How I Would Love An Island Retreat
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart turned up on sale this past spring. It's main character, Cadence, belongs to a stinking rich extended family that has a multi-house compound on an island. Before the book starts, something happens to Caddie. She just doesn't know what.
As I began reading this atmospheric novel, I thought, I want a multi-house compound somewhere--an island, anywhere--for my family. Later, I began to think, Hey, why don't any of these kids have summer jobs? Sure, they're stinking rich, but you'd think they'd want jobs as a way to strike out on their own. Then I thought, Wait a minute. Why don't any of their mothers have jobs? Sure, they're stinking rich and all, but you'd think they'd want jobs just for something to do.
Turns out, these were significant questions.
And that's all I can say about this book, because not knowing much is a big part of what makes it enjoyable. It's enjoyable enough that I picked up another Lockhart book, Genuine Fraud.
Ah, What's Going On Here?
Turns out, I'd read Genuine Fraud before. It didn't hurt my enjoyment of this book. This was one of those deals where I remembered each event in the story as I got to it, but couldn't recall what was coming up.
I don't really feel I can say much about this book, because, as with We Were Liars, not knowing what's going on is a huge part of what's good about it. How bad is the bad guy here? How good is the good guy? I can say that a very intriguing aspect of this book is that it's essentially written backwards.
And What Did You Learn From This Reading Experience, Gail?
Theme. I read once that that is an important part of what makes YA YA, and I think it's the case here. With We Were Liars the YA theme involves place in and connection to family. With Genuine Fraud the YA theme is who am I? Who am I going to be?
Oh, also. It's good...maybe even great...to have a big reveal at the end of the story. The story, in fact, is about the reveal.