We Were Liars

Thoughts wwlbyel We Were Liars by e.Lockhart, Listening Library 2014, 6 hr 24 min Audio

Narrator:  Ariadne Meyers


DEFINITION:  “To fall flat” – To fail in the intended effect.

This fell flat for me. I’m tempted to give it only two slices of pie.

I was intrigued by a tweet:

Book Review – We Were Liars by | Outstanding book – read it before someone spoils the amazing ending!

And I suppose I could blame Jill who wrote a spoiler free review which you must read if you ARE curious: Rhapsody in Books

What we have here is a conundrum. Advice is to read it NOW before someone spoils it. BUT you should know that that is the intention of the marketing team – to build it up with BIG TWIST!  Don’t TELL ANYONE!!  hype hype hype – which I was trying to avoid. Unfortunately, I was too late – I became aware that this was the intent of the marketing and I must have gotten suspicious.Perhaps if I had immediately read the book after Michelle said to do so because that was the first time I was warned; not aware of the propaganda of the warning. I couldn’t help but see this title start popping up everywhere, ugh. I should have waited a few years or skipped it altogether.

On the other hand, if this does appeal to you, the audio seems to be a good way to experience it. I thought the narrator did a fine job (except do not expect a Massachusetts accent!!) and there are some goodreads reviews that state the written presentation/style was annoying – this can be avoided by listening. I think. Maybe.

I just didn’t feel a thing. At the time of the big twist/shock/reveal, I was just relieved that the book would soon be over. No, I didn’t see it coming. But I did go looking for reviews at the half way mark (kiss of death for me when I do this, I can’t help it! when a book is starting to annoy me, I go see what others thought — to see if I should keep reading…)

And so I found Nymeth’s THOUGHTFUL issue exploration: Things Mean a Lot(I didn’t read the spoiler part — but I read the comments.  Ooops.) Nymeth always brings such calm insightful intelligent considerations to her reviews and sadly, that is what makes me most sad about the story – that I missed the bigger truth that Nymeth caught: “a story of political awakening gone horribly wrong…

Truly!! Many MANY bloggers I admire and respect thought this an AMAZING stunner of a book!!  GO decide for yourself and than cry with me that I failed with it…

Somebody please tell me that I will like The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks better?



* New Englanders don’t say AUNT the way I did when I grew up:  like the insect ANT. They say it to rhyme with FONT and now after living here 10 years, I do, too! Every time I heard the narrator say “the Aunties”, I was distracted. “This is supposed to be set in Massachusetts…”




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25 thoughts on “We Were Liars

  1. This is how I felt when I finally read Defending Jacob – I couldn’t believe people were making such a big deal out of the twist because I could see it coming. I’ve got We Were Liars and now I’m wondering if I should put off reading it.

    1. I don’t know. Sometimes we get swept away and sometimes we don’t. Can’t predict and can’t explain. I can’t figure out if I just didn’t connect to the protagonist and over-analyzed (I don’t think that was the problem) or what happened exactly, but I just didn’t ‘get’ this one.

  2. BEWARE: Possibly spoilery comment.

    I love twists so much that it makes me love the book more just because I got gobsmacked. But I do agree with you that thee isn’t THAT much to the book besides gobsmacking. As far as the message, I don’t necessarily agree with Nymeth that there was *no* political awakening just because of the frequency with which the class and racial aspects were mentioned by the narrator, at least, throughout the book. But I do agree with her that in the end it didn’t matter much. So what am I saying here? Heck if I know….

  3. I got your tweet but I haven’t read this one so I skimmed your review. So it didn’t live up to your expectations, huh? It’s getting a ton of buzz but I haven’t been compelled to read it, other than to find out what all the fuss is about.

    1. TOO much buzz! I didn’t think I was overinfluenced until about a third in, then I started to see repetition and got uneasy about where it was trying to go and little things started to annoy me.

  4. Oh no!! I wasn’t trying to build on the marketing campaign at all when I tweeted that. This really is one book that will fail if you know what happens or can predict the ending. I really enjoyed it, and the revelations at the end really just hit home for me. I haven’t read Nymeth’s comments but I never felt the class and racial elements were the main point of the story. It was more a psychological awakening IMO about the tragedy, the guilt and remorse associated with it, and the long-term ramifications for the entire family. The political aspect was just a part of that.

    I’m sorry it fell flat for you. It definitely is one that is going to suffer from the hype.

    1. I think I prove you right! I am thinking that if you like Cadence, you can like this story. I didn’t like her much, nor any of the characters. maybe Mirren and Taft.

  5. I didn’t even realize that there was a twist to this one until someone was talking on twitter about how knowing there is a twist is actually a spoiler (without knowing WHAT the twist is). I agree because then I read the entire book over-analyzing everything. I’m sorry it fell flat for you. I really enjoyed Frankie Landau.

  6. Hahaha, I was wondering when I was going to see the first “We Were Liars disappointed me” post. It had to happen sometime! No book can sustain all the hype that We Were Liars has been getting! I think I’ve already waited too long to read it. At this point I have to wait for the backlash to be over and for everyone to semi-forget about the book, and THEN I can read it free of expectations!

    1. Exactly!! It is like riding the roller coaster – if you don’t jump on at the beginning, you can’t expect to jump in along the way. Or something. WAIT til everyone has forgotten about it.

    1. Fall in love with the main character and allow to get swept away without worrying about nitpicky things and you’ll likely do just fine. 😀

  7. Oh, wrong cultural pronunciations get me so mad! I don’t know the New England way of speaking, so I may be fine with this audio, but give me one with Indian characters, and I’ll be pulling my hair out. I have no idea about the shocker ending, and I will probably forget about it by the time I get to this book, so hopefully, that will work in my favor.

  8. Thank you so much for the kind comments ❤

    I think it's definitely possible to be indifferent to this and love Frankie. They're very different sorts of books, even if some of the themes they tackle are the same.

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  10. Ah, I can see why it would fall flat for you if you were expecting the big twist. I loved this one but I had the advantage of going into it completely blind. All I knew about it was that it was considered one of the “hot” books of the season. That’s it. I didn’t hear any comparisons, didn’t know what it was about, didn’t realize there was going to be a twist ending. When I closed it I wanted to read it all over again, knowing it will be different reading it with the knowledge of how it ends (so I bought a copy — the ARC I got from a friend was promised to another). Sorry to hear this one didn’t work for you. Makes sense — the hype really can destroy a read.

  11. Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening.
    I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this short article together.

    I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time
    both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

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