking summer.
Where were my clothes?
Did I really have a head injury from the swim, or did something else happen?
They have baby oil spread on their bodies. Two bottles of it lie on the grass. “Aren’t you afraid you’ll get burned?” I ask.They're not the only ones bored out of their mind.
“I don’t believe in sunblock anymore,” says Johnny.
“He’s decided the scientists are corrupt and the whole sunblock industry is a moneymaking fraud,” says Mirren.
“Have you ever seen sun poisoning?” I ask. “The skin literally bubbles.”
“It’s a dumb idea,” says Mirren. “We’re just bored out of our minds, that’s all.”
I plunge down,I really have a problem with the writing, but this is just a matter of taste. But then again, I've never been a fan of this type of prose. Needless to say, I don't like e.e. cummings. The writing is so often choppy, haphazardly punctuated. The first-person narrator also has a tendency to use very, very dramatic imagery to describe situations. Some situations are false.
down to rocky rocky bottom, and
I can see the base of Beechwood Island and
my arms and legs feel numb but my fingers are cold. Slices
of seaweed go past as I fall.
And then I am up again, and breathing.
my head is okay,
no one needs to cry for me or worry about me.
I am fine,
I am alive.
I swim to shore.
Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound,That, there, was a description of how she FELT. It confused me as fuck until I realized that she didn't actually get hurt, which made it even more confusing when she did actually hurt herself.
then from my eyes,
Every time Gat said these things, so casual and truthful, so oblivious—my veins opened. My wrists split. I bled down my palms. I went light-headed.I thought that was her being overdramatic again, until I realized that the guy was fucking bandaging her up afterwards.
A witch has been standing there behind me for some time, waiting for a moment of weakness. She holds an ivory statue of a goose. It is intricately carved. I turn and admire it only for a moment before she swings it with shocking force. It connects, crushing a hole in my forehead. I can feel my bone come loose. The witch swings the statue again and hits above my right ear, smashing my skull. Blow after blow she lands, until tiny flakes of bone litter the bed and mingle with chipped bits of her once-beautiful goose.That entire passage is one of many throughout the book about her headaches. I just couldn't take it.
“You’re filled with superiority, aren’t you? You think you understand the world so much better than I do. I’ve heard Gat talking. I’ve seen you eating up his words like ice cream off a spoon. But you haven’t paid bills, you haven’t had a family, owned property, seen the world. You have no idea what you’re talking about, and yet you do nothing but pass judgment.”Poor-little-rich-girl syndrome. She's beautiful, but wounded, and "mysterious" and revered, just for the sake of her blood alone, for the sake of her family's name alone. Think about it. If you were a Kennedy, it doesn't matter if you look like an elephant stepped on your head when you were born. People are still going to love you and worship you and whisper your name with reverence because you're a motherfucking Kennedy. It's this way with the Sinclairs, only there's no paparazzi following them around. All of the benefits, and no family curse. But somehow Cadence finds a way to be a rebel-without-a-cause anyway.
One night, the four of us ate a picnic down on the tiny beach. Steamed clams, potatoes, and sweet corn. The staff made it. I didn’t know their names.I'm sorry, but I can't sympathize with such a whiny person who's completely unaware of how privileged she is, headaches be damned.
“Who are Ginny and Paulo?”The Love Interest:
Gat hits his fist into his palm. “Ginny is the housekeeper. Paulo is the gardener. You don’t know their names and they’ve worked here summer after summer. That’s part of my point.”
My face heats with shame. “I’m sorry.”
“You’re saying Granddad thinks you’re Heathcliff?”Gat is the only interesting character in the book. He is Indian-American. Gat Patil. He is the nephew of her aunt's boyfriend, and they've known each other for years. He is self-aware. Too self-aware in the pretentious way that teenagers can often be, but his character feels authentically teenaged. I liked him. He is accepted into The Liars, but he's not altogether accepted in the family. Because of his skin color, because of his lack of family money, he feels left out. And I can sympathize with him.
“I promise you, he does,” says Gat. “A brute beneath a pleasant surface, betraying his kindness in letting me come to his sheltered island every year—I’ve betrayed him by seducing his Catherine, his Cadence. And my penance is to become the monster he always saw in me.”
“I’m not saying he wants to be the guy who only likes white people,” Gat went on. “He knows he’s not supposed to be that guy. He’s a Democrat, he voted for Obama—but that doesn’t mean he’s comfortable having people of color in his beautiful family.”Gat is intelligent. Reasonable. Likeable. And I wonder why the fuck he cares about a waste of air like Cadence.
Rating: did not like it
This is the kind of book that, when I finish reading it, I’m like FINALLY and then throw the book out of the window (in this case not applicable because of digital copy so I'm doing it through a gif.)
But really, what a weird story and an uncomfortable and pretentious atmosphere this We Were Liars book has. It wasn’t long, thank God, but damn it was painful to read. This is my 3rd negative review/read this week and I’m seriously pissed but will try to keep it cool.
I didn’t get
the purpose of this book.
Why were they called
Liars anyway? Okay
they lied but who doesn’t?
Why are they supposed to
some of them are rich? So what?
Many people are as well and it
doesn’t make them
(Did it annoy you? How I just wrote what I wrote? If it did, this is not the book for you.)
It’s like the author wanted to make this story ‘phenomenal’ and so damn poignant and thought that by adding some metaphorical sentences, a different writing style and a heavy recycled subject she would succeed. But she didn’t. At least, not for me. I personally thought it felt very pretentious and TOO MUCH. The pacing is uneven and the story very repetitive. The characters, except maybe for Cady, the MC, are one dimensional and I couldn’t connect with any one of them.
Again with the subject, is it mainly about...rich-wants-to-date-‘poor’-guy-aka-love-of-her-life-but-can-t-because-family? So confusing... but I guess that’s it since THAT started a lot of stuff. The love story, by the way, is so so so dull. This is all because of the hype…
Oh, the hype was there. It.IS.There. But we all know hype lies and loves doing it.
This is not the type of book I usually read because it feels, just by reading the ‘synopsis’ (really? couldn’t this book have at least a normal synopsis?) too sad/dark/eerie for me but, HEY, we all need to step out of our comfort zone from time to time. PLUS, John Green praised this book. He
''Thrilling, beautiful, and blisteringly smart, We Were Liars is utterly unforgettable.
John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars''
praised this book. And, since I finished reading The Fault in Our Stars not so long ago and loved it, I thought I’d trust Green’s judgement.
Except, it was boring. Boring. Boring. Boring. The only parts I felt myself enjoying reading are the little ‘stories’ with the king and his 3 daughters.
I really don’t recommend this book. It’s a waste of time because it’s confusing as hell and doesn’t even have a nice/normally written ending.
I wish I could burn it.
Rating: it was amazing
This was, without a doubt, one of the most powerful and well-crafted books I have read in a really long time.
Elements that made this book outstanding:
1) It started with a map and a family tree. Talk about setting yourself up for success!
2) The personification of emotion. This might not make sense unless you've read the book, but wow it was powerful.
3) The use of fairy tales from the main character to describe situations.
4) The sense of complete mystery and suspicion: I was always questioning everything.
5) The use of dramatic lines. You know when an author brings in an epic moment-stopping line? This was full of those awesome drops!
6) The moment. There's a moment where all is revealed and IT WAS PERFECT.
7) The consequential understanding. Everything suddenly clicked into place and it was glorious.
8) The side characters. I think sometimes side characters can feel inconsequential and here they felt really important.
There weren't very many things I didn't like, to be honest, but there was one:
1) The title. It does't make sense to me. I don't want to say anything in case spoilers, but I don't think it's the perfect title.
Two final things:
1) I have a theory. I have a theory about this book that I'm really excited to discuss so I'm going to make a video about it!
2) This book really made me cry. Like explode cry. Lots of tears. And I've only ever cried at 2 other books.
I absolutely recommend this book, to everyone who likes books, because MAN, THIS WAS A GOOD BOOK.
Rating: did not like it
We were tedious.
Rating: it was amazing
sobbing. sobbing. sobbing. so much love for this book, and its perfect, perfect ending.
i can't even capitalize right now. i don't even want to capitalize right now.
in fetal position.
Rating: liked it
It's true what they're saying: you're better off if I tell you nothing about this book.
So I will just say two things.
1) It is worth reading. Even though I only gave it 3 stars.
2) I gave it 3 stars because of the writing style, which irritated the hell out of me. The fact that it got 3 stars after annoying me so much will hopefully give you some indication of how much I liked the idea.
It's a very clever book and an incredibly sophisticated piece of YA. BUT... an execution that was not to my tastes. The writing was too choppy and fragmented and I hated the frequent use of nouns as adjectives. Like this:
"His nose was dramatic, his mouth sweet. Skin deep brown, hair black and waving. Body wired with energy. Gat seemed spring-loaded. Like he was searching for something. He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I could have looked at him forever."
Rating: did not like it
It's been awhile since I have so totally hated a book.
I'm surprised at how varied the feelings on here about this book are...some of my friends hated it.
Some of them liked/loved it.
I still love them....
Let's get to why I hated this so very frigging much.
The main character is a twit...but then the whole family is:
Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family.
No one is a criminal.
No one is an addict.
No one is a failure.
The Sinclairs are athletic, tall and handsome.
That's actually the good part on her family. In some parts of the book the author tries and make the character act like she has redeeming qualifications-but then a short few pages later I just want to smash her again.
The writing style:
Good grief..I thought it was only going to last for a few pages. NOOOOOOO, almost the whole frigging book is written like this....
"So lie. Tell him the ones from the Boston house. The cream ones with the embroidery."
It was easiest to tell her I would.
And later, I told her I had.
But Bess has asked Mirren to do the same thing,
and neither one of us
for the fucking tablecloths.
Then that lovely twist of an ending:
I'm probably going to hell for this but don't click if you gonna whine...
(view spoiler)[I thought it was the burning of the house
but noooooo...it's that they are all fucking dead..except for princess dumbass. She would be seeing dead people cuz that head of her's was fucking empty of anything else.
There's one part I never did figure out. Cady the main character keeps talking about bleeding..Did she cut or was that just supposed to be a metaphor or some crap?
Now after reading this crap I need:
And lastly..for the trolls and fangirls and gif haters (should have thrown that one in) that will come....GO suck monkey ass..this book sucks!
Rating: it was amazing
I went into We Were Liars one cocky son of a biscuit eater, feeling above it all right from page one. I'd seen this book talked about so heavily by other bloggers and how some never saw the twist coming or how others totally saw that twist coming. All the while, I was sitting on the sidelines with my shades on, posted up with my arms folded, saying, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Hot potato." That's not to say I didn't want to read this book, because I did. I even had an ARC sitting on my shelf for the longest time, but due to a lot of the hype, I kept putting it off. Plus, I'm one of those people who usually can easily figure out a plot twist and I didn't want to dive into something where a lot of people already mentioned figuring it out.
But one thing did nag me a little in the back of my mind was that my Bookish Twin, Blythe from Finding Bliss in Books, LOVED it. I highly value her opinion when it comes to books, because we almost always agree. So when I happened to get my hands on the audiobook, I thought, "What the hell? I was supposed to read and review this anyway, right?" Let me tell you... WHOA.
***First off, I just wanna say that I don't know how the print compares to the audio and that it's possible I loved the book more than others because of the excellent job of the narrator. I can see how the fragmented sentences could be a pain to read, but this might be one of those cases where it sounds better out loud. That being said, I if you haven't read this book, possibly check out the audio version first.***
Anyway, I was feeling very blasé about the first half. It felt like a really random story about a rich, white girl and her white girl problems, crying her white girl tears and I felt myself unsure about what the point of it all was.
And maybe that makes me sound extremely heartless, but I couldn't relate to the main character (no, I'm not even going to tell you her name because I want you to go in blind). But somewhere along the lines, I started to become intrigued with the story because it became this strange, wild thing that I couldn't piece together.
Lockhart uses a very odd narration with fragmented sentences and strange descriptions, but I thought it was beautiful and unique. It added a very creepy layer on top the the existing oddness. It makes you question the main character, her account of the incident and the entire book. She's not very reliable and has the habit to cut off mid-sentence. I'm not sure if that was used as a way to distract the reader or if it was to used to make us question her sanity. Maybe a little bit of both. Either way, it worked on me.
As things started to heat up and I reached the cusp of the climax, the narrator's voice increased in intensity. She began talking faster, became very emotional, then suddenly on the verge of tears!
And I started thinking to myself, OH GOD NO. WHAT IS HAPPENING.
And then IT was revealed and I was all, "WHAT IS THIS LIFE? I REJECT EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS ENDING. NOOOOOOO!!!!"
So, naturally, I had a good cry and needed someone to hold me.
By the end, I was all:
I know this review might not be the most helpful in the world, but it's true what everyone says about We Were Liars. You should absolutely go in blind, with no expectations and let this book take your feels as it sees fit. If you are a fan of psychological thrillers like Stephanie Kuehn's Charm and Strange or Complicit , than this one may be up your alley. I'll be here to hold you when you're finish.
ARC was provided by the publisher via YA Books Central.
More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebugery.
Rating: it was amazing
Tragic, yet hauntingly beautiful story.
Rating: liked it
so, just like Little Bee, this book begs you "NOOO, DON'T TELL ITS SEEEEKRITS!!" and if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
so part of me is tempted to write this whole long review about how this book is a magical adventure focusing on a young girl in manhattan during the blackout of 2003, when all the red pandas living in the sewers came out to play, carrying tiny flashlights and shepherding people from manhattan to their homes in the outer boroughs and all the lessons this young girl learns along the way from her red panda guide about life and humanity and art history and, ultimately, herself.
because i would read that book.
instead, i am just going to say that it is perhaps unwise to market a book in this way. true, the only reason i read it myself was because i came across it when making YA list for work, and i was all "SECRETS?? I LOVE SECRETS!! I WANT TO KNOW THE SECRETS!!" it's a very effective way of drumming up interest around a book.
but the problem is, when you are prepared for a big twist, it is very easy to guess the big twist, which i did very early on. if you think you are just reading a book about some rich family and a girl with a faulty memory and a mysterious summer, with no tantalizingly bossy instructions about keeping the book's secrets, you might be more surprised when the reveal is revealed. but when such a big deal is made of SHHHHHHH, and you know you are expecting something unexpected, you will probably find it, and so reading the book just becomes an exercise in waiting for the character to figure it out. which is fine, but less effective in terms of shock value.
i liked it anyway, but i think it would have been more fun to gasp in genuine surprise at the path it took. so forget i said anything, forget what the synopsis tells you to do, and just read it like you would any other book.
this should help you forget everything you have ever known:
come to my blog!
Rating: really liked it
”We were warm and shivering,
and young and ancient,
When I began to read this book I went in completely blind and had absolutely no clue what it was about. The blurb on the back didn’t tell me anything about the plot and everything I knew was that “We Were Liars” had apparently won the YA Goodreads Choice Award in 2014.
So yeah, I just decided to read it and hoped it would be good and looking at it in retrospective this actually was the best decision I could have made! ;-P
Because let’s face it, this book will mess with your head big time.
The Liars will make you wonder, they’ll make you question what happened in summer 15 and you’ll not only become curious but you’ll also feel a need to read on. XD
”Silence is a protective coating over pain.”
Of course there are plenty of hints, but will you be able to figure them out or will you be in the dark until the end?
I guess by now you already realised that this isn’t one of my typical reviews and yes, you’re right. I won’t write anything about the plot. Sorry?! No, I think I’m not. *lol*
”A brute beneath a pleasant surface, betraying his kindness in letting me come to his sheltered island every year – I’ve betrayed him by seducing his Catherine, his Cadence. And my penance is to become the monster he always saw in me.”
This is a book you’ll have to experience for yourself! And I want you all to scream: ”WHAT THE FREAKING HELL!!??” when you finally reach the ending. Haha!
And before you ask, yes I screamed it loud and clear!!! XD This story is a mindfuck and even my (usually very) observant mind wasn’t ready for the finale! ;-P
So all I’m going to do is to give you a little character description. The rest you’ll have to figure out on your own. XD
Meet the Liars:
”She is sugar. She is curiosity and rain.”
”Be a little kinder than you have to.”
”He is bounce. He is effort and snark.”
”Never eat anything bigger than your ass.”
”Do not accept an evil you can change.”
”His nose was dramatic, his mouth sweet. Skin deep borwn, hair black and waving. Body wired with energy. Gat seemed spring-loaded. Like he was searching for something. He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I could have looked at him forever.”
”Always do what you are afraid to do,” I say.
”These days she is a gnarled crone, touching the raw flesh of my brain with her cruel fingernails. She pokes my exposed nerves, exploring whether she’ll take up residence in my skull. If she gets in, I’m confined to my bedroom for a day or maybe two.”
Are you curious and intrigued already?
If yes, I hope you’ll enjoy the book as much as I did. It was a really nice and fast read and it definitely exceeded my expectations.
No! Truth be told, it completely messed with my mind.
But we all love deliberate confusion, don’t we? ;-P
”I suffer migraines. I do not suffer fools.
I like a twist of meaning.”
Rating: it was amazing
There’s not even a Scrabble word for how I’m feeling right now…
This story left me defeated, but its tragedy was paired equally with an unconventional beauty. It gripped me instantly to the point where I couldn’t stop thinking about its mystery…
Its quiet calamity.
The suspense is painted on rather thickly, which is not to say that readers will not form an accurate theory early on. But the journey remains worth it whether you’ve Sherlock Holmes’d this one or not.
The plot introduces itself in a vague manner and slowly unravels. I found that the messages held more power than the characters delivering them—the sum was definitely greater than its parts. Which fit the tone nicely.
This review may seem just as ambiguous as the story itself, but it must be if you wish to obtain the full effect of its delivery.
I will say this, however: We Were Liars is a haunting portrayal of a group of teenagers who have formed a sacred bond; each one striving to be free and longing for acceptance. They consider love more important than social and economic stature, and are displeased with the prejudices surrounding their world.
They are young.
They are passionate.
They are imperfect.
They each suffer their own personal injustice. And this is their story.
What if we could somehow stop being the Beautiful Sinclair Family and just be a family? What if we could stop being different colors , different backgrounds, and just be in love?
She made me act normal. Because I was. Because I could. She told me to breathe and sit up.
Someone once wrote that a novel should deliver a series of small astonishments. I get the same thing spending an hour with you.
The universe is seeming really huge right now,” he told me. “I need something to hold on to.
Rating: did not like it
well this was all kinds of pointless
and also depressing.
the writing is so mannered
it is an affectation
a studied display of real or pretended feeling.
the whole book lacks affect;
it lacks the real emotion
that it so desperately tries to convey
in its own affect-less way.
the writer has talent
but here it is squandered.
I like the premise, it's enticing;
who doesn't want to read about
the fragile cloistered lives
of insular rich white people
who summer on their own private island?
makes us not-rich people feel better
reading about the miserable rich.
but why go to all that trouble
setting up class critique
and racial tensions
and family drama
and dressing it up in fairy tale finery
when that will all just be thrown away
on a maudlin twist ending
with a corny moral message:
"Be a little kinder"...
those ideas went nowhere
those ideas were rendered pointless
because in the end the book
is not a scouring brillo pad after all,
it's just another soppy wet sponge.
rub that sponge on your face
it will look like you cried!
Rating: it was amazing
Rating: did not like it
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE."
This book was great,
you guys! I love the writing style.
It wasn't confusing at all!
It was totally not annoying! :)
I loved the characters.
They were so complex
and not bland at all.
They definitely didn't
want to make me want to shoot
myself in the head! :)
I knew what was going on and
I enjoyed this story a lot!
The ending was just beautiful.
Literally all I can ask for! :)
I LOVE THIS SM I AM CRYING! :) :) :) :) :) :)