Books · Reviews

WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart


Genre: Young Adult/Fiction


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.

Opinion: Beautiful, heartbreaking, shocking, and innocent. This book has been getting a lot of attention and praise in the “Bookstagram” community (I swear it’s like an entirely different world in there) and I can now see why. The book has a splash of everything you would want in a YA/Coming of Age story: innocence, love, family, greed, tragedy, heartbreak, truth, and of course lies. It takes the reader through a time of happiness and tragedy as the protagonist, Cadence, searches for the truth behind an accident that caused her to lose more than just her memories of what happened in Summer Fifteen.

Cadence Sinclair Eastman, Mirren Sinclair Sheffield, Johnathan Sinclair Dennis, and friend Gatwick Matthew Patil are the “Four Liars” of Beechwood Island. Coming from a family of old-money and pride, the “Four Liars” and their families spend every summer on Harris Sinclair’s privately-owned retreat. However, during Summer Fifteen (summer + current age of the Liars) Cadence was found alone on the beach, half-naked, and nearly underwater with a serious head injury that resulted in her losing her memory of what happened. For the next few years Cadence spends her time suffering from terrible migraines, taking painkillers, and no memory of most of Summer Fifteen. Now two years later, Cadence is finally returning to Beechwood after her accident to be reunited with her liars and to find out what really happened to her that summer.

“Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound, then from my ears, my mouth.

It tasted like salt and failure. The bright red shame of being unloved soaked the grass in front of our house, the bricks of the path, the steps of the porch. My heart spasmed among the peonies like a trout.

Mummy snapped. She said to get hold of myself.

Be normal, now, she said. Right now, she said.”

We Were Liars has everything you could ask for in a YA story. The author shows innocence through the “Four Liars” as they grow up together every summer, and the loyalty they have for one another as they are thrust into the center of greed that surrounds the rest of their family members. The reader experiences love and heartbreak between Cadence and Gat, the obsession of money taking control of morals and values, and the truth and lies that shape and destroy the liars. The writing is beautiful and descriptive. I found myself completely submerged in understanding for Cadence when her father left, and how it must have felt to pretend that it didn’t bother her.

It is very hard to go into too much detail when reviewing this book, and I know how frustrating it is reading the reviews because they are so cryptic. If you love young adult books than you really cannot go wrong here. The author embodies the emotions and rational thinking of four teens as they grow, and the harsh realization of what really happened to Cadence. The characters in this story are both self-absorbed and caring, brilliant and ignorant, and terrible and wonderful. Even if you don’t live their lavish lifestyle, there is something in this story for everyone to relate to. This story will make you smile, and it will definitely pull on those little strings that are attached to your heart.

Bottom Line: JUST READ IT


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