Books Culture

We Were Liars by Emily Lockhart

9 September 2015
Death_to_stock_photography_weekend_work (10 of 10)

No spoilers, I promise!

A few months ago, I bought the electronic version of We Were Liars without knowing anything at all about the author or the book. All I knew was that it had been suggested to me on Goodreads and the summary had intrigued me. I had no idea what I was in for!

Description of We Were Liars

Cadence is a 19 year old girl who is vacationing on an island with her mother and family. She used to spend every summer there but missed the past two years because of an accident that took place there and that sent her to the hospital for a few months.

But here’s the rub: Cadence can’t remember anything about the accident, and the reader knows nothing about it either. She was so traumatised by what happened that she blocked out the memory. Curioser and curioser…

My opinion

I really liked Emily Lockhart’s style that painted the main character’s most intimate thoughts beautifully. Cadence remembers more and more as the novel progresses: a sweet and gentle love story, strong but surly family relations, stories of money and violence and youthful errors with terrible consequences.

If you’re looking for a feel good novel, this is not for you!

The reader moves through the book feeling as confused as Cadence (or at least I did!) as well as feeling very apprehensive about what will happen next. The emotions depicted in this novel are strong and bittersweet at the same time: as Cadence remembers more and more happy and unhappy memories of her childhood, she senses that she is approaching the truth about her accident. Cadence wants to remember so much that she becomes obsessed, but as the reader, you want to protect her from the truth that you can tell is going to be heart-breaking.

I gave We Were Liars three stars out of five on Goodreads just after having finished it because the end of the story left me in a negative state of mind. A few months after, when writing this review, I think I would give it four stars instead because it really left a lasting impression on me. It was a very particular reading experience to put myself in the shoes of a young girl in search of a memory so terrible that her brain blocked it out!

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