Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Release Day Review: We Were Liars

We Were Liars
By e. lockhart
Expected publication May 13, 2014 by Delacorte Press

Cadence is the beautiful eldest grandchild of the powerful and alluring Sinclair family. But Cadence in summer seventeen is not the Cadence she was two years ago. Because something happened that changed her. And no one is talking about it.

I feel as if I've been hearing about this book forever. I follow the author on Twitter, as well as a number of the authors who read the manuscript, so I've been hearing overwhelming praise for this book even before ARCs came out. I was thrilled to get an ARC at ALA Midwinter - it certainly seemed like this book was getting the biggest push for the late spring/early summer.

Can I just say that I feel like a terrible person for not being completely in love with this book? I mean, really, I know I'm entitled to my opinion, and I know, maybe more frequently than I'd like, that opinion is allowed to be different from the norm. But that doesn't mean I still don't feel terrible that I can't quite rave about this book the way I expected to.

You see, not only was I expecting so much from this book because of the buzz, but I also expected a lot because of the author. I only read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks last year, but it quickly became one of my favorites. And, as Emily Jenkins, lockhart has also written three of my most favorite children's books - the series that begins with Toys Go Out. So my expectations for this new book were extremely high.

And I don't want anyone to take my lack of raving for this book to mean that I don't think it's good. Because it is. This book is a killer. I mean, lockhart is one of the most talented writers I've ever read. I am completely enchanted with the structure of this story - I think it's absolutely brilliant and I am in serious awe of lockhart's ability to construct a meaningful and complex story this way. And, there are many other things I loved about this book - the use of fairy tales and Shakespeare and many other things that, if I felt like searching, I'm sure I'd find some deeper meaning for.

But, you know, it just didn't knock me over like I wanted it to. I never connected emotionally with the story, which made it more difficult for me to throw myself into it. And I thought it was quite easy to figure out what the big secret was. Maybe not all the details, but the general picture. And I'm usually rubbish at solving the mystery before you tell me.

That being said, I think this book is guaranteed to blow some people away and I hope it does excessively well. Because lockhart is a brilliant author and I want everyone to read her. But I choose Frankie over Cadence any day, though I realize that's a completely unfair comparison. I just wanted more of a surprise.

Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy.

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