It’s the holidays.
And I’m having a crazy time organizing my time.
But I have two books that just touched my heart and my writer’s, “Oh hell, I’ve got to do better” strings! (In a good way. It’s GOOD to want to write like the best.) E Lockhart and A.S. King are two of the best YA writers out there, hands down.
We Were Liars by E Lockhart was on my radar for months. I got it its release day and read through it without stopping. It was a binge of brilliant writing. The language, concise and poetic; the unreliable narrator suffering from PTSD who, during the second read, you realize isn’t unreliable at all; the East Coast old money setup which is major world building to someone from small town Nevada; and the tragedy that we can’t quite see, even though the pieces are all there.
E Lockhart is a master of fragmented narrative, and the spare language she uses to create a haunting mood is nothing short of art.
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
This book is a phenomenal option for teens (13+) who love the elements of mystery, romance, friendship, and the innocence of mortality we all have until we realize we’re just people. It has just enough of everything to make you want more but realize it was … just enough.
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King is one of those books that wriggles into the subconscious and stays … Vera and her best friend, Charlie, in particular. A.S. King is a master of character: flawed, relateable, heartbreakingly real. Vera’s loved Charlie since they’ve been neighbors. They share secret spots; they share each others secrets; and Charlie turns on her.
When Charlie dies under mysterious circumstances and is blamed for some horrible things, Vera knows the truth. But how long should someone keep another’s secrets?
This is a very human book about that idea we grow up with: Don’t get involved. It’s none of our business.
But we have to start to question those teachings because when people we love hurt, it is our business.
Vera and Charlie make me so sad. But there’s this beautiful sense of hope in the layers of lies and secrets, tragedies and truths. The need to speak the truth is so very human, and Vera finally finds her voice.
Isn’t it funny how we live inside the lies we believe?
Like E Lockhart’s book, this is ideal for teens (13+) who love mystery, who live through heartbreak and disappointment, who are afraid they’ll become their parents, who want to find their voices and speak the truth.