Author: E. Lockhart
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary
Visit We Were Liars’ goodreads page here
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
SYNOPSIS: 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.
After hearing so many fantastic things about this book, it was even the Goodreads Choice 2014 Winner for Young Adult Fiction, I had insanely high expectations. Luckily it met them all! It was thought provoking, mysterious and heartbreaking all at once! This review is going to be very brief in certain areas, like everyone recommends, hop straight into the book blind without knowing major detail. You will enjoy it much more!
The plot and characters are so beautifully developed. The plot was a little hard to wrap my head around at first, but once I got a good grasp, I loved it. The Sinclair family was such a new take on the typical Abusive family in the Young Adult genre. The rich family never got an insight of what it’s like to be poor and to be independent. This is prevalent in the plot; the majority of it is about family arguments and the three sisters, Carrie, Bess and Penny, trying to be the centre of attention in the eyes of their father. The characters are all so individual and unbelievably realistic; at times I forgot it was family created in someone’s mind. The four Liars Gat, Johnny, Mirren and Cadence really saved the book and made it more enjoyable. They share such an intricate and mysterious story together that literally blew my mind, I had to put my book down and take a moment to full understand the new information. Cadence, the protagonist, was a sweet young little girl that expected the world. She got on my nerves at times because she is a spoiled brat and doesn’t think of the consequences of her actions. Not to mention the headaches and amnesia. I understand it would have been hard for anyone to be in her position, but she felt the need to blame everything on the fact she was sick and just became a whining teenager. Gat, the love interest of Cady and the outsider of the family, is Indian-American which caused family feuds within the bunch due to the colour and background. He wasn’t ‘Pure’ enough to be with the all white American Sinclairs. Johnny, the eldest grandson of Harris, was such a quirky young man that was still a young boy at heart. He was never interested in the adults and what they had to say about the unimportant issues they had. Mirren was the opposite of Cady; she was a true ‘girly girl’ and really cared about what everyone thought of her. She tried her hardest to impress everyone, even though it was practically impossible to impact anyone due to her status of the grandchildren. Harris, the foundation of the Sinclair family, was the only character I really had a problem with. He was racist, demanding, aggressive and such a spoiled brat that thinks the world revolves around him (I’ve been holding that in for a while!).
The writing style is bizarre. It was almost written in prose but more structured. At times it’s written like:
I plunge down,
down to rocky rocky bottom, and
I can see the base of Beechwood Island and
my arms and legs feel numb but my fingers are cold. Slices
of seaweed go past as I fall.
And then I am up again, and breathing.
my head is okay,
no one needs to cry for me or worry about me.
I am fine,
I am alive.
I swim to shore
I found this very interesting and exceptional; I’ve never witnessed this style of writing in any other novel. E. Lockhart is wonderful at descriptions and Imagery; I loved how she included the personification of pain and emotions (you will understand more once you read it).
The ending. The Plot twist. The Pain. I never seen the twist coming, I so shocked that I had to stop reading to full compute the information. I was crying, ugly crying to be exact. I don’t think I’ve ever been so shocked in a book, congratulations E. Lockhart you deserve an award!
Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family.
No one is a criminal.
No one is an addict.
No one is a failure.
The Sinclairs are athletic, tall and handsome.
I love this novel and recommend this to everyone. Go into it blind and you will enjoy it immensely, obviously you will be shocked as well! You might have a few problems with the characters, but push through them and you will love it.