Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

 “We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken”

Lockhart’s critically acclaimed young adult novel narrates the story of the Sinclair’s, a wealthy family who vacation on their private island every summer. The family consists of the protagonist- Cadence, her mother, two aunts, cousins and her rich maternal grandparents who own the island. The liars in question include Cadence, her cousins Johnny and Mirren and Gat Patil, the nephew of her Aunt Carrie’s longtime boyfriend. The book opens with an 18-year-old cadence trying to remember the memories and events leading up to her accident that occurred two summers ago on the island. All she knows is that she was found on the shore, dressed in her underwear, the sea washing over her. The catastrophic accident has left her with crippling headaches and a brain that feels “broken in countless medically diagnosed ways”. Her family won’t discloses the details of her accident and hence it is only up to her to figure out what exactly had happened.

The author’s writing is full of suspense and mystery. The unreliable narration and Cadence’s disjointed memories makes it very hard to predict the ending of the novel. The author also did a great job in describing this troubled aristocratic family. The Sinclairs are all beautiful, athletic and rich with blonde hair, receiving the best of education. Cadence’s mother and aunts had a privileged life but even then were never able to attain successful careers and hence still depend on the trust funds set up by their father to continue to live that lifestyle. Cadence’s Grandfather’s attempt at trying to make his daughters compete with each other for his inheritance does not help the situation, only making the relationship between the sisters bitter.

This cunning and cleverly written novel is full of surprises, which makes the reader go back to the first page and wonder what they had missed. Even though the author’s characters may not be very likeable, her writing is certainly impressive.

Book Review: Every Day by David Levithan

“Every day I am someone else. I am myself-I know I am myself-but I am also someone else. It has always been like this.”

Over the years author David Levithan has published various books in the young adult genre but Every Day is the first book of his I have read. The book is a thought-provoking and engaging exploration of identity and self. The plot although simple, is written in a very deep and meaningful way, which may take a little time getting used to.

For as long as he can remember ‘A’, a 16-year-old wakes up in a different person’s body each morning. He cannot choose a particular person’s body; he simply wakes up in the body of a host whose age is approximately close to his age and experiences a day in their life. He could inhabit the body of a boy, a girl, someone of different ethnicity or even someone with a different sexual orientation. He has no definite name or family. ‘A’ feels a sense of responsibility towards the life of the people he inhabits and tries to make sure he is careful to avoid changes in their lives that cannot be undone.  ‘A’ lives in the present, unable to plan ahead or make friendships or be part of a family.

One day, ‘A’ wakes up in the body of Justin – a rude and careless sixteen-year-old boy. It seems like just another day until he encounters Rhiannon, Justin’s girlfriend and finds himself falling in love with her – and farther away from what he has ever known before.

Every Day is a book about possibilities. It questions us philosophically in numerous ways but does not attempt to answer these questions instead leaving them in an open-ended way. I really enjoyed the fact that ‘A’ woke up in the bodies of so many different kinds of people from all types of backgrounds. Whether it be a suicidal girl, a Drug addict, a mean girl, an overweight boy, a geek or even a gay teen, the author did a terrific job in describing all of them. It gave a great perspective into each and every one of their lives and made me think about how we judge people so easily based on their attributes.

Every Day is an an excellent and interesting read and I would definitely recommend it to everyone.

eddl

(This review was originally written for a school assignment)

________________________________________________________

Note-

Sorry for the delay! I was supposed to post this over the weekend but the laptop’s hard drive crashed and everything got deleted including this and a lot of other reviews I‘ve already written. Thankfully most of the stuff got recovered and hopefully I’ll be more regular in the future!