Best twist in the tale - No word of a lie

Occasionally, you get a book with a twist so good you need to go back and read the whole book again. They are quite elusive, there is a fine line between a legitimately mind blowing plot twist, and putting two fingers up to the reader as you back track on the whole of your story (and you all know my thoughts on the twist in We Were Completely Beside Ourselves!). Well I’ve managed to find one of those excellent twisty books. E Lockhart’s We Were Liars is one of the best I’ve read – providing you can get past the first 100 or so pages.

I will admit I almost gave up on this flowery, overly punctuated text when I first started it, something I rarely do. The first page showed such promise:

We Were Liars

What an amazing start; concise, descriptive and intriguing. I couldn’t wait to read more, but as I did so I found myself losing my enthusiasm. I waded through page after page of overdramatised rich girl problems, written in short choppy sentences, with the odd hyperbole thrown in to keep you on your toes. It took me a page or two to work out that when the main character’s dad left, he did not whip out a gun and shoot her on the front lawn, despite the text saying he took out a gun and shot her on the front lawn. You can see my confusion. I love metaphor as much as the next English Lit scholar but this is subtle to the extreme – or not subtle enough, I can’t really decide.

So after Cadence the main character does or does not get shot, the book mostly follows the idyllic, unrealistic summers spent at their summer beach houses with her extended family, including the titular liars: her cousins and their friend. Once you are used to the style of the writing, the story actually becomes quite pleasant to read, and the intrigue is back with a vengeance. Something happened one summer to cause Cadence (can’t type that name without a smirk) to have horrible migraines and to lose her memory, but in typical Wasp fashion the family don’t like to discuss anything unpleasant, so she is left to try and work out what it was. And to say anything else really would be spoiling it!

After so many false starts trying to get into the story, I found once I started I couldn’t stop! It was a good job I had a bit of a recuperating day planned last weekend after a hectic week and my and hubby both being ill, as I spent most of the day reading, and then re-reading WWL. There’s very little else as satisfying as that click moment as you near the end of a book, as everything you’ve just read falls into place, and you struggle not to turn back immediately to see if you missed anything. You may be smarter than me and work out where it is all heading miles before I do, but there’s nothing better than working it out exactly when the author planned you to, and feeling like the twist adds to, rather than spits on the lead up that came before.

If you have read this book, or read it because of my review (there is no higher praise for me!) then please do get in contact in the comments, on Twitter or Facebook, because a book this brilliantly plotted deserves a bit of discussion!

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