We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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

 

we were liars

We Were Liars  has received so much hype, including the top May 2014 Library Reads choice.  This contemporary, suspense story was an extremely quick read.  The first few pages include a map of Beechwood Island, and The Sinclair Family Tree, which were much appreciated.  There are lots of privileged family members and houses to keep track of, so at the beginning I referred to those pages quite a bit. The story mostly surrounds ‘the liars’ consisting of Cadence (the narrator), her cousins Johnny, Mirren and love interest, Gat.   Cadence and the cousins are from the wealthy and ‘perfect’ Sinclair family, while Gat refers to himself as the Healthcliff of the family.

Summer fifteen is featured heavily because it is during that summer that Cadence has an accident, leaving her with memory loss and terrible migraines. Her migraines are often the subject of some very dramatic imagery “Migraines left my blood spreading across unfamiliar hotel sheets, dripping on the floors, oozing into carpets, soaking through leftover croissants and Italian lace cookies (p. 35)”.  Broken into five parts, the writing also includes Once Upon A Time fairy tale stories that emulate her family’s bickering over money, inheritance and possessions.  Choppy sentences are also used for dramatics:

There was nowhere

nowhere

nowhere

nowhere now to go

but down (p. 207).

Usually I catch on quickly to the surprise twist, but I was genuinely surprised by the ending. For that reason, I would recommend this quick (and fairly short) contemporary mystery to teens.

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