“We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken.”
Oh! The suspense! Do you want a secret, a well to do distinguished family and a bloody big shock? Oh, and a lot of tears and to cancel some plans because you’re going to want to sit and read this until the end!
This was a book I thought I’d hate. Again, the hype got to me within the book community and honestly, I really start to loath books that get so many mentions on Booktube and blogs. This book was undoubtedly my favorite book of 2014 and I’m sure if you want to read about the above you’ll agree.
The thing is, you must disregard some basic logic. E. Lockheart herself tells us this story is fable and shouldn’t be taken to literally and I’m fairly comfortable with that. The twist of this story had me in shatters, it’s incredible the way in which the author kept me going, and then threw this … THING … at me at the end, having me reading back through, and finding the clues straight away!
This is a story of privilege and examining the way in which the projection of yourself is so important these days. This really had me struggling to care about the protagonist Cady Sinclair and her family. As I began reading, I remember thinking, “I’m reeeally going to hate this”. I read through exclaiming how pathetic the protagonist, Cady was and how silly she was being about certain events in her life. If I think about it properly, however, Cady’s reactions and attitudes to hard events in her life really evoke strong feelings towards me as a reader. In reference to her father leaving her as a child, she likens it to being shot through the heart by him as he left her on the front lawn. The thing is, this depiction of how betrayed she felt really grabbed hold of me. I really thought, for a split second she had been shot, and the shock that came with it really helped me relate. Afterwards, though, I laughed and shrugged it off, again thinking “Goodness, how silly.” Terrible, I know, having just learnt her father has left her and her mother!
There is a complete “unrealness” to Cady and her family’s story that creates the idea of the detachment privilege brings. We are told the story from Cady’s point of view, and as such see the world through her eyes. She is recovering from an accident that happened when she was fifteen, in which she suffered amnesia. The story pulls together memories of her idyllic childhood on the island and the events happening around her in real time. The twist at the end comes as much of a realisation to us as readers as it does to the narrator and has an incredible effect on the whole emotion. We are made to overlook Cady as a silly young girl, immersed in privilege and lies and as someone who is completely tragic and we pity her as a character.
“There is not even a Scrabble word for how […] I feel.”
GO READ IT IF YOU HAVEN’T!!