I have to admit, I jumped on the bandwagon with this one. I heard so many people talking about it, and to be honest, I was hesitant when I first decided to pick it up. If a book is in the 3.5-4 range in ranking on Goodreads, it’s always a hit or miss for me. I really didn’t know what to expect, and even from the description, I wasn’t really sure if this was the type of book that I was going to be excited to dive into.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is about a girl named Cadence who grew up as a Sinclair. On the outside, the Sinclairs are perfect. They have the amount of money that most people only dream of, their smiles never falter, they’re beautiful and powerful. Each summer, the Sinclair family gathers at their private island, and Cadence, along with her three best friends (cousins Johnny and Mirren and friend Gat), aka the “liars” savor their time on the island together.
During the summer of 15, Cadence suffers a mysterious accident, one that she can’t recall but everyone around her knows about. Even though her mother has told her what happened multiple times, she blocks it out, and everyone refuses to tell her about the events that took place during that summer. She has to figure it out for herself.
Two years after her accident, Cadence returns to the island for the first time, and the events of the summer of 15 start to unfold.
Check out E. Lockhart reading the opening of We Were Liars:
Honestly, when I first started reading We Were Liars, I thought to myself, “Where is this going?” I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The book description was pretty vague, and I refuse to read any kind of book review before I’ve read the book myself. I usually gauge how well I’m going to like a book by my stress level while I’m reading it. This one didn’t have me dressed out until the end, but it definitely sparked my curiosity enough after Cadence’s accident that I just had to keep reading.
There are so many elements of this book that make it top notch for me:
1) The use of fairy tales that Cadence creates after her accident when she’s still struggling to remember and trying to make sense of what happened to her and why it has such a horrible effect on her.
2) The foreshadowing that isn’t obvious until you figure out what actually happens to her.
3) The voice of this book drew me in. I love the short chapters and short sentences.
4) The characters. There are so many, and I love it. I love Gat who isn’t even related to the Sinclairs, and he’s so different, but fits in with all of the other liars. Johnny, who is easily my favorite character. He’s so honest and funny. Mirren, who is the perfect best friend to Cadence. The littles who add a little comic relief to the story. Even the moms who are a little bratty and clearly spoiled. There are so many characters to love.
5) The fact that you knew something huge happens, and you spend the whole book trying to figure out what it is, and when you figure it out, you’re like “What the crap?!” Or at least I was. And that’s “what the crap in a good way, by the way.
I read some reviews that said they thought the ending was obvious, but I guess I’m just slow, because I really didn’t see that coming. I love suspenseful books that hit you with a crazy twist at the end, and this one totally did that for me. This book made me want to read everything by E. Lockhart. I read it in just a few days, because once I hit a certain point, I couldn’t put it down. It was absolutely fantastic.
I easily give this book a 5 out of 5. I don’t have enough words for how much I loved it. The ending pretty much made the book for me, and I’ve been telling everyone who will listen to me talk about books about how much I loved this one.