Book Review: We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart

Cadence Sinclair Easton is part of the Sinclair family–an old-money family that owns a private island off Cape Cod, where the family gathers every summer.  Together with her cousins, Cadence spends the summer swimming, playing tennis, having beach picnics, and generally living what seems to be an ideal life.  Except that not everything is perfect for the Sinclairs.  When Cadence is 15, something happens on the island.  Cadence is involved in a mysterious accident, and she can’t remember what happened.  Her family, at her mother’s insistence, avoids sharing the details, believing it is better for Cadence to remember on her own.  But what did happen?  And what is everyone hiding?

This book is a fun, light read with enough of a mystery to keep you interested.  It also has a twist that I didn’t see coming at first.  You aren’t going to spend a lot of time analyzing the literary devices in this book, but the plot is engaging, the characters are interesting, and it’s fun to see how a Kennedy-esque family might spend their summers.

If you enjoy mysteries or realistic  novels, you will enjoy We Were Liars.  It would be a great vacation read.

Review: I’ll Give you the Sun, by Jandy Nelson

I picked up this book over winter break and just could not get into it.  However, a few weekends ago I decided to try again, and once I got past the first chapter I was hooked.  I LOVED THIS BOOK!

The story of Jude and Noah, boy/girl twins living in Northern California, I’ll Give you the Sun is about loss, growing up, grief, expression, finding yourself, and healing.  It’s funny, tragic, and full of great imagery that makes you really feel like you’re standing in the shoes of the characters.  It also has a really interesting structure.  The chapters alternate between Jude and Noah as narrators.  In the chapters from Jude’s perspective, they are sixteen.  In Noah’s chapters, they are 13-14.  As you read, you understand that a lot happened in those missing years, and you’re trying to figure out what it was and why each character changed so dramatically.  That structure, combined with the characters and the story, makes for a really interesting read.

If you’ve enjoyed books by John Green or Rainbow Rowell in the past, then you should try I’ll Give you the Sun.  Read at least two chapters, and then see if you can put it down–I dare you!