Quick Book Review: 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.”

Cadence Sinclair is the presumably seventeen-year-old narrator of We Were Liars and continues to suffer from injuries she sustained during ‘Summer 15’ on her grandfather’s private island, which she usually visits every summer. Now, during Summer 17, she struggles to remember the reasons behind her injuries, as well as the circumstances leading up to her depressed state.

Sounds pretty promising, doesn’t it? Well, the premise is great… the execution, however, not so much. To be fair it was getting late, but I had to finish reading. And I honestly expected more. It wasn’t a bad novel at all, but it wasn’t that good. Anyway, I’m going to try my best not to spoil this for any potential readers but… I cried. Then again, I cry all the time – out of joy …and sadness… but mostly from onions aka the Satan of vegetables.

Let’s go all high school on this novel and judge it…

What Went Well:

The inclusion of fairytales and references to King Lear and Wuthering Heights were very interesting and original, and I thought it worked.

I could relate to the philosophical aspect of the novel.

The presentation of ‘struggle’ from a privileged perspective was realistic.

The suspense did, admittedly, captivate me.

…again, the premise itself was lovely.

What Did Not Go Well:

The occasional fragmented writing style and indecipherable metaphors did not work well at all.

Character development was weak. Not many of the characters were likeable and the ones who were likeable were developed quite poorly.

The title of the book (We Were Liars, in case you didn’t know) baffles me especially since it was the main thing that lured me into reading this in the first place (the blurb is rather cryptic)… You’ll understand once, and only if, you read it.

…the execution was not to my taste.

Rating: 3.5/5

Why: The idea behind We Were Liars was clever and I really do love dark, eerie novels. The issues tackled were contemporary yet traditional, and seeing through the lens of an upper-class teenager made this novel worth reading.  Nevertheless, I think I set my expectations too high for this novel, but it’s still a pretty good read… just don’t say I didn’t tell you so.

Best Quotes: “We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken.”

“Be a little kinder than you have to.”

“Better than chocolate, being with you last night. Silly me, I thought that nothing was better than chocolate.”

*SPOILER ALERT*: Spoiler alerts usually attract my attention even more but if you’ve watched the Sixth Sense… I doubt you’ll rate this highly. I mean, come on, M. Night Shyamalan, anyone?

-Lara, bibliophile who is sort-of okay. And stuff.


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