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?


Jemi Fraser said...

I haven't read it yet, but it sounds fabulous! I bet it would be a hit at my school!

DMS said...

I haven't read this one- though I do remember hearing it is a good read. Awesome to read your review and be reminded of it again. Thanks for putting it back on my radar!

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Jemi and Jess! It's sooo good! I hope you enjoy it! Bet you will! :)

Crystal Collier said...

Written in prose, eh? I keep hearing about fabulous books written that way, but I have yet to pick one up. It makes me wonder if this is a growing trend, or just a fad.

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Crystal! It's written in prose, not poetry. Still, it has a rhythm of sorts that's very much a part of Cadence's voice. Does that make sense? I hope so. Perhaps I didn't explain it well.