We Were Liars: by E. Lockhart
What I drank prior: Plenty o wine. Also some beer, and the last of the shitty cider I got literally months ago. Drinking prior did not improve it…
Spoiler-free Overview: This book is a striaght up lesson in overprivaleged white kids that summer in the I don’t give a shit kind of area of America. The main characters name, who I don’t remember (let’s call her Becky) has had some sort of mind erasing accident a few summers before at the family summer island (yes, not home, a fucking island becuase you need to know how privilegdged the are) and she clearly has issue because she’s willing giving away her possessions (gasp). She talks the family into letting her go to on the traditional summer family vacation. She has her three amigos (two cousins and a friend of the boy cousin) and wants to connect with them. We’ll call them Jennifer and Chad and their friend (I actually looked this up because he was my favotire) Gat (fyi, he’s the only person of color in this book and he did a great job of pointing out the prejudices to the characters in this book). They’re generally broody teenagers, hiding from the rest of the family. Everyone clearly “got some issues” in this book, because no one is telling Becky about the summer she doesn’t rmemeber but also the siblings (of the parents generations) are clearly infighting, and the grandfather has completely remodeled the main house. This is the kind of book where not much actually happens but the subtext is heavy
Spoiler-free Thoughts: This book was pretty frustrating. I think I would have liked it way more if not for the ending. To be honest though this book was pretty much #richwhitepeopleproblems. It makes it kind of hard to sympathize.
Characters: Pretty fucking bland to be honest, I feel like I’ve covered this pretty well, but there’s not much character growth other than the main character recovering the memories of the summer she’s lost. The entire book focuses on whiny teenagers and rich people problems. Not exactly a group of people that is easy to empathize with.
Plot: The plot was pretty much “my summer in the hamptons turned into a horror movie” so….
Writing Style: I never really pay attention to the writing style. Nothing jumped out at me.
World Building: I don’t really have much to say here. It wasn’t really a world that I felt needed more focus.
You know the worst part of reading all of this over-hyped bullshit about shitty people having rich peopel problems. All of her firends were dead the whole time and were just a hallucination. The reason they moved into the spare house, and for all the changes is these teenagers having their whiney teenager problems thought the answer to their problems was burnging down the house, except they were so bad at it (read: drunk) that the one girl lit the fire while her cousins and first love were in the house. This is one of my least favorite tropes. I would rather read another book with a shitty love triangle than a book where someone’s neuroses block out and recreate entire people. It’s fucking boring. It completely does away with any character growth and I think it is generally a show of lazy writing. So… The summer is weird because everyhone in the family is dealing with the fact that Becky fucking involuntary manslaughtered her best friends and the person she was most interested in. This doesn’t even get into the inherent racism and elitism in this family, and all the other issues that come with their privilege.
I think there’s a chance I would have enjoyed this book without the main reveal. Gat was working with Becky, pointing out that she didn’t recognize her privilege, that she didn’t know the people who worked on the island, to make her a more compassionate person (and this is where I should say, this should not be the work of the poc, but in this book I could at least not hate that that had to be his role) but he’s not even there to make that case. And the shitty cousins didn’t even really have fleshed out characters. I mean the entire book hinged on this half-assed reveal…
What to pair it with: Vodka – just straight vodka. That’s all these fucking people drank other than overpriced chardonnay.
Rating: 1.5/5 Shots
If you didn’t figure it out, I do not suggest this book.
Feel free to comment below: did you read this book and enjoyed it? I’d love to talk to you. Read it and felt the same way I did, great, let me know. Haven’t read it yet, feel free to talk about something else.
Lots of drunken hearts,