Review: We Were Liars – E. Lockhart

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Title: We Were Liars [Amazon]
Author: E. Lockhart [website]
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Contemporary
Source/Type: Netgalley/Digital ARC
Stars: 5 of 5

Publisher Description:
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.
True love.
The truth.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

My Thoughts:
So Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner read this book and couldn’t seem to say enough how much she loved it. When it popped up on Netgalley I was equal parts nervous and excited because really, what if I hated it. But when I was approved I knew it would be my next read regardless of my fear. I jumped in with both feet and I didn’t drown. I came out of the water singing and dancing and yelling for joy. Because simply put, We Were Liars was FANTASTIC!

We Were Liars is the story of the Sinclair family, but more accurately, Cadence Sinclair and her two teen cousins Mirren and Johnny and Johnny’s brother-like friend Gat. Every summer the family travels to an island off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard and for every summer since they were 8, Gat has been joining them.  Only the summer the four are 15, everything is different and nothing will ever be the same. An accident happens that changes the fate and the lives of the four known to everyone as The Liars. The problem is Cady can’t seem to remember what happened to her and what the real truths of that summer are and if what happened to her really was an accident.

Okay, so, I’m going to start with the writing style. At first, I will admit, it was a problem for me. I’m not usually a fan of the straightforward style where it feels like the author is dumbing everything down by saying ‘first we did this, then we did that, then I felt like this, then I felt like that’. It isn’t my favorite so I was a little taken aback as I started to read We Were Liars. But the fantastic thing about this? The more I read the more I liked and understood Cady’s voice and why it was written that way. I didn’t feel like Lockhart was talking down to me. Instead I felt like it was just Cadence’s voice and I actually grew fond of it as it added to the uppity quality that the Sinclair family all seemed to have.

Speaking of Cadence, I actually found myself liking her. She was different from other main characters I read. She had a spark to her that had to be dulled down by her family, but it was there. And I liked her interaction with the other Liars. As a group they were exactly how I would imagine a group of over privileged, rich kids would act with too much time on their hands. They were all pretty fascinating characters and I wanted to know just a little bit more about them every time one was mentioned. I mean Gat, Mirren and Johnny were definitely secondary characters used to back Cady, but they were the kind of characters that you invested yourself in because they added to the story and weren’t background noise.

Now you may have noticed I haven’t mentioned much about the plot in this review and that is on purpose. The plot is the most magical part of the book and I fear anything I say has the potential to give it all away and I can’t do that to you. Know this…you will be blown away when it all unfolds and left thinking about what you just read and what really just happened for a long time. Basically that’s all I can tell you besides saying it is fantastic. It will make your brain hurt and make you book hungover after, but it is worth it. We Were Liars was my first E. Lockhart book and I can tell you right now it won’t be my last. Now stop reading what I’m saying and go read the book. 😉

Other books by author:
disreputable boyfriend1boyfriend2 boyfriend3 boyfriend4

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  1. You and I had a different reaction to this book, ha. The writing is what grabbed me and I enjoyed the most. The characters & the storyline? Not so much. I figured out the “surprise” way too early, so I guess the shock factor just wasn’t in it for me. However, I’m familiar with Lockhart’s storytelling (and adore it!), so I still hold this book in high regards, even though this particular story didn’t sell me.

  2. I knew that name sounded familiar somehow. Thank you for including her other books. I haven’t read them, but I’ve seen them on my trips to the bookstore and almost bought one. Except I was on a book buying ban at the time and never picked it up. Lol. But this one has been getting so much praise so I’m getting more and more interested in it. And everyone has been mentioning how wonderful the plot is. I don’t see a lot of plot-driven books nowadays so I’m so curious. And I love prominent side characters too. I hope to read this soon.

  3. You should totally read her other books! The Boyfriend List is awesome. And all her other books are TOTALLY different from this one. Those books are all about the characters and they are a lot more light-hearted. I like this book, but I wasn’t wowed by the ending. It made me feel a little cheated. And I was expecting something really mind-blowing and it was just blah. Great review… glad this one made you want to read more E. Lockhart because she is fab!!

  4. I thought the narration style was a bit weird as well. I ended growing fond of it because it felt more personal. Glad you enjoyed this!

    Since this is your first E. Lockhart book, I recommend trying the Ruby Oliver books next. They’re fantastic as well!

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