Tuesday, November 25, 2014

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

"The four of us Liars, we have always been.
We always will be..."

We Were Liars was billed as the YA book of the summer. Even I found it impossible to resist. A John Green blurb plus the description "If anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE." I am so there.

This really was a short book, but it packs a big punch. I'm going to try not to give too much away, but it's difficult to balance telling too much versus having a coherent review. There is a big, spoilery twist, and it's hard to know how much to talk about because a lot of it ends up being clues to the big secret.

The book is about the Sinclairs, one of those big, rich, Kennedy-esque families. They summer on Beachwood Island, a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. Golden retrievers run around, tennis is played, and crabs are boiled. It's rich people paradise.

Our narrator is Cadence, the eldest grandchild and great hope of the future. She spends her summers at Beachwood Island with the Liars. The Liars are her cousins Johnny and Mirren, and Gat, the son of her aunt's boyfriend. They are a close group, and Cadence and Gat form a particularly strong bond.

Two years ago, there was an accident. Nobody talks about it. Cadence suffers terrible headaches and blackouts as a result. She ends up spending the next summer with her father. She writes to the Liars, but doesn't hear back. The following year, Cadence begs to go back to Beachwood. Once there, everything seems different. Her grandfather's old summer house is replaced with a fancy modern one. The Liars are acting strange. Cadence has to try to put the pieces of her lost memories back.

This book really is gorgeous. The writing has a dream-like quality, keeping the reader as confused as Cadence. I didn't predict the twist, but in retrospect there are a lot of hints. It's still very effective, and left me with many feels. I highly recommend this book, if only so that you can lie to all your friends about the ending.

I received my copy of We Were Liars from Netgalley and Edelweiss, courtesy of Delacorte Press. It's available for purchase now.

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