Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars by E Lockhart

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Rating: 5/5


I rarely rate new books a 5/5, but this one more than fit the bill. All of the things that challenged me about Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence and Gone Girl made me love We Were Liars. I loved the unreliable narrator, the sudden twist close to the end and the slightly unlikeable characters. It’s everything that Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls wanted to be.

But I am getting ahead of myself. We Were Liars is about a young girl recovering from a traumatic accident. She’s spent the last two years trying to remember what happened the summer she lost her memory, but something is keeping her from remembering. The book follows Cadence as she returns to her family’s summer home and tries to put pieces of her past, and herself, back together.

With a narrator that inspires the same fierce readerly devotion as Sharp Objects, the atmosphere of A Hundred Summers, and capturing first love and loss like Sarah Dessen or Stephanie Perkins, We Were Liars is the perfect book to pick up this summer!





Focus On: Unlikeable Narrators

Have you ever read a book where you hate all of the characters? How about one where the narrator is so annoying you’re tempted to abandon the book entirely? Over the past two weeks I’ve stumbled across two books that fit this description. They suffer from what I’ll call “the Gone Girl effect.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love Gillian Flynn as much as the next girl. In fact probably more, since Sharp Objects is easily in my Top 5 Books I’ve Ever Read. Love for the author aside, Gone Girl irked me. There was no one to love and by the end I was so frustrated with all of the characters that I didn’t care how the mystery unraveled. However, this type of book seems to be an emerging genre of sorts and I thought I’d share some similar titles.

Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence

Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence by David Samuel Levinson

Antonia Lively waltzes into town with her much older boyfriend and turns everyone’s lives upside down. Rather than contenting herself with her debut novel, Antonia is on the look-out for a story to write. Under the guise of befriending the townsfolk, Antonia explores and exploits their secrets on the page.

As much as I wanted to love this one, especially since it features a small college town and an interesting group of writers, I just couldn’t get behind the idea of Antonia or the novel’s strange narration. However, it’s beautifully written and has so many redeeming qualities I’d recommend it to anyone who loved Gone Girl.

Rating: 3/5
Method Read: e-galley

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)

Every Contact Leaves a Trace

Every Contact Leaves a Trace by Elanor Dymott

I first picked this one up as I was browsing in The Purple Crow. Since I have a rule to never leave an independent bookstore without buying something, I paid the staggering hardcover price. Perhaps not a great idea. I had very high expectations for this book. At first glance, it appeared a lot like The Bellwether Revivals, a book that easily topped my favorites list from last year. Both were set at Oxbridge, both had mysteries that eluded the police. Unfortunately the similarities ended there. Every Contact Leaves a Trace is narrated by Alex, a widower whose wife has died under mysterious circumstances. Alex is fairly likeable but unfortunately isn’t developed enough for the reader to care about his grief, or the ensuing investigation. The book is worth a look if you want a murder mystery with British flair, but pick it up at your library and spare your wallet.

Rating: 3/5
Method Read: Hardback, purchased

Every Contact Leaves a Trace


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Book Haul: July 11

Being in NYC where there are so many independent bookstores is really awful for my wallet! I can’t set foot in an indie bookstore and not buy something — supporting local is really important to me. Before you think that I just spend like a fiend, one great thing about indies is their sales! Most of the books I bought were deeply discounted. Here’s what I’ve bought recently:

        1. Zelda: A Biography by Nancy Milford (bought at Strand Books)

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        2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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        3. The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie  (bought at Strand Books)

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        4. Advent by James Treadwell  (bought at Elm Street Books)

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