Tag: elockhart

Book Review: We Were Liars (E. Lockhart).

We Were Liars

–  E. Lockhart

This is the only novel I have read written by E. Lockhart, and it is a re-read for me. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is a young adult suspense novel. The story follows the wealthy and beautiful Sinclair family. The main protagonist of the story is the Sinclair family’s eldest granddaughter Cadence Eastman.

The Sinclairs’ spend their summer on their private island of Beechwood. It is their slice of paradise away from everyone else, secluded and beautiful. Cady, Johnny, and Mirren are cousins who are similar in age and are very close. Later, they are joined by Gat who is the nephew of Johnny’s mother’s boyfriend. Cady, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat form a close bond, and they call themselves the Liars. The focus of the story remains on these four characters as they navigate through their dysfunctional family with Cady as the narrator.

Cady has spent every summer at  Beechwood since she was eight years old and looks forward to it. Gat starts coming to the island a couple of years later though he is welcomed there he is treated as an outsider by the older generation. Cady and Gat slowly fall in love; beginning a romantic relationship eventually. When Cady is fifteen she gets into an accident at Beechwood, and she spends the next two years recovering. Cady writes to Gat, Johnny, and Mirren but is hurt when she doesn’t receive a reply. She has no memory of the accident or what led to it. Her mother refuses to answer her questions. Cady constantly feels like something is missing, but she doesn’t know what.

Cady joins the family at Beechwood two years later. She is happy to be with the Liars again. No one else in her family tells her anything about the accident, even the Liars that leaves her frustrated. She decides to find clues and piece together the events of that summer herself. As she spends most of her time with Johnny, Mirren, and Gat away from other family members, she slowly starts recalling that summer. The façade of perfection that the Sinclair family maintains starts slowly crumbling. On paper, they seem progressive and liberal, but they are pretentious. This whole idea of the ideal American family is rooted in Sinclair’s mind, but it is toxic. The grandfather, Harris, keeps control over his daughters by using their inheritance against them

Gat is always reminded that he is an outsider by Cady’s grandfather subtly enough for others not to catch it, but the message is clear. Everyone seems to have a problem with Gat and Cady’s relationship because he is of Indian descent. His uncle proposes to Johnny’s mother, who refuses to accept the proposal because she knows she will lose her inheritance by marrying him. As an outsider to this family, Gat has a different perspective on the situation and often shares his views with the Liars. None of the sons-in-law of Harris’s daughters have ever been treated as a part of the family.

Meanwhile, Cady, Johnny, and Mirren don’t believe in the way, their family has lived or what they believe in. Once the cracks start showing, they keep getting bigger and bigger. Everyone in the family has the habit of dealing with pain and loss by suppressing it. Cady’s father leaves them; Cady and her mother pack away all of his things, make renovations to the house and act like he didn’t exist. They go about the same way in case of an accident too. Cady is miserable because she doesn’t know what has happened, and it eats at her, but no one wants to talk about it. It is the greed and pretentiousness of the family that eventually leads to the accident.

I remembered being shocked by the revelations towards the end and this time I understood the depth of it. This book has such strong themes that include sensitive topics, and it is done in a powerful yet subtle way. Also, the way this book is written is amazing. The writing is almost poetic; I don’t know how else to describe it. It keeps you hooked from the beginning with its story and proper pace. The reader is piecing together the events along with Cady; it is engaging.

I loved reading this book again. There are so many nuances and themes that I didn’t understand the first time around because I was young and unaware of things. The writing, the characters, the psychological and suspense thriller kind of narrative is a page-turner. We Were Liars is one of my favorite young adult novels.

*Get a copy by clicking on the book cover above.

Currently Reading (December ’20)

Currently Reading (December ’20)

My reading list for this month.

1) Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

I wanted to read this book for a long time. I bought it earlier this year and finally started reading it. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut is a story of Billy Pilgrim; the story is set during World War II. I am only a few pages in now; the plot and the writing are really interesting. It is based on the infamous bombings on Dresden during World War II. This book is said to be one of the best anti-war books; it has an intriguing premise for sure. The story draws from Vonnegut’s own experiences during wartime.

2) We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is a re-read for me. It’s been a few years since I read it. I don’t remember all the plot details, just a couple of them. This a story about four privileged teenagers who spend summers together on an island their family owns. It has an air of mystery in it, almost like a psychological thriller. I am excited to read it again.

3) One Night With You by Sophie Jordan

One Night With You by Sophie Jordan is a historical romance novel. I know it is a part of the Derrings Series, but I haven’t read the first two. I will read this as a standalone. The story focuses on Lady Jane Guthrie, who is treated, as an outcast in her own family. Seth is a guy who broke her heart when he fell in love with her sister. This story follows the love story between Jane and Seth. As far as I have read by now, it has kept me hooked.

*Click on the book covers above to get a copy.

Top Five Favorite YA Books

I have read a lot of young adult books lately and while some didn’t interest me at all, others were mostly predictable. By the first couple of pages I was bored and finishing them started to feel like a task. Finally I was able to find the kind of books I love reading. I must admit I ended up reading some of these books more than once. This is a list of the books which left a long-lasting impression on me because I found them relatable. I know at the end of the day these books are fiction but still they seem to be grounded; realistic which is why I loved them.

1. Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher.

There are no words to describe the roller coaster ride of emotions this book takes you on. The plot is engaging and fast paced, the characters are so real that nothing feels forced or a plot convenience. The first couple of pages are enough to suck you in. Just a suggestion; keep a box of tissues handy while reading this one.

2. All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven.

I had a hard time recovering emotionally after reading this one. The story deals with a heavy subject like mental health to an extent also about death but the book can’t be simple classified as sad. Violet and Theodore pull you into their story; make you happy and sad and everything in between. Watch out for the ending.

3. We Were Liars – E. Lockhart.

I started reading this book with one thing in mind but it turned out to be something entirely different. It markets itself as the story of four super privileged kids and the summer of their lives but it is so much more thrilling and heartbreaking than you expect it to be. This book will make you turn right back to the beginning of the story after you have finished reading the end.

4. Looking For Alaska – John Green.

John Green loves to make us sad; this book is another example of it. Reading this book will put you through so many emotions, you will be overwhelmed. The first half is a fun-filled ride but that is just a devious ploy to make us think this book might not be a cry fest like The Fault in Our Stars. It stays in your mind long after you have finished it.

5. Maybe Someday – Colleen Hoover.

I realized that this is the only book on my list which is actually a light read. It is full of emotions and turmoil but at the heart it is a love story. The characters fall in love in such an organic way and you can’t help but feel all giddy inside yourself. I read ninety percent of this book in one sitting till I was too exhausted to keep my eyes open, I had to know what happens next. It is engaging from start to finish.

*Get a copy by clicking on the book covers above.