What I Read: We Were Liars (50 Followers Bonus Post!)

Before I get into the review, thank you SO MUCH for 50 followers! It's been a lot of fun writing this blog this summer, and I'm glad there's 50 of you out there who enjoy it :) What's a blog without great readers? In celebration, here's a bonus book review about one of the more talked about novels of the summer. I hope you like it!

4.5/5 pineapples

What I Read: We Were Liars | Scribbling in the Margins blog

This review has been difficult to write. I finished We Were Liars in the beginning of August, but I just haven't been able to review it yet. It's a complicated book. Plus it straight out warns me to lie when people ask what it's about.

I don't buy into that sales tactic. So I will review this book as I would any other, without spoiling anything but still explaining what I do and don't like. The book is about the extravagantly wealthy family, the Sinclairs. Of course, they're a total mess (that's what makes things interesting). Cadence, the eldest grandchild of the Sinclairs, serves as our narrator. Due to some unspeakable accident, Cadence can't remember the summer she was fifteen on her family's fancy-pants island. We follow her thoughts throughout the book as she tries to figure out what happened.

First of all, Lockhart's writing style is refreshing. It has a lyrical quality to it, breaking up paragraphs and even sentences into short lines. She also inserts fairy tale inspired stories in between the narrative that provide insight into Cadence's rather messed up mind.

The plot is also intriguing enough to keep reading. This was a refreshing element, since recently I've had to drag myself through the books I've read. That plus the writing style makes its easy to get through this book in one or two days.

What I Read: We Were Liars | Scribbling in the Margins blog

But my absolute favorite part of this book is the mystery. I love mysteries, whether in book or TV form. I like trying to figure out with the characters what different elements mean, and then going back once I know the answer and seeing what clues I missed. We Were Liars is one giant mystery. Cadence doesn't figure out what happened that "missing" summer until the very end of the book. It's a twist I didn't see coming at all.

I left feeling like I learned enough, though. This wasn't one of those cliff-hanger books, hitting you with big information and then simply dropping off the page. I wasn't trapped without a satisfactory resolution.

Yet, I couldn't give We Were Liars the full five pineapples. Simply because, like Gone Girlit was an entertaining read but not a life-changing one. Still, it's an excellent book that keeps you guessing. Lockhart's writing style also keeps the  story moving and brings an interesting perspective on the truth versus the lies. I highly recommend it.

What did you think of We Were Liars?name

Below the Line:

  • I'm faced with lots of packing to do this week as I get ready to head back to school. Any packing tips would be appreciated (and yes, this is my third year- I still haven't figured out the best way to pack :))
  • My back-to-school series resumes on Tuesday! More college knowledge (see what I did there?)

My To-Read Books of the Summer

To-Read Books Over the school year, I slowly collect any and all books I want to read on my Goodreads "to-read" shelf, waiting for their time to be moved to "currently reading." I start the summer with a mile-long list of books I'm thrilled to read and the excitement of getting to read books I actually want to read. By the time the end of August comes around, however, most of them are left on that "to-read" page for the next year. And I just feel sad.

So: I've decided to make a solid list of the books I can conceivably read this summer, in the hopes that I can not only stay on track for my 50 books in 2014 goal, but not feel so defeated when it's time for school again and many books remain unread. If I can check off at least one list of books, I'll feel a lot better about the countless others left waiting for another year, another time in my life. Hooray for short-term goals!

So, without further ado- the list:

  • Boy, Snow, Bird, Helen Oyeyemi. I saw a lot of great reviews for this book, and with a cover that beautiful how could I resist? (My friend Danielle will tell you, I'm a huge judge of book covers). But the plot sounds pretty intriguing too and it's a long book- perfect for the summer when I can continuously read a book for a long period of time.
  • A Lesson Before DyingErnest Gaines. My mom has recommended a lot of books to me lately, both from her collection and my sister's really great school summer reading list. I loved Gaines' novella "A Long Day in November," so I really want to read one of his novels. I recently purchased A Lesson Before Dying at the resale bookstore in my city, so it's definitely getting picked up this summer.
  • The Bean TreesBarbara Kingsolver. Another author I read last semester is Kingsolver, who as a writer really fascinates me. I've only read her essays so far, and I want to get into her fiction. I thought I would start with a shorter novel than The Posionwood Bible before getting too committed, but if this goes well you might see next summer's list start with another Kingsolver novel.
  • Mrs. DallowayVirginia Woolf. I want to like Virginia Woolf sooo bad. But after my struggle with and ultimate defeat by To the Lighthouse, I just wasn't so sure if Woolf was the author for me. But she's so important in the female writer world, I'm going to give her as many chances as it takes! My mom recommended Mrs. Dalloway as a good take two, in conjunction with Michael Cunningham's The Hours. We'll see how this one goes, but I'm determined to actually finish it- I hate leaving books behind, half-read.
  • We Were LiarsE. Lockhart. Basically, I'm just really intrigued about this one. It's gotten a lot of hype, but I'm always nervous about young adult novels (they can swing in all sorts of directions, as far as quality of the novel goes). Is it good, is it bad? Is it really that mysterious? I'm curious enough to figure it out for myself.

So there you have it, the five books I want to be sure to read this summer. I'm currently reading Cry, the Beloved Country (um, AMAZING so far, by the way) and once that is complete I will start my mission to read all of these books. What books are you trying to read this summer?