By E. Lockhart
Goodreads Community Rating: 3.85
Genre: YA Mystery
Publication Date: May 13th 2014
Format Read: Audiobook
Goodreads 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.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
I loved this book straight from the get go. The characters were all delightful in their own ways, and the narrator had a strong voice that drew the reader in and made us love her. The author did a fantastic job of crafting the narrative of a girl with amnesia and spoiled family in such a way that you simultaneously loved everyone, hated everyone, and suspected everyone of doing something terrible. And the ending is never what you think. I thoroughly enjoyed We Were Liars, and would recommend, especially for middle/high school students and people who enjoy that genre.
The MC, Cadence, comes from a ridiculously spoiled family (I mean, she introduces herself as Cadence Sinclair Eastman), but because of everything she’s been through, she still manages to be down to earth and relatable in a way that seems realistic for a girl brought up with her degree off privilege. I love the fact that she has a “disability”– headaches, the word disability is in quotes because i’m unsure if that’s politically correct or accurate — and yet was still strong enough to get through everything and be a solid protagonist for the book.
The other three characters who played the most integral role were Mirren, Johnny, and Gat. Together with Cadence, they make up The Liars, the group of oldest children on their private summer island. They’re all so totally different from each other, and have their own issues, but they have each others backs regardless, and I love that.
The other characters, even those that only showed up for a few scenes, were still well developed, and their personas fit into the final “big reveal” very well while still not giving anything away.
Basically, Cadence got in an accident, was found nearly drowning in the water half naked, and doesn’t remember anything that happened. That was two years earlier. Now, she is determined to return to the scene of the crime (Beechwood, her family’s summer island). Slowly, over the course of the summer, she comes to remember the truth about what happened to her during Summer 15.
The story was told with many flashbacks, which were normally a result of Cadence remembering something from the summer of her accident. I think this worked well and allowed us to stay interested in a story which didn’t actually have a lot going on. That being said, it was full of action and never boring. In fact, I think we lived more in the Summer 15 world than the Summer 17 world, and that was good with me.
There was also a (very PG) romance aspect to this book between Cadence and Gat, which I loved, since it made the characters more likable and amplified our worry about the main characters.
If you haven’t already read this book, I would 10/10 recommend you do. It has all the perfect aspects of a light, edge of your seat summer read, and I couldn’t get enough. The audiobook copy was very well done, and so I would recommend that as well to all of you who prefer listening to your books. If you’re looking for a YA contemporary, or a YA mystery, this book will fit the bill.
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Have you read this book? What did you think? What similar books would you recommend?