Wednesday, March 29, 2017

WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart

I'm a huge fan of Emily Jenkins, a.k.a. E. Lockhart. I was super excited to meet her at a conference in 2011, and I heard her speak in Seattle this past fall. I've enjoyed many of her books.

WE WERE LIARS has been out since May 2014, though I only just read it. My reaction: Wow.

Here's the blurb from the flap copy:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; 
             a passionate political boy.
A group of four friends--the Liars--
             whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

WE WERE LIARS is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
             Read it.
             And if anyone asks you how it ends, just lie.

I don't want to give anything away, so I'll be careful about what I share!

The story is intriguing and exciting--you can't help turning page after page after page. Jenkins tells us the protagonist's story using an authentic teen voice, one that matches Cadence's upbringing and experiences. It's written cleanly, and she feeds us the story at just the right pace, with just the right amount of details. Do you know when agents or editors say they, as readers, want to know they're in good hands? To me, this would be an excellent example of a book that feels that way from beginning to end.

The writing is poetic without losing its authenticity, its real teen feel. The book is written in prose, but the story has a rhythm (a cadence/Cadence? Ooh! I hadn't thought of that until now!). I love the voice, the repeated words and lines, the use of white space. It's masterfully written, and it's one of those books you want to discuss with someone else who's read it as soon as you're done!

I highly recommend WE WERE LIARS. Honest.

How about you? Have you read it? What have you been reading lately?

Sunday, March 26, 2017


Last Monday, we had to say good-bye to our sweet Pepper. Our hearts are broken. We were amazingly fortunate to have her in our family. She was a cuddler and a kisser, a nurse when the kids were sick, a best friend, and a goofball. She stopped to smell the flowers and noticed airplanes in the sky. She loved cookies, car rides, sunshine, and ear rubs. Most of all, she loved the kids, her brother Thistle, Jim, and me. Pepper made our world brighter. She was a beautiful life. We love her and miss her.

November 22, 2004 - March 20, 2017
(photo by Jordan Taylor)

February 2005

Pepper with her boy - February 2005

Pepper with her girl - February 2005

Pepper loved being a pillow for the kids. She would sometimes go into our son's room when he was asleep and nudge his pillow out of the way so she could take its place. The other dog in the photo is our beloved Jack, Pepper and Thistle's uncle.

Thistle (left) and Pepper (right) on their tenth birthday

Pepper and Thistle - May 2016

September 2016

Pepper and Thistle
(photo by Jordan Taylor)

Pepper and I in a sunbeam