karen's Reviews > We Were Liars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
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bookshelves: netgalley, why-yes-i-ya

so, just like Little Bee, this book begs you "NOOO, DON'T TELL ITS SEEEEKRITS!!" and if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

so part of me is tempted to write this whole long review about how this book is a magical adventure focusing on a young girl in manhattan during the blackout of 2003, when all the red pandas living in the sewers came out to play, carrying tiny flashlights and shepherding people from manhattan to their homes in the outer boroughs and all the lessons this young girl learns along the way from her red panda guide about life and humanity and art history and, ultimately, herself.



because i would read that book.

instead, i am just going to say that it is perhaps unwise to market a book in this way. true, the only reason i read it myself was because i came across it when making YA list for work, and i was all "SECRETS?? I LOVE SECRETS!! I WANT TO KNOW THE SECRETS!!" it's a very effective way of drumming up interest around a book.

but the problem is, when you are prepared for a big twist, it is very easy to guess the big twist, which i did very early on. if you think you are just reading a book about some rich family and a girl with a faulty memory and a mysterious summer, with no tantalizingly bossy instructions about keeping the book's secrets, you might be more surprised when the reveal is revealed. but when such a big deal is made of SHHHHHHH, and you know you are expecting something unexpected, you will probably find it, and so reading the book just becomes an exercise in waiting for the character to figure it out. which is fine, but less effective in terms of shock value.

i liked it anyway, but i think it would have been more fun to gasp in genuine surprise at the path it took. so forget i said anything, forget what the synopsis tells you to do, and just read it like you would any other book.

this should help you forget everything you have ever known:

http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450...

come to my blog!
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Reading Progress

March 1, 2014 – Started Reading
March 1, 2014 – Shelved
March 2, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 73 (73 new)


message 1: by Erica (new)

Erica How many books with the theme of lying in the title do you plan to read this month?
Also, did I write that sentence in English? Because it seems to be poorly structured and somewhat nonsensical.
But nasty little secretsesses! I love those things!


Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* Why isn't that first bit a book? It should be.... Yeah, I agree on the shhhhing... It's unnecessary, most people don't wanna give away the big reveal. Don't shhh me, authors, I am not a rampant spoiler alert on two feet!


rachel Red pandas!


karen i didn't realize i was on such a lying tear, but you are correct!

i do understand the impulse to say "this book has secrets, don't tell!" but The Quick: A Novel is another book that has a HUGE reveal in it, and most people have been pretty careful when reviewing that one, without the instruction to do so. i probably wouldn't have read this book without the excitement of finding out the secret, but it's not too surprising if you go into it knowing that something is going to try to surprise you. double edged sword and all...


Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* Ah yes... one of my big pet peeves is when people tell me there's a big twist... but not what, obviously, so you spend the whole book/movie expecting it... very anti-climactic.


message 6: by Cole Klotz (new)

Cole Klotz karen and outhers look at my about me u will be happy!!


message 7: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo It seems that most YA books nowadays have these "big twists." It's getting super easy to guess them too. Love your idea about the red pandas - they are adorable!


Karina I would read the red panda book, if you care to write it...


karen i will need to study red pandas very closely, for research. so someone needs to start a kickstarter for me to obtain at least two to keep in my apartment.


Karina You don't want to try living in the sewers with the red pandas, do you? Y'know, for like, research and all...


karen shit, you're right.

ah, but wait!! first i have to observe their mannerisms in a controlled environment before i release them (and live with them) in the sewers. BOOM!

and i will have to spend a long time observing them in this controlled environment. for science.


Karina Well played - you win one internets today!


karen phew.


Elizabeth La Lettrice While it does not have red pandas (I believe), The Geography of You and Me is about a girl in Manhattan during the blackout of 2003!


karen shit. i'm always too late...


Kaitlin Reads I totally agree. If I would have came upon this book on my own, I would have been so surprised at the end. Instead, this whole hush hush thing had me guessing the twist from the start.


karen that's what you get for being so bossy, publisher!


Highwind Heh yes, this. I guessed the twist right away. It was like a second Sixth Sense, as in once you are told it's a story with big twist, you know you only have to reverse the obvious.


karen so frustrating!


message 20: by Jubilation Lee (new)

Jubilation Lee this book is a magical adventure focusing on a young girl in manhattan during the blackout of 2003, when all the red pandas living in the sewers came out to play, carrying tiny flashlights and shepherding people from manhattan to their homes in the outer boroughs and all the lessons this young girl learns along the way from her red panda guide about life and humanity and art history and, ultimately, herself.

I would read the shit out of this book, for reals. I am now probably going to be UNABLE to read We Were Liars, just because I now know it won't feature red pandas.


karen hahaah we were just commenting on each other's reviews at the same time!! magic of internet!


karen but oh, yeah. sorry i ruined the book by offering the possibility of red pandas and then ripping them away


message 23: by Jubilation Lee (new)

Jubilation Lee No worries, no worries, I'll just pick up the pieces of my heart and go work on that goddamn review.....


karen ooh, win/win!


message 25: by Cass (new)

Cass I made the guy at the video shop tell me the twist for Sixth Sense... because I just wasn't interested in watching it just for the twist.


karen hahahah - that's great. who's got the time?


Jenn "Awww Yeaaahhh" Yup, you're right. Once you know there is a great big twisty secret, then you already know what the twist is.


karen see?? bad marketing, bad!


message 29: by Cass (new)

Cass The downfall of M. Night Shyamalan. I recalling guessing the twist of one of his movies just from the title/movie poster.

http://www.cinemafunk.com/sites/defau...


karen that's when it all started going wrong for m. shyamalan.....


message 31: by Katz (new) - added it

Katz how to read a book in this app.??


Nadine Completely agree with your review. I knew that I needed to know very little about this book, which, to me, translates into "there must be a twist". Therefore, it was very easy to guess what happened. Still saying that, this is a brilliant story and I loved every second of it.


karen yeah, a lot of people love love loved this book. i'm sad not to have had the same reaction


Brita I sooo agree with you. I didn't figure out the big twist early on, as you did, but I did find myself skimming quickly through just so that I could get to the part where Cady figured it out. It would have been a lot better had I not known that SOMETHING was coming, but honestly, it would be impossible to keep that quiet, I think.


Wendy Darling I guessed the ending before I read it as well. And I would TOTALLY read that red panda book.


karen we are all too smart!! i'm actually surprised by how many people love love love this book. it is a fine read to tide me over until red panda book, but it was pretty average. to me.


message 37: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Oh this made me laugh! I am the same way about books that offer secrets! I am a total sucker for them. I just finished DARE ME and felt similarly about that. You took the words right out of my mouth--and put them in order and said them better.


message 38: by Jody (new)

Jody I totally agree!


karen hahahaa i am a word-stealer!!!

but a good secret-keeper.


Wendy Darling karen wrote: "i'm actually surprised by how many people love love love this book. it is a fine read to tide me over until red panda book, but it was pretty average. to me. "

I am, too. With some of the readers I'm friendly with, it seems they may not have read as many thrillers? But the thing is, if a book is extremely well written/plotted with great characters, guessing the ending wouldn't matter anyway.

I love that you love red pandas so much. It was one of my favorite animals at The National Zoo when I was little.


karen argh, i want one SO BADLY! i want to pick one up and give it squeezes and wail "WHY ARE YOU SO CUTE???"


message 42: by Jubilation Lee (new)

Jubilation Lee karen wrote: "argh, i want one SO BADLY! i want to pick one up and give it squeezes and wail "WHY ARE YOU SO CUTE???""

In my attempts to look up pictures of adorable baby red pandas, I ended up on a zookeeping website talking about the problems of raising them in captivity. Fun fact -- stressed mom pandas will overgroom to the point that their cubs' ears and tails come off!



I should never be allowed on the internet.


karen oh no!!! jesus god!!! come to me, mama pandas - you will never know a moment of stress!!! do you like cupcakes?


message 44: by Jubilation Lee (new)

Jubilation Lee It's really an argument in favor of you having ALL THE BABY PANDAS.


karen i know!! i bet i could keep them alive LIKE CRAZY!!! and i would never bite their ears.

okay, maybe just little nibbles.

it's probably not even stress the mamas are feeling, they're just like OH MY GOD WHY IS THIS THING SO CUTE I JUST WANT TO NOM IT A LITTLE OH MY GOD IT IS STILL SO CUTE WHY ARE YOU SO CUTE NOM NOM AARRGGGHHH

and it gets outta hand.


message 46: by Erica (new)

Erica That would pretty much be my problem with a baby red panda. It is why I am not a red panda mom.


message 47: by Andrea (new)

Andrea This is extra funny to me because I just read that Alissa Nutting story where the woman steals a baby panda from the zoo. Like she knew we all had that secret fantasy.


message 48: by genius (new)

genius good lucky !


karen nom nom nom


message 50: by Angel (new) - added it

Angel Thanks for the laughs after I read this depressing book. Too funny! Red Pandas, nom, nom, nom.


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