Review | We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

liarsCadence Sinclair Eastman comes from some serious family money. Cady spends the summer months on her Grandpa’s private island with her cousins, aunts, and grandparents. The ‘Liars’ consist of two of Cady’s cousins that are her age and a boy who has been coming to the island every summer since Cady was eight. The Liars do everything together during the summer months.

After Cady’s grandmother dies, Cady’s mother and aunts start fighting over grandmother’s things. Grandpa doesn’t help the situation at all by using the threat of money and material possessions to manipulate people. Relationships on the island during ‘summer fifteen’ go south fast. But rather than rip the Liars apart, the fighting joins them together in an unimaginable way.

It’s during summer fifteen that Cady has an accident that leaves her suffering from terrible, chronic headaches and amnesia. As a result, she misses summer sixteen on the island and does not return until summer seventeen. She can’t wait to see her extended family again, but most of all she can’t wait to see and reconnect with the Liars.

Wowee, that’s a good description of We Were Liars. It took me until about page 50 to get drawn into this book. I almost abandoned it. I’m glad I didn’t. After the first 50 pages, it became increasingly clearer that something was not quite right about what was happening in the story.

There are some seriously messed up characters in this book, I didn’t really love any of them, but I didn’t need to. I love the way the book evaluated material wealth and how it can destroy families when someone dies and people fight over ‘stuff.’

We Were Liars is a super-fast read. My guess is that the buzz surrounding this book will grow quickly and that it will become a popular read this year. Salt Lake County Library already has a wait list of 87 people for the print version and 10 people for the audio book. The book was released in June of this year. I didn’t listen to the audio version so I can’t speak for it.

Overall Rating4 of 5 stars false

Parent’s guide:

  • Sex: Some kissing between a boy and girl
  • Language: a few f-words
  • Violence: Not really=Cady uses a few violent, bloody images to describe some of her feelings.
  • Drug Use: It’s never completely clear is Cady is abusing prescription drugs, but she does use them to deal with pain. The adults in this book are often drinking too much. No glorification of drug/alcohol use in the book though.
  • Side Note: There are some disturbing situations that happen in this book, but I would say it is appropriate for teens.

We Were Liars Book Cover We Were Liars
E. Lockhart
Young Adult
Delacorte Press
May 13, 2014

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.

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