For the past two months I have picked up multiple books that I either lost interest in or just couldn't finish for sheer lack of interest. I've really been in a reading slump this year, but I can happily state that I have crossed We Were Liars off my TBR list. While I'm not as enamored with the story as many other readers, it was the first book in quite some time that actually held my interest so in my mind it's worth reading if you're on the fence.
The story explores many themes ranging from family relationships, race, young love, grief, and greed. There's something in the book for everyone which is probably why there's a lot of buzz surrounding it. I also believe a major fault in how the story is constructed is it tries to accomplish way too much and there isn't enough time devoted to allowing the reader to get to know the characters. This is especially true of the adults in the story, who are portrayed as one-dimensional caricatures. The three Sinclair daughters (Carrie, Bess, and Penny) are basically the same person and have no distinct personality whatsoever, and the grandfather is an almost laughable representation of old entitled White men in America. Point is, a little bit more depth and less stereotyping would have gone a long way.
The novel's protagonist, Cady, is likeable but it's evident early on in the story that she's an unreliable narrator and her point of view should be taken with a great deal of skepticism. I enjoyed her interactions with her cousins and Gat, but the story lacked execution. I just wish the author had focused on a few problems instead of jumping around to various issues/stereotypes in an effort to keep the reader in the dark so the "twist" in part four of the story had more of a shock factor. Oh, it should also be mentioned this technique didn't work at all and most readers will probably figure out the book's OMG moment very early on in the story.
We Were Liars wasn't horrible by any means, but I wanted more than what we were given. The writing was also too choppy for my liking. Still, it's a decent enough summer read and I think a lot of people will find something to relate to in the book.