We Were Liars



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 National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends,

just LIE.



The book focuses on Cadence Sinclair Easton and the distinguished Sinclair family. She comes from a family with tremendous amounts of wealth, but even the wealthy have their problems. The book’s about her coming of age – falling in love, becoming aware of her privilege, growing frustration with her family – but it’s also about Cadence’s realisation of the dysfunction that exists beneath the shining “perfect” image of the Sinclair clan that the world sees.  Every summer her family gathers together on a private island steeped in tradition.  Here she meets up with her cousins and a family friend – the Liars.  This is a fascinating relationship, so many interesting family dynamics, so many secrets, and so compelling.

When we first meet Cady,  she has been involved in a swimming accident and has no memory of what happened the last summer.  She spends the rest of the summer trying to unravel the pieces in a very well written exploration of grief and family pressures.

The plot helped set the mood of timelessness and created the “magical” quality of Cadence’s summers on the island. It also kind of mimicked the often non-linear and easily distracted nature of memory and recall. And while many of the Sinclairs’ problems stem from their extreme privilege of money and power, we’re shown how these conflicts affect the characters at the personal level and how none of the drama is simple or easily solved.

What I love about this book is that the story conjoins themes of wealth, racism, family, love, friendship, growing up, mistakes and secrets. This is one of those books that you try really hard to put down but just can’t. It’s powerful in its prose and point of view. It’s unreliable narrator who goes back and forth with her memory makes you question everything, and the lively cast of characters is so well-written you can’t help but love and hate them all. We Were Liars is an excellently written book – albeit sorrow-filled – that will be remembered for more than its surprise ending (oh I loved the ending).




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