We Were Liarsby E. Lockhart (Website, Twitter)
Published by Delacourt on May 13, 2014
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Mystery and Suspense, Young Adult
Source: Borrowed From Library
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We Were Liars is one of those books that I had to think about a bit after I finished reading it. I needed time to digest the nuances, to gather my thoughts about the twists and turns, the overall themes. This is a coming of age story, a look at the lives of the luxuriously rich who come from such old money that the grandchildren have never had to want for much, and the repercussions after a tragic accident where someone can’t remember what happened to them past a particularly heated summer.
Told from 17-year-old Cadence’s point of view, the writing is often poetic and stream of consciousness. Cadence is unconscious on the beach when she’s 15, and everyone assumes that she hit her head in the water when she was swimming. She’s had memory problems and excruciating migraines ever since, and her life has yet to return to normal. The one thing that she is missing the most is the summers on her family’s private island where her grandfather, aunts, and cousins temporarily relocate to spend some time together. But as the aunts jockey for her grandfather’s favor, the older cousin’s had each other’s backs, keeping out of the money and property disputes of their parents. But everything changed the night of the accident, if only Cadence could remember…
I don’t think that I’ve read a book where the characters weren’t exactly all that likable, but the story and writing were so engaging that I couldn’t tear myself away. This rich, privileged Sinclair family constantly battled over money and the key spot as the patriarch’s favorite. But this core group of four older cousins who called themselves the Liars wished that they could be more than a Sinclair and all that comes with their iconic family name. They decide to do something about it, but to give anymore away really does a disservice to this breathtaking book.
I give We Were Liars a 4.5 out of 5. As you slowly get to know Cadence and her extended family throughout the book, you get a glimpse into the dysfunctional but highly privileged life they lead. Cadence is confused, highly emotional, and not sure about many things after her accident, so the story treads along at her pace–which can at times be slow but is also frenetic and fast paced when called for. I totally didn’t see the twist at the end coming, and if you read this book, please try to stay spoiler free. I think it will make We Were Liars that much more emotional and enjoyable if you can go along with Cadence for the ride of her life without knowing the end result.