I felt as though we had been reading some strong novels, and I wanted to lighten things up a bit. I glanced a few “most popular” lists, and came across We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. The editor’s notes bragged of a twist, included a map (love!), and the setting was a world entirely unknown to me: old money New England. Goodreads backed up my choice with several 5 star reviews and readers, who I now know must have been HAF or directly related to the author, proclaimed emotional reactions and that they “profoundly loved” this book. Sold!
What a fool I was.
This book sucked. It was easy to read. That is it’s only redeemable quality. The characters were underdeveloped to the point that not only do we only know about 5 general facts per person, what we do know is stereotypical bullshit. Poor little rich girl? Boring. Drunken sisters fighting over daddy’s money? Yawn. Steely, racist grandfather wielding his wealth in order to control his family? Over it. What was supposed to draw in the reader did the opposite: this was 300 pages of meaningless, pointless drivel.
Am I being harsh? I really don’t think so. Here’s the basic plot: Wealthy family each has a home on a private island off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. The cousins – the bizarrely named Liars, who, to my knowledge, don’t tell lies – are tired of their families bickering over money and possessions and decide to teach them a lesson. The lesson backfires and the family is forever changed. There is a romance between one of the Aryan grandchildren and a – gasp – visible minority with a name any gal couldn’t help but love …Gat. To me, his name sounded like a noise I make when I have a cold; to Cadence, it’s a symphony of heartbeats and sweet nothings.
One member noted that the overdramatic declarations and actions do mirror those of a teenager, for whom this novel was written. Fair enough. But I dare think most 15 year olds would read this, turn to their friends, and state: “bitches, get real”.
What could E. Lockart have done to salvage this book? Well, how about some character development? And perhaps have a plot twist which isn’t quite so obvious. The setting could have been lovely, but filling it with characters so vapid, self-righteous, and dumb completely negated it.
My apologies, book club. I usually pride myself on choosing excellent books which I know would spark a great discussion and would be a solid read everyone would enjoy.
were to put We Were Liars
in that category,
I’d certainly be
See what I did there?