We Were Liars, E. Lockhart: Book Review

we were liars e lockhart book review
We Were Liars Book Cover We Were Liars
E. Lockhart
Young Adult
Hot Key Books
May 13, 2014
Paperback
227

We are the Liars.

We are beautiful, privileged and live a life of carefree luxury.

We are cracked and broken.

A story of love and romance.

A tale of tragedy.

Which are lies?

Which is truth?

You decide

This review contains spoilers

E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars had potential but ultimately I felt that closing chapter is what ruined everything for me. I mean, I wasn’t quite sure where exactly she was going in the first three segments of the book but I stuck it out because Lockhart’s style was a refreshing change from what I’m used to reading. And in some respects, I am a bit grateful for sticking it through because this book wasn’t all that bad, though I’m still a bit disappointed in how it ended.

I was so anxious to see how We Were Liars would end, you guys. I had so many theories of what I thought would happen, for instance: Cady revolts against the Sinclairs and starts leading this nomadic love life with Gat; Harris dies a well-deserved and lonely death and Mirren eventually meets her Romeo, and Johnny finally runs that damned marathon no one would shut up about. Three consecutive letdowns; one chapter of unbelievable events; and several reasons why I was better off setting fire to this book.

And trust me, I have every right to nag about how everything that happened in this book was inexplicably turned on its head. Neither the ending nor the stupid events that take place in between have a stable foot to stand on. This was a complete letdown on so many levels but there were four vital things that were never addressed, even by its ending, that really struck a nerve with me. Here are some of the things Lockhart left unexplained in We Were Liars:

1) Why was Mirren always sick without any explanation?

Was I the only one beginning to think she was pregnant or something? At every outing Mirren somehow ends up sick, but why? I know there was a reference to her maybe having a phobia for public spaces but there was no follow-up to support that; there’s nothing mention that could constitute her always being so damn ill all the time. For a minute, I thought she had had some secret affair with Gat, which would also explain her ignoring Cady’s e-mails and advising her to drop him, and also her jealousy of Cat. IDK… this was only a theory, you guys, don’t judge me.

2) Why does Cady set the Clairmont on fire so early?!!!

This moment single-handedly pissed me off the most because it makes absolutely no effing sense. Cady was well aware that everyone was still in their stations before she started pouring gas on the main floors, so why the fuck would she immediately set Clairmont on fire before the others made it out? Don’t tell me it’s because she was drunk because that’s total bullshit. She deliberately stepped out of the house to save herself, tossed her shoes into the house, and ignited the whole main floor without any signals from her so-called friends. But more importantly, from Gat! I’m so sorry, Lockhart, but this whole scheme was lazy, rushed and awfully contrived. If that was the major “twist” you were hoping to sell, then sorry, I’m not buying it.

e lockhart we were liars book review

3) If Cady’s father shot her in the fucking chest, why is he still a free man? Not only that, why the hell is he allowed to take her out of the country?!

I seriously had to go back and re-read this part over again and again in hopes of being wrong about what I’d just read. It only dawned on me during those last few moments towards the end when Cady starts to bleed all of a sudden, a moment that reminded me why I initially hated this book.

Why the fuck wasn’t her father incarcerated for shooting his own fucking child? What world is this book set in?! Furthermore, what mother would allow their child’s father to have any physical contact with their child after blowing a large, gaping wound through their daughter’s chest? I just—I don’t fucking understand what the fuck this book is trying to teach here…These people are fucking crazy! There I said it!

e lockhart we were liars book review

4) Did anyone find Cady’s complacent grief to be a red flag? Hello! You just killed three people and two dogs! Accident or not, what the hell is your problem, girl?!

I’m not even going to attempt going too deep into this last bit but let’s acknowledge the fact that Cady does, in fact, mourn the loss of her friends and family. I just didn’t feel like she really had any remorse for what she did. Then again she’s a horrible character to learn to tolerate and understand. All spite aside, I think this book could’ve benefited from having Cady committed suicide or something. That sounds pretty effed up, right? Well, this girl just killed all her friends so you can suffer through this theory. Seriously, think about it: She would be taking control of her own life again, which is what she’s always wanted anyway, right? Cady didn’t want anyone to pity or feel sorry for her, so what better way to show her independence than ending her own life? Maybe because this is YA or because the subject material would have been too advanced for most to understand is why they didn’t use that angle. It would have certainly made for a much more entertaining and meaningful ending, in my opinion.

That would’ve made for a greater ending, just sayin’.


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Written by Paris Close

Paris Close

Editor-in-chief at Paperback Paris. Saving myself for Andy Cohen. Give me Gillian Flynn, or give me death.

  • Britta W

    She didn’t literally get shot by her father. She’s describing how she felt when he left.

    • Tbh, I did so much eye-rolling while reading that book it’s quite possible I misread, or misinterpreted that scene. I’ll call it an oversight on my part if that’s true.