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.
I don’t know quite how to feel about this book. And I can’t tell you much about it because it’ll spoil the ending. Which we definitely can’t have because the ending is the whole reason to read this book. Not that the ending is that super spectacular but it’s the biggest promotion of the book, that it has this twist ending you won’t believe.
The book centers around the Sinclair family. A family of money and pretentiousness. The grandfather is the head of the family and he never lets anyone forget it.
The book is in Cadence Sinclair’s POV, first grandchild, though her cousin Johnny is only three weeks younger. Cadence suffers an accident on the family’s summer vacation island (yes, they have an island) and she can’t remember a thing about it. She can’t remember most of that summer, actually. Now she suffers from agonizing headaches and memory loss.
She does remember her childhood on the island, summers with her cousins Johnny and Mirren. And the boy she loved, Gat, nephew to the man her aunt dates. She remembers the summer they had before the accident, all the fun they had.
After two years she is finally allowed back on the island. Things are different yet the same. The family is not allowed to talk to her about the accident. She’s not allowed to go places unsupervised. She’s supposed to bond with her family; her grandfather, her aunts and the little cousins.
Instead she spends time with her favorite cousins and tries to piece together what really happened to her.
This book was confusing. I had to go back and try to remember which time period we were in, the summer of the accident or the summer two years later. The characters were all obnoxiously rich with stereotypical obnoxious rich person problems. I didn’t really connect with any of them.
There are also
chunks of it
like this. That’s
supposed to be “modern”
I suppose, but it’s damn
Cadence’s love story with Gat was interesting, though he was also kind of stereotypical, super smart, non-wealthy person of color (Indian) that gets to hang out with the rich kids all summer and wants to change the world, while knowing he’s being hated by the family patriarch simply for being a different skin color. He compares himself to Healthcliff. He was however probably the most interesting character.
Then there is the ending. A twist, yes. Shocking? Meh. A bit I guess Impressive? Not really. Maybe I’ve read too many books this year where there is a head trauma, memory loss, and a whodunit ending.
I gave this book three stars because though the random fairy tales and the strange writing annoyed me, the book kept me engaged right to the end. I HAD to know the ending. I was a big disappointed when I got there but it was worth the effort I guess.
So I recommend this book if you absolutely HAVE to know the ending. Otherwise…meh, skip it.