I have been wanting to E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars book for a while, and finally I did because I am going to an author signing with E. Lockhart tomorrow evening! I am so glad I finally came up with an excuse to finally pick it up and read it because its actually REALLY GOOD!! Well, I thought so at least.
I started out listening to the audiobook and wasn’t digging it. There are several parts throughout the book where Lockart exaggerates her writing and its hard to tell that its an exaggeration until the story really moves on. As an example, in the second chapter, Cady’s father is walking out on her and her mother and Cady tells the story as “Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened up wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed….” The scene goes on for a couple more sentences. I’m reading this like ‘what?! How did you survive?!’ Well, that’s only what it felt like. Duh. There are a few more scenes that are similar to this where she describes painful scenes in violent ways, but really they aren’t happening. She just feels like they are. It really makes you reality check yourself and the book and by the time you get to the end it sort of all clicks but as you’re reading it you’re just thinking ‘wait, what?!?!?!’ (yes, all of that punctuation is necessary).
So what else happens in this book? Well “the liars” are four cousins, basically, who visit the family island each summer. I really can’t say very much more without giving away very much. The book actually is much more of a mystery/thriller than I thought that it would be. It involves a lot more beach and summer island sun than I realized as well, plus summer love, and its pretty short–I finished it in just 2 days or so–so I would recommend it if you’re looking for an edge-of-your-seat summer read. Like I said, the book really kicked my book and was not what I expected and I really liked that so if you’re up for something a little off the beaten path, give this a go. I think you’ll enjoy it. Happy reading!
Hello, everyone! I just wanted to check in and wish you all a Happy Father’s Day if you’re celebrating it. To those of you who are missing someone today, my thoughts go out to you and I hope you are doing the best you are able today. And if today is just a normal Sunday to you, then more power to ya!
On to bookish things, my pick for favorite literary father figure is Matthew Cuthbert. Yes, I could have chosen Arthur Weasley or Sirius Black from Harry Potter, Charlie Swan from Twilight, or even Mr. Bennett from Pride & Prejudice (those were the three big ones I saw on Bookstagram earlier today) but I’m going the Anne of Green Gables route. That seems to be my default so far this year. So why Matthew?
“…he was the shyest man alive and hated to go among strangers or to any place he had to talk.” – Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
When it came to Anne Shirley, the orphan girl who Marilla and Matthew wanted to be a boy to help out around the property, Matthew was a softie. Matthew always listened to Anne’s chatter, even though he didn’t always understand it, and even asked to learn from her since he never went to school himself. Their relationship was so sweet, and Anne referred to them as ‘kindred spirits.’ I just love that phrase and think it fits perfectly.
“True friends are always together in spirit.” – Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a book that centers around in-the-closet gay Simon. An email confessing his sexual preference is intercepted by a somewhat jerky classmate named Martin. What does a jerk do with Simon’s news? Blackmail. Make life that much more difficult. Meanwhile, Simon continues his email relationship with this mystery schoolmate who he calls “Blue.” The two grow comfortable with each other as friends, but eventually find that their struggles with homosexuality and coming out are similar with their families and friends as well.
The entire book is relatable and easy-going, even to someone like be (straight and female). The story doesn’t fully revolve around being gay, and it doesn’t have to, but rather it has more to do with Simon’s personal growth and his relationships not just with Blue, but with his parents, siblings, his friends, and his ‘rival’ in Martin. There is that moment towards the end where Simon thinks that there’s a reason Martin was acting so harshly towards him about the email in the beginning. Well, there was and it wasn’t quite what he suspected, and I’m glad we found out in the end. (I tried really hard not to spoil that for anyone!) There is also some other high school friend drama, some literal drama (a high school musical), family drama, and it all gets balanced out with Simon’s wit and pop culture references.
So overall I think that this falls into a good subgenre of YA fiction that needs to be out there right now. The book is never preachy, never boring, never harsh. It is exactly what it needs to be–entertaining, sweet, funny, but still real. Goldilocks, how about that!
I didn’t want to write my thoughts down until I finished all three “books.” AND apologies in advance. This is an incredibly disjointed review because I am tired and I think that reading these books back to back also did something to my own brain. Thanks Colleen Hoover.
WARNING: This review contains many spoilers.
So thought #1 – why are they separate books? Why not different sections within the same book? I mean, I get that ((spoiler)) each book is a separate memory reset but the books are so short they could easily just be put into **A** book. This kind of thing always bothers me. Sorry – I’m not an author or publisher so I suppose its all about money and publishing books and whatever things I, the lowly reader know nothing about. But from my end….its annoying.
Thought #2 – I did really enjoy the ‘series’…if that’s what we are calling it. Trilogy? Whatever. Silas was almost one of those too-good-to-be-true guys but the books kind of proved the theory that certain parts of your personality are ingrained within you. This held true for Charlie too. I liked that they really acted on what “felt” right and natural to them and could feel their personalities and it really led them, ultimately ((spoiler)) back to each other as soul mates.
Thought #3 – This is also my above thought continued. I liked all of the mystery surrounding the memory loss and Charlie and Silas having to figure out why they lost their memories. (I was convinced it was some voodoo stuff from the crazy affair fortune teller lady from downtown!) I liked the romance aspects of the story and all of the letters and the journal entries and them falling in love again. However, cheesiest. ending. ever. I threw up a little. Like, really? Wow. So that’s really all I can say about that. Epilogues are a NO-GO.
I have unfortunate news. I wasn’t a huge fan of this book. It was good, but not mindblowing. Here are my thoughts:
Let me start by stating that the Goodreads description of this book claims that “Readers of Kate Atkinson will delight in this suspenseful debut novel about a woman haunted by nightmares and her grandmother’s role in a doomed love triangle almost seventy years before.” I’m a fan of Kate Atkinson and in my opinion, this is why she doesn’t write suspenseful novels. Pick one genre or another and commit. There was just SO MUCH DESCRIPTIVE WRITING going on that I often found myself confused or bored or indifferent. Especially in the first half of the book. BUT THEN…..
Everything picked up in the second half and everything was magnificent. I was ready to call it quits and apologize to NetGalley and the publisher and then all of a sudden WHOA! Now we’re getting started here! The characters were fascinating. There were twists and turns I did NOT see coming. And the writing remains strong all the way until the end. So ultimately, if you have the patience to wade through at least 120-150 pages of reading before a plot really thickens, then this book will really satisfy you and you will not regret picking this up. However, if you are someone who needs a beginning to end page-turner (i.e. Dan Brown or the likes?)…..move on.