I’ve heard so many mixed reviews about We Were Liars over the years, but I hadn’t read it, and I’m not sure why. It’s weird, because it seems like most readers either love it or hate it – there aren’t too many who seem to be in the middle. When I heard that the deluxe edition of the book was coming out, I figured I probably should get around to it already, because pretty much every other blogger and YA book fan I know has already read this one.
So I read it. It was a pretty quick read, and I read it all in one night – I started it like at 11 at night and finished it around 2 am I guess. While the overall story wasn’t bad, I wasn’t blown away by anything and I kind of felt it was lackluster, and for the most part I was left with more questions than I had before I even started the book.
In We Were Liars, we have four privileged and spoiled kids who spend their summers on a private island together. The four of them are pretty good friends, as well as cousins – all except for Gat. These kids have the whole island to swim, hang out, go to dinners – pretty much anything they want – all while spending the summers with their families and grandfather, who more or less owns the entire island.
But the kids in the Sinclair family, as well as Gat, have secrets – and they aren’t pretty secrets. They’ve done things that they aren’t proud of. Things that have some serious repercussions. In fact, the adults on the island have taken to calling them “The Liars.”
During the stuff that’s going on with the kids, the adults have their own things to worry about – including who gets the homes on the island, who gets what in terms of money – all of that jazz. Since their grandfather is getting older, he is trying to remodel and make sure that the homes go to the right children in the family.
I don’t mean to be vague when I talk about this book, but I really don’t want to give away any hints or anything that could make the story less enjoyable for those who haven’t yet read it (although I doubt that there are too many!). It does have it’s moments where I think it’s a great and creative story, and I do so love reading about spoiled rich kids (guilty pleasure when it comes to reading!), so for the most part, I did enjoy it.
But there was so much here that I am going to be picky about – things that I didn’t enjoy. For one, the characters weren’t very fleshed out and I feel like they weren’t very memorable – in fact, I honestly can’t remember their names or who each was in the family. I can only remember Gat because he wasn’t actually part of the family, but he was the son of the guy that one of the adults wanted to marry, but wouldn’t because she was afraid her grandfather would disinherit her.
Also, that twist of an ending was clever, but I honestly saw it coming, and can’t say that it made much sense, especially if you go back into the book and think about things. It made everything even more confusing instead of answering any questions that I had. It did tie the original story together, though, but some of the details bothered me, and I won’t even get into them because this is supposed to be a spoiler free review.
I did love the whole idea behind the family spending time on the private island, though – it really makes this the perfect book for summer, as that’s when it takes place – over the course of a summer and through memories of past summers. It made for the perfect read for a beach trip or vacation.
As far as the deluxe edition material went, I loved the hand drawn map of the island, and the family tree was a great addition – I found myself looking at both of these while reading the book, and it helped me paint a better picture of what was going on where and which characters were related and how. These were awesome additions to the book. Also, the author material in the back was interesting as well, and it added a bit to the reading experience. I definitely have to recommend picking up the deluxe edition of the book for these things alone – they really do enrich the reading experience and they’re pretty nifty.
I wish I could have absolutely loved this book, but I just didn’t – I did like it, just not enough to praise it as much as some others who have really enjoyed the book. It was definitely interesting, and I’ll probably end up reading it again, but I just wasn’t able to really connect with it as much as I would have liked to have been able to.