This was an interesting experience for me. I think, more often than not, I actually read books written in the third person rather than the first person. Since reading in first person is a rarity, it tends to take me just a little bit longer to find my “footing” in a book.
I think We Were Liars by E. Lockhart was slightly confusing, partially because of the first person perspective. However, I do not believe the author could have presented this book in another fashion, given how everything turned out in the end. In this case, the first person perspective, the jumble, is what makes the book.
I wish I could tell how everything fits together and the questions about the book I have, but unless you want to read about spoilers, I cannot. I would love to tell you one specific thing about it, but all I can really compare this to is the movie Memento. Yes, it is different, but this is my closest comparison.
For those who are unaware, Memento is movie in which the main character suffers from memory loss. Thus, the story (trying to find a killer) is told in a unique way. The audience learns as the man does. It is confusing at times, but it is brilliant at the same time. We Were Liars does something that evokes a similar sense.
While the perspective of the novel is good and it does work in the end, it would have been nice for the overall flow of the novel to work a little better. I think it does come off a bit disjointed at times, and as such I had trouble in spots ensuring I got the meaning right.
This actually brings me to my next point. I am not sure if it is the way the book was presented, or if something was left out…but I am still unsure of why the characters referred to as “Liars” were actually “Liars.” I have heard some reports that there is a missing scene from this book that explained why they are called this, however since I am only reading reports rather than a direct message or words from the author, I am left questioning it.
After all, I would imagine such a scene would be important to the overall story. As such, I would think it would be included, even if adapted somehow, to explain the situation. Without a good meaning to the title, I feel as if the book is missing something. If you think you know the answer, I would love to hear it!
I think, in the end, We Were Liars is a good book. The format takes a little getting used to, but it works. In fact, if you simply go in with the intention of enjoying rather than analyzing (as I seem to be doing with most of the book I am reading lately), I think this is something great to sink your teeth into. If you read it, let me know what you think!
Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Penguin Random House