Author: E. Lockhart
Book Title: We Were Liars
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary
Type: Stand Alone
Format: Hardcover, 227 Pages
Publishing Date: May 13, 2014
Summary: “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. True love. The truth. We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. Read it. And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.” [summary from Goodreads]
My Thoughts: I just spent the better half of my evening reading this book…or should I say the early morning hours? Either way, I found myself opening up to the first page and being sucked into a world that I am not even sure I wanted to be in, but I am glad I was there at the same time. This book hurt to read and frustrated me with endless questions that kept dropping off, unanswered, as the pages went on. The hurt and frustration wasn’t in vain though, as I believed it would be from page one. No, no. It was wrapped up in a satisfying finale that made so much sense I couldn’t believe my mind hadn’t already discovered it. Everything about this story was brilliant. From the way the author crafted her words into what felt like poetry, dripping with gorgeous imagery that made me just want to quote every line right here for you all, to her deeply flawed characters. It is not every day that I read a book that stuns me into a five star rating, but this one did just that.
The story is told from the perspective of Cadence “Cady” Sinclair, but it goes beyond that. It encompasses the entire family, which is full of deeply rooted jealousy, bitterness, and all of the arrogance a well-off family could embody. They lie to one another and to themselves about what is truly valuable in life. But on the other hand, this is also a story about love, both familial and romantic. Cady brings us along the bumpy road of her life as a Sinclair in the present and flashbacks of the past. These moments highlight the summers spent with her cousins and the boy she falls in love with on their family island as well as her journey to self discovery.
I don’t want to give too much away, especially given the incredible shortness of this seemingly massive story, so I’ll wrap it up. This is not a “feel good” novel. It is not something that will make you sigh with content upon finishing it or even desire more. What it is, however, is a story about a family with all of their flaws shoved right in your face – raw, vulnerable, & unapologetic. It is messy and real and that is what makes it a great read. What is real, what is deception, and will we ever find out? The answers are all there if you choose to find them so don’t let reviews sway you, read it and choose for yourself. It’s just that kind of book.
Quotable Moments: “I can’t even say sorry. There is not even a Scrabble word for how bad I feel.”