We Were Liars. The utterly poignant truth about societal issues that are deeply rooted in our upbringing. The tragic romance that exposes the inevitable heartbreak tied to the impermanence of young love. The ironic tragedy tinged with just enough melodrama to make us realize there is much more that takes place behind the closed doors of a troubled mind.
A private island. Family reunions. Beachfront houses. A cute boy with passionate political opinions who is in undoubtedly in love with you. Sounds like the dream, right? Not for the Sinclairs. What starts off as an innocent effort to reunite with the family each summer spirals into summers full of the tortured longing of unrequited love. Main character Cady Sinclair and her love interest, Gat Patil, develop a relationship that Lockhart never fully divulges to the audience, and soon enough their looks of longing and dreamy sighs fuel the desperation within us. The book never fails to leave the audience reeling, frustrated with the frivolous family feuds, misplaced trust, and the countless 'what-if's' that remain unanswered, even after the plot twist.
Although it is a bit of a morbid plot, as most of the book describes the awful realities associated with picture-perfect families and relationships, E. Lockhart portrays the story beautifully, as if the world is bursting into epic flames around Cady . The diction, the passion, the emotion behind every sentence is tailored perfectly to appease the impulsive teenage heart and will leave readers torn in pieces by the end.
Before you choose to judge this book by its cover, as I most certainly did, think again. As much as it may seem like it, this is not your average realistic fiction, everyone-is-always-happy, my-first-love-broke-my-heart novel. It is short and there isn't evident symbolism at a surface level, but I believe that is the beauty within it. I really think that you get what you put into this book, so if you aren't willing to give the novel a chance, you likely won't like it as much as I did. Personally, I came in with very low expectations, all of which were exceeded not long after I read the words, "We were warm and shivering, and young, and ancient, and alive". Maybe it was my impulsive teenage heart, maybe it was the fact that I am a dreamer, maybe I was just really bored. But every time I read this book, I feel nothing short of, "young, and ancient, and alive".
Would I recommend this book? Definitely, especially if your literary goals are anywhere near mine. I tend to read to escape reality and transport myself into the lives of other characters, choosing to feel very strongly their emotions for a couple of hours instead of my own. If that sounds like you in any way, I can 100% recommend this book. In fact, I already have. I've had a couple of book fanatics read the novel, all of them from various genres (dystopian, sci-fi, realistic fiction, historical fiction, etc.), and they all seemed to genuinely enjoy it, some more than others. I can recommend it to any avid reader, because like the most intense novels that we all love, this book builds and builds and builds until it finally falls into place and you're left with nothing but a gaping, wide, empty hole in your chest.
How do I feel about the novel, after my long, winding, tangential review? I love it. Although it did not contribute heavily to or build upon my current knowledge regarding the world, it made me feel deeply, and that ultimately shaped my perspective.
Let me know in the comments what you think of my review, the novel, if you're going to read it, anything. Let's get a conversation started, Moguls.
Thank you all for reading,