I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my thoughts on this book before I’m now finally sitting down to write this review. I have to be honest…I was disappointed in this book. But I originally was having trouble pinpointing exactly what I didn’t like about it. I think that the biggest problem was probably the hype. Maybe I should’ve waited a while before reading this book, because everybody seems to have been raving about it for months, and it’s rare that I’m able to fully enjoy a book while that’s going on. But maybe something is just wrong with me!
On all counts, We Were Liars seems like a book I should’ve absolutely gone ga-ga over. And, at first, I did love it! I marked tons of passages, I was dying over the lyrical prose that almost felt like poetry, and I was shivering at the eerie atmosphere Lockhart has created for us. But as the book went on, I started to like it less and less. The prose started to seem too much like a poor man’s Mafi and I really got sick of the whole “emotions are blood” metaphor that just seemed a little to on the nose. And the King Lear-retelling vibe definitely started to get old — especially the little fairytale inserts before each chapter.
And I had so much trouble relating to and connecting with the characters. They started out intriguing, but were never given more depth. I closed the book knowing no more about any of the characters than when I had first opened it, besides that one or more of them might be legitimately insane. And I never felt the chemistry of the romance in the book, even though that was a pretty important element of the plot. I kept questioning why they were even together and what drew them to each other. They were just “in love,” for seemingly no reason at all.
I was also disappointed with the ultimate twist at the end of the book. Before reading this book, I kept hearing people go on and on about the “mind fuck” of this book…and maybe it was because of that that I didn’t like that part of the book as much as I thought I would. My expectations were so high about the mind fuckery aspect of We Were Liars that I ended up being disappointed by the end result. I thought it was a cool ending and it definitely made me go “ohhhh,” but it was more just like everything suddenly clicked into place than an “OH MY GOD, WHAT????” kind of moment.
Ultimately, while there were some things I really enjoyed about this book, like the super creepy ambience and some of the lyrical writing (specifically in the beginning of the book), I felt almost no connection with any of the characters or emotions in this book, and the final twist was a little lackluster for me.