I heard a lot of good things about E. Lockhart’s May 2014 Young Adult release: outstanding reviews, recommended on Books On A Nightstand, Hyped on Book Riot, adored all over twitter; and the plot was all very hush hush. So as soon as it came out, I grabbed it.
One of the tangental thoughts that I repeatedly found in reviews I read after the fact was the idea that We Were Liars was so unlike the author’s past writing. Intrigued, I borrowed an audio version from the library of her 2005 release, The Boyfriend List just to see what reviewers were referring to.
Honestly, I was a little uneasy about the prospect of this story turning out to be some completely unrelateable, unnecessary piece of (dare I call it) literature. After all, I am a few years out from the construction of my most recent boyfriend list.
The book is definitely written from the perspective of a teenager. I won’t call Ruby a drama queen though. To my surprise, her outlook was actually quite similar to my own memories of angst, strife, and unsureness as a teen.
Perhaps because the book was published only three years after I graduated from high school, the culture inside The Boyfriend List is quite similar to what I experienced. And there were no smart phones, or even much texting. Modus Operandi teenage communication was via Instant Messenger. Why hello MSN, I had almost forgotten about you!
E. Lockhart made this a very fun book; well for me it was fun. Maybe not all fun for Ruby. I am wondering if one of the goals of a good YA book would be to dampen the steady string of epic tragedies that pervade the lives of teens?? Just a thought.
Either way, I actually enjoyed this story quite a bit more than We Were Liars, probably because I wash’t expecting some blow-your-mind twist or climax. I was able to just listen, enjoy, laugh and remember.
And my verdict: definitely a very different style, plot, and end goal from her newest work. So, thanks to all those reviewers who mentioned her new slant within their praise or disappointment of We Were Liars.
If you feel so inclined, I wrote some additional thoughts about my own high school years in a previous post found HERE.
(By the way, as I sat watching TV with my kids earlier today, a commercial flashed on congratulating the class of 2014. I can’t even believe that the kids that were in Kindergarten when I graduated in 2002 are now just a couple weeks away from being done with their secondary school careers!)