Right out of the gate, I’ve gotta be honest and say I forget most of We Were Liars, the book this is the prequel story to. I distinctly remember the grand reveal, the “we were liars” moment, catching me wildly off guard, but I only have the loosest idea of what occurred in those pages. Thankfully, this prequel book isn’t the type to rely heavily upon having intimate knowledge of the other book to appreciate it. I’d probably have enjoyed it plenty more if the previous book were fresher in my mind, but I’m not normally one for re-reading, especially not things that seem to hinge upon twist endings.
In Family of Liars, Lockhart takes a similar approach, with our main character telling us their story, only for the real story to be revealed in the end. Only this time, it doesn’t have the same effect as the first time around because it feels like when our dog doesn’t know what we’re asking of him and just resorts to “bang” unprompted, since he knows it’s one of our go-to favorites. It’s not that it isn’t a nice trick and all, it’s just I was wanting something else, something different.
The story and writing themselves are serviceable, enough to keep it still in my good graces, but between feeling like a retread, and the characters not being particularly memorable (aside from Pfeff, who Lockhart wrings quite a few bits of satirical commentary out of that I had a [sad] laugh at), that’s only enough to land it firmly in the middle of the pack for me.