We Were Liars by E. Lockheart is one of those rare books that completely lives up to the hype surrounding it (see also A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas). I had pre-ordered the book with the intention of reading on the beach based on the summery cover and I later realized it had also been blurbed by John Green. It’s going to be difficult to explain why I loved this book so much because I definitely do not want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it. The book follows our main character Cady who is a member of the Sinclair family. She and her cousins Mirren and Johnny spend every summer vacationing on a private island along with Johnny’s friend Gat and the rest of their family. Together, the four of them make up The Liars.
If you’re looking for a fun superficial story about rich kids on the beach, this is not the book for you. Sure, there are rich kids and sure, they hang out on the beach, but We Were Liars is SO much more than that. The characters, especially Gat, often address the privilege his summer friends have been born into and his disadvantages because of his race. Cady also acknowledges her privilege and it causes her to become very frustrated with her family. Granted, there are a lot of first world issues when it comes to trusts and inheritances but it’s not presented to the reader in an obnoxious way.
Reading We Were Liars often felt like reading poetry because E. Lockheart’s prose is so fluid. Her ability to mimic memory through her written retelling of Cady’s story is spot on. This writing style may not work for everyone, but it certainly kept me flying through the pages. It can be read very quickly or savored and contemplated, but either way, the experience will be an enjoyable one. I can honestly say that the moment I finished reading and figured out what what happening, I felt compelled to immediately start reading it again from the beginning.
Final Thoughts: We Were Liars by E. Lockheart is a coming of age tale about a privileged teenager named Cady and her revelations about her place in life coupled with the new frustrations of realizing the implications of her family and the image they convey in society. This novel reads like poetry and it addresses important issues throughout its entirety. It is best to go into it knowing as little as possible and learning about Cady’s life through her memories.
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. (via Goodreads)