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.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE. – Goodreads
How can I effectively review this tiny landmine of a book without giving anything away? I guess the first thing that needs to be said is that unless you’ve read spoilers, this will not be the book you expect.
It starts out calmly enough, with a rich, slightly haughty family of Mayflower descent. Though all three adult sisters of the Sinclair clan are divorced, they otherwise appear to live charmed lives, as do their progeny. A notable part of their lives is the family-owned island near Martha’s Vineyard (yes, that’s right, these people own an entire island) where the whole clan pass their summer vacations. The grandparents and each of the three adult sisters have their own vacation mansion on the island, and this book is about their children (and one sort of step-cousin) who grow up together, summer after summer, in this idyllic setting.
The story starts in summer fifteen – when our main character, the older cousins Johnny and Mirren, and their mom’s boyfriend’s nephew (the mysterious and exotic boy of Indian descent) Gat are fifteen. The four call themselves the Liars, and during those sunny months, they are inseparable.
Until summer fifteen. Something happens on the island that year that leaves our main character, Cadence, with a traumatic brain injury. She can’t remember the accident – or much of summer fifteen, come to that. Suffering from debilitating headaches, she has become a shadow of her former self, and unable to participate in many of the activities she used to enjoy.
I don’t want to say much more than that, because I can’t without giving things away. Just know that this story, while a fast read, is certainly intense. And, like I said, you will not see the ending coming.
Overall, while this book definitely shocked me and twisted and turned like a rodeo bronco, I can’t say I loved it. I found the character hard to root for, and some of the aspects of the story that are revealed didn’t sit right with me. I had trouble suspending my disbelief enough to really feel immersed in it, and by the end of the book I felt more frustrated than anything else. However, I’ve talked to a few other people who have read this book and they didn’t have as difficult a time with it as I did, so if you are intrigued, by all means give it a go. I can certainly say that it was intense and vivid!
Book Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Published By: Delacorte Press
Released: May 13, 2014
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Thriller
Date Read: July 15-16, 2014
ANIMAL LOVER ALERT (SPOILER): Something bad happens to two animals in this book. I won’t say what or when so as not to spoil too much of the plot, but I wish I’d gone into this book aware of this, because I think it was one the thing I found turned me off the most. So here’s your warning, animal lovers!
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