WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart
Delacorte Press, 2014
I read this because it’s allegedly a retelling of King Lear. It… isn’t really (and I’ll talk about that more when I one day inevitably do a blog post on retellings of King Lear) but I actually liked this a LOT more than I was expecting to. Usually when I read YA my overriding feeling is ‘this wasn’t written for me,’ but I actually didn’t feel that so much; this largely felt like an adult thriller when I was reading. Yes, it contains Teenagers Experiencing Emotions, but that isn’t something I have an issue with; there was this sort of cool detachment to the writing that I felt worked in its favor and it was a fantastically paced, cleverly structured book that wasn’t weighed down by the protagonist’s navel gazing. And yes, there’s The Twist—it didn’t blow my socks off because it ended up being something I’ve seen done in other books, but I actually thought the execution here was really fantastic and it was definitely worth the wait. I did feel like the whole thing came together successfully, and it’s hard to talk about without giving anything away, but suffice to say this book was just delightful escapism if you prefer your beach reads to have a sharp edge.