We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The emotion in this one is given physical translation: each page is rife with how she feels and how she suffers but doesn’t clarify WHY that’s the case. It’s this that goads the reader on though to be frank one does get an inkling of what could be behind it all-- just not the scope of it.
Each little hint imparted and each little clue laid out had me fretting ‘was it was I thought it was?’ And though the way things ended lacked that “big reveal” feel, in its place was a confirmation of suspicion. Yet still, ending thus was not a let down; too many things had taken place prior to preclude the same:
Perfection and reputation: how they’re seen and who they are versus what each of them needs and what all of them want. There’s more than one mystery here and they’re all entwined with why the MC is the way she is so that unraveling one obviously meant unraveling the latter. So that on one end we want to know what she doesn’t know and on the other we also want to know who they all are TO and FOR each other. The way these two things come together here left me breathless not over how sad everything was (OK, that too) but over how so utterly impressive the story telling is done.
And it’s not a new story either: I’ve come across variations of this once or twice before and still I’m impressed – it’s the way their tale is told that’s impressive:
First, we have a girl who in a fog… and we’re in that fog with her. it’s the getting out from under that that makes for an interesting read because like her we have questions upon questions upon questions and maybe answers that were doubtful of at first then afraid of a bit later then heart broken over eventually.
Then, we’ve this family ideal complicated by what she/they/everyone else wants and needs. It’s this aspect that’s added a layer of the unreal too: the way the tales she tells mirrored the reality she lived in, only not quite. Her story telling of patriarchs and princesses and monsters and mice… it’s at once youthful in the way things are related; but not, given what’s being said.
I loved this.
Thank You, NG!
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