SPOILERS AHEAD (I mean I try to be vague but yeah SPOILERS)
When I finished this book (all the way back in July), I knew it was going to be one of my favourite books of the year.
It was that easy to tell.
Four teenagers meet every year on a beach. One year they try to do something really symbolic but are drunk off their asses and end up doing something really dumb instead.
That it is not popular enough. I know it is getting a lot of media attention, but more people need to read it. Everyone needs to read it, it is fantastic.
This book contains many of my favourite things: fairytales, beach holidays, excessively wealthy and corrupt families, foreshadowing, unreliable narrators, ambiguity, and lies.
I have a lot to say about this book but I don’t exactly know what it is yet. It also has been a really long time since I read it, but the book is so jam-packed full of interesting stuff that I want to discuss it with someone, anyone, so I can put my thoughts about it in order. So let’s try.
It is perfect for many reasons.
First, the use of the pronoun “We”. It cements the idea of these four teenagers being one, inseparable gang. Parts of a whole. As though their fates are tied together. We ride together, we die together kind of thing. We are not complete unless we are together.
“Were” is also perfect. Past tense. Very important.
And lastly, “Liars”, the most important word of all. Which I can barely even process without thinking of all those clever layers in the novel.
Lies & Liars
I don’t even know where to begin, and I’m definitely not going to cover everything, so let’s just keep this quick.
Cadence lies to herself. The kids all lie to each other. Their family is a big messy pile of lies, and their lifestyle itself is all convoluted and distorted by the lies. There are half-truths and brutal metaphors and twisty-turny narrative choices that all lead to this book being a wonderfully constructed thing full of lies and liars.
This subject could be an essay. But we don’t have time for that. Moving on!
Did I mention that I love fairytale adaptations?
Those little snippets with Fairytale and Shakespearian influences were like nuggets of gold.
I loved them. Loved loved loved them.
That is all.
Yeah, I can’t think of any.
- “Be a little kinder than you have to.”
- “If you want to live where people are not afraid of mice, you must give up living in palaces.”
- “We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken.”
- “He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I could have looked at him forever.”
- “He was a person who couldn’t fake a smile but smiled often.”
- “I’ll be fine, they tell me. I won’t die. It’ll just hurt a lot.”
In conclusion, this book is bloody brilliant. 5 shuriken stars.