unlikable characters

Book Review: We Were Liars


I was about 100 pages into this book, sitting in a pie shop in Brooklyn when I told my friend “this book feels like a lucid dream and I am not sure if I love or hate it.”

Months later I still can’t think of any better way to describe this story. The writing is deeply poetic and full of choppy fragmented sentences with haphazard line breaks. The dreamy feeling quickly became disengaging.

This story is about privilege, juvenile arrogance, and tragedy all told from an incredibly unreliable first person narrator. It is made obvious early in the story that due to a head trauma Cady’s memory and mental facilities are deeply compromised. As the reader it was hard for me to be fully immersed in the story when I was reading each line with trepidation. This story was interesting and intriguing and would be ideal for anyone who enjoys unlikable characters.

A wave surges up, dark blue, leaping from the sea like a whale. It arches over me. The muscles of my neck smasm, my throat catches. I fold beneath the weight of it. The blood rushes to my head. I am drowning.
It all seems so sad, so unbearably sad for a second, to think of the lovely old maple with the swing. We never told the tree how much we loved it. We never gave it a name, never did anything for it. It could have lived so much longer.
— We Were Liars; page 63-64

Rating: 3/5

Mood: I watched Across the Universe heavily drugged, just hours after getting my wisdom teeth removed, this book was deja vu of that experience.

For fans of: Our Chemical Hearts, The Nest, Terrible characters who do terrible things.