We Were Liars by E.Lockhart
Published : May 13, 2014 by Delacorte Press
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.
This is going to be a hard book to review, because I think a very large portion of a reader’s emotions about this book will depend if they went into this with a completely blank slate. I’ll do my best.
This book was originally thrown onto my radar by Jamie’s Save the Date post. She raved, so I figured why not?
We Were Liars is the story of the Sinclair family, an old-money family who gets together every summer on Beechwood Island. They remind me a lot of Richard and Emily Gilmore, for those of you who have watched the greatness that is Gilmore Girls (and if you haven’t, seriously, what’s wrong with you!?).
Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family.
No one is a criminal.
No one is an addict.
No one is a failure.
The Sinclairs are athletic, tall, and handome. We are old-money Democrats. Our smiles are wide, our chins square, and our tennis serves aggressive.
And that basically sums up the family in a nutshell.
The novel focuses on Cadence Sinclair Eastman and her cousins and friend, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat. They spend all summer, every year inseparable – going swimming, tossing stones, and “just existing”. And that’s really all I can say without spoiling the ending.
Cadence has amnesia, and because of that is an unreliable narrator. The thing with unreliable narrators is they can be done REALLY well, or REALLY badly. In We Were Liars, E. Lockhart has done it perfectly. There’s no cliches that typically go along with amnesiac main characters, and for that I really just wanted to HUG E. Lockhart.
“The Liars” (as they call themselves) remind me a lot of myself and my cousins. Of course, our family is nothing like the Sinclair family, but the times my cousins and I are all together, usually on my Gram and Grandpa’s farm in Pennsylvania, have the same type of friendship. It’s a special kind of love and a beautiful relationship. Cadence, Mirren, Johnny, and Gat are an unbreakable foursome.
The ending in We Were Liars is nothing short of heart-breaking. When I got there, my jaw dropped, and I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I had to go back through the whole book and skim through, to see if I had missed any major plot points. I hadn’t. It reminded me of a very popular movie that had the same type of ending. If I say the name of the movie in this review, you’re likely to figure it out, so I won’t. However for those of you who have read the book already, get on Twitter and tell me what movie this reminded you of (through DM, of course, so we keep spoilers away).
All in all, E. Lockhart has crafted an amazing novel here. There were a few points where I wanted to put it down and go on to something else, but in general, I was just blown away. We Were Liars has put E. Lockhart firmly on my “buy-anything-this-author-writes” list.