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We Were Liars

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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 New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

242 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 13, 2014

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About the author

E. Lockhart

21 books14.5k followers
E. Lockhart is the author of Again Again, Genuine Fraud, We Were Liars and Family of Liars, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and several other books. Whistle: A New Gotham CIty Hero is a graphic novel.

website: www.emilylockhart.com
Instagram: elockhartbooks
Twitter: elockhart

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5 stars
299,034 (27%)
4 stars
345,164 (31%)
3 stars
279,279 (25%)
2 stars
111,949 (10%)
1 star
44,848 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 104,973 reviews
August 9, 2016
Once upon a time there were three bears who lived in a wee house in the woods.
Once upon a time there were three billy goats who lived near a bridge.
Once upon a time there were three soldiers, tramping together down the roads after the war.
Once upon a time there were three little pigs.
Once upon a time there were three brothers.
No, this is it. This is the variation I want.
It was a better coming of age than Catcher in the Rye, but I also thought Twilight was a better coming-of-age than Catcher in the Rye (fuck you, Holden Caulfield). It wasn't a terrible book. I've read far worse. It's just that the writing style sometimes get on my nerves. The sentences are sometimes written fully, and oftentimes
just goes like
this out of freaking
nowhere. For no freaking.
Reason at all. If that's the kind of thing that bothers you. Then you should probably avoid this book.

This book has almost no plot. It is full of odd sentence structures and purple prose. The entire book is about a poor-little-rich-girl living with a poor-little-rich-family with the kind of ending that makes you go "WHAT THE ACTUAL KIND OF M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN FUCKERY IS THIS?!"

It's not terrible. But there's almost no plot at all. The "Liars" are more "Talkers," and they have almost no relevant role in the book because this book is about a pretentious girl with nothing but #whitegirlproblems and #richpeopleproblems. The aforementioned "Liars" don't do anything in this book, they're not witty, they're not cute, they don't give off the sense of closeness and kinship that you get from growing up with someone their entire life. Hell, they're nowhere near Dead Poets Society kind of interesting.

This is a coming of age, and nothing more. It has
of writing style
that's often choppy
like this. Commas
are sometimes used. And sometimes not. Haphazardly. With no punctuality.
No pun intended.

Sentences are fragmented. The main character sometimes.
Has the tendency to use overwrought, run on metaphors. To describe herself. And her headaches. Such as a helicopter blown by the wind tossed by the torrential rain in the wilds of Alaska felt by a little Eskimo girl during the first whispers of a glacial spring with the scent of violets and hints of lavender in the fields of Grasse.

The Summary:
My full name is Cadence Sinclair Eastman.
I am nearly eighteen.
I used to be blond, but now my hair is black.
I used to be strong, but now I am weak.
I used to be pretty, but now I look sick.
It is true I suffer migraines since my accident.
It is true I do not suffer fools.
Poor little Cadence Sinclair is wealthy. She is loved. She is one of the Sinclairs, a good-looking "old-money Democrat" family, think the Kennedys, without the political aspirations. They have names like Liberty, Taft, and Tipper. They go to Ivy League schools. They have trust funds. They have sired a generation of children, the leader of which is Cadence. Cadence and her crew call themselves "The Liars." The Liars are composed of her cousins Mirren, Johnny, and the outcast "Healthcliff," Indian love interest, Gat.

The Liars supposedly cause trouble. They don't really. They do almost nothing. Cadence herself is sick. She is prone to theatrics, and she is not-so-secretly in love with Gat. She gets headaches. She feels self-pity. She is privileged. She doesn't realize it.

This is the story of a wealthy, beautiful family.
It’s a beautiful night, and we are indeed a beautiful family.
I do not know what changed.
This is the story about a girl's headaches.
Why did I go into the water alone at night?
Where were my clothes?
Did I really have a head injury from the swim, or did something else happen?
This is a story about The Liars. And their spectacularly brilliant conversations for the entire fucking summer.
They have baby oil spread on their bodies. Two bottles of it lie on the grass. “Aren’t you afraid you’ll get burned?” I ask.
“I don’t believe in sunblock anymore,” says Johnny.
“He’s decided the scientists are corrupt and the whole sunblock industry is a moneymaking fraud,” says Mirren.
“Have you ever seen sun poisoning?” I ask. “The skin literally bubbles.”
“It’s a dumb idea,” says Mirren. “We’re just bored out of our minds, that’s all.”
They're not the only ones bored out of their mind.

The Writing:
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.
I’m okay,
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 really have a problem with the writing, but this is just a matter of taste. But then again, I've never been a fan of this type of prose. Needless to say, I don't like e.e. cummings. The writing is so often choppy, haphazardly punctuated. The first-person narrator also has a tendency to use very, very dramatic imagery to describe situations. Some situations are false.
Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound,
then from my eyes,
my ears,
my mouth.
That, there, was a description of how she FELT. It confused me as fuck until I realized that she didn't actually get hurt, which made it even more confusing when she did actually hurt herself.
Every time Gat said these things, so casual and truthful, so oblivious—my veins opened. My wrists split. I bled down my palms. I went light-headed.
I thought that was her being overdramatic again, until I realized that the guy was fucking bandaging her up afterwards.

The main character has a huge tendency to use purple prose. She describes her migraines like they were the end of the world, which, I understand to some people they might be, but if you're getting a fucking migraine, there's really no bloody need to get all freaking poetic about it.
A witch has been standing there behind me for some time, waiting for a moment of weakness. She holds an ivory statue of a goose. It is intricately carved. I turn and admire it only for a moment before she swings it with shocking force. It connects, crushing a hole in my forehead. I can feel my bone come loose. The witch swings the statue again and hits above my right ear, smashing my skull. Blow after blow she lands, until tiny flakes of bone litter the bed and mingle with chipped bits of her once-beautiful goose.
That entire passage is one of many throughout the book about her headaches. I just couldn't take it.

The Main Character:
“You’re filled with superiority, aren’t you? You think you understand the world so much better than I do. I’ve heard Gat talking. I’ve seen you eating up his words like ice cream off a spoon. But you haven’t paid bills, you haven’t had a family, owned property, seen the world. You have no idea what you’re talking about, and yet you do nothing but pass judgment.”
Poor-little-rich-girl syndrome. She's beautiful, but wounded, and "mysterious" and revered, just for the sake of her blood alone, for the sake of her family's name alone. Think about it. If you were a Kennedy, it doesn't matter if you look like an elephant stepped on your head when you were born. People are still going to love you and worship you and whisper your name with reverence because you're a motherfucking Kennedy. It's this way with the Sinclairs, only there's no paparazzi following them around. All of the benefits, and no family curse. But somehow Cadence finds a way to be a rebel-without-a-cause anyway.

She's rich. She's hypocritical about her wealth because she criticizes her own fucking family for being wealthy. She does stupid shit like give things away to random people because she can. Before the summer is over, Cadence's room will have been empty because she keeps giving shit away for no fucking reason.

Cadence is unaware of others. She is spoiled. She takes her wealth for granted. She doesn't pay any attention to "the help."
One night, the four of us ate a picnic down on the tiny beach. Steamed clams, potatoes, and sweet corn. The staff made it. I didn’t know their names.
I'm sorry, but I can't sympathize with such a whiny person who's completely unaware of how privileged she is, headaches be damned.
“Who are Ginny and Paulo?”
Gat hits his fist into his palm. “Ginny is the housekeeper. Paulo is the gardener. You don’t know their names and they’ve worked here summer after summer. That’s part of my point.”
My face heats with shame. “I’m sorry.”
The Love Interest:
“You’re saying Granddad thinks you’re Heathcliff?”
“I promise you, he does,” says Gat. “A brute beneath a pleasant surface, betraying his kindness in letting me come to his sheltered island every year—I’ve betrayed him by seducing his Catherine, his Cadence. And my penance is to become the monster he always saw in me.”
Gat is the only interesting character in the book. He is Indian-American. Gat Patil. He is the nephew of her aunt's boyfriend, and they've known each other for years. He is self-aware. Too self-aware in the pretentious way that teenagers can often be, but his character feels authentically teenaged. I liked him. He is accepted into The Liars, but he's not altogether accepted in the family. Because of his skin color, because of his lack of family money, he feels left out. And I can sympathize with him.
“I’m not saying he wants to be the guy who only likes white people,” Gat went on. “He knows he’s not supposed to be that guy. He’s a Democrat, he voted for Obama—but that doesn’t mean he’s comfortable having people of color in his beautiful family.”
Gat is intelligent. Reasonable. Likeable. And I wonder why the fuck he cares about a waste of air like Cadence.
Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
July 8, 2014
I went into We Were Liars one cocky son of a biscuit eater, feeling above it all right from page one. I'd seen this book talked about so heavily by other bloggers and how some never saw the twist coming or how others totally saw that twist coming. All the while, I was sitting on the sidelines with my shades on, posted up with my arms folded, saying, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Hot potato." That's not to say I didn't want to read this book, because I did. I even had an ARC sitting on my shelf for the longest time, but due to a lot of the hype, I kept putting it off. Plus, I'm one of those people who usually can easily figure out a plot twist and I didn't want to dive into something where a lot of people already mentioned figuring it out.

But one thing did nag me a little in the back of my mind was that my Bookish Twin, Blythe from Finding Bliss in Books, LOVED it. I highly value her opinion when it comes to books, because we almost always agree. So when I happened to get my hands on the audiobook, I thought, "What the hell? I was supposed to read and review this anyway, right?" Let me tell you... WHOA.

***First off, I just wanna say that I don't know how the print compares to the audio and that it's possible I loved the book more than others because of the  excellent job of the narrator. I can see how the fragmented sentences could be a pain to read, but this might be one of those cases where it sounds better out loud. That being said, I if you haven't read this book, possibly check out the audio version first.***

Anyway, I was feeling very blasé about the first half. It felt like a really random story about a rich, white girl and her white girl problems, crying her white girl tears and I felt myself unsure about what the point of it all was.


And maybe that makes me sound extremely heartless, but I couldn't relate to the main character (no, I'm not even going to tell you her name because I want you to go in blind). But somewhere along the lines, I started to become intrigued with the story because it became this strange, wild thing that I couldn't piece together.

Lockhart uses a very odd narration with fragmented sentences and strange descriptions, but I thought it was beautiful and unique. It added a very creepy layer on top the the existing oddness. It makes you question the main character, her account of the incident and the entire book. She's not very reliable and has the habit to cut off mid-sentence. I'm not sure if that was used as a way to distract the reader or if it was to used to make us question her sanity. Maybe a little bit of both. Either way, it worked on me.

As things started to heat up and I reached the cusp of the climax, the narrator's voice increased in intensity. She began talking faster, became very emotional, then suddenly on the verge of tears!

And I started thinking to myself, OH GOD NO. WHAT IS HAPPENING.




So, naturally, I had a good cry and needed someone to hold me.


By the end, I was all:


I know this review might not be the most helpful in the world, but it's true what everyone says about We Were Liars. You should absolutely go in blind, with no expectations and let this book take your feels as it sees fit. If you are a fan of psychological thrillers like Stephanie Kuehn's Charm and Strange or Complicit , than this one may be up your alley. I'll be here to hold you when you're finish.

ARC was provided by the publisher via YA Books Central.

More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebugery.
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,604 reviews5,985 followers
January 28, 2015
It's been awhile since I have so totally hated a book.

I'm surprised at how varied the feelings on here about this book are...some of my friends hated it.

Some of them liked/loved it.

I still love them....

Let's get to why I hated this so very frigging much.

The main character is a twit...but then the whole family is:
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.

That's actually the good part on her family. In some parts of the book the author tries and make the character act like she has redeeming qualifications-but then a short few pages later I just want to smash her again.

The writing style:
Good grief..I thought it was only going to last for a few pages. NOOOOOOO, almost the whole frigging book is written like this....
"So lie. Tell him the ones from the Boston house. The cream ones with the embroidery."
It was easiest to tell her I would.
And later, I told her I had.
But Bess has asked Mirren to do the same thing,
and neither one of us
begged Granddad
for the fucking tablecloths.

Then that lovely twist of an ending:
I'm probably going to hell for this but don't click if you gonna whine...

There's one part I never did figure out. Cady the main character keeps talking about bleeding..Did she cut or was that just supposed to be a metaphor or some crap?

Now after reading this crap I need:

And lastly..for the trolls and fangirls and gif haters (should have thrown that one in) that will come....GO suck monkey ass..this book sucks!
Profile Image for Ariel.
301 reviews64.1k followers
June 14, 2014
This was, without a doubt, one of the most powerful and well-crafted books I have read in a really long time.

Elements that made this book outstanding:
1) It started with a map and a family tree. Talk about setting yourself up for success!
2) The personification of emotion. This might not make sense unless you've read the book, but wow it was powerful.
3) The use of fairy tales from the main character to describe situations.
4) The sense of complete mystery and suspicion: I was always questioning everything.
5) The use of dramatic lines. You know when an author brings in an epic moment-stopping line? This was full of those awesome drops!
6) The moment. There's a moment where all is revealed and IT WAS PERFECT.
7) The consequential understanding. Everything suddenly clicked into place and it was glorious.
8) The side characters. I think sometimes side characters can feel inconsequential and here they felt really important.

There weren't very many things I didn't like, to be honest, but there was one:
1) The title. It does't make sense to me. I don't want to say anything in case spoilers, but I don't think it's the perfect title.

Two final things:
1) I have a theory. I have a theory about this book that I'm really excited to discuss so I'm going to make a video about it!
2) This book really made me cry. Like explode cry. Lots of tears. And I've only ever cried at 2 other books.

I absolutely recommend this book, to everyone who likes books, because MAN, THIS WAS A GOOD BOOK.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,989 reviews298k followers
December 23, 2013
It's true what they're saying: you're better off if I tell you nothing about this book.

So I will just say two things.

1) It is worth reading. Even though I only gave it 3 stars.

2) I gave it 3 stars because of the writing style, which irritated the hell out of me. The fact that it got 3 stars after annoying me so much will hopefully give you some indication of how much I liked the idea.

It's a very clever book and an incredibly sophisticated piece of YA. BUT... an execution that was not to my tastes. The writing was too choppy and fragmented and I hated the frequent use of nouns as adjectives. Like this:

"His nose was dramatic, his mouth sweet. Skin deep brown, hair black and waving. Body wired with energy. Gat seemed spring-loaded. Like he was searching for something. He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I could have looked at him forever."
757 reviews2,349 followers
April 22, 2017
"Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE."

This book was great,
you guys! I love the writing style.
It wasn't confusing at all!
It was totally not annoying! :)
I loved the characters.
They were so complex
and not bland at all.
They definitely didn't
want to make me want to shoot
myself in the head! :)
I knew what was going on and
I enjoyed this story a lot!
The ending was just beautiful.
Literally all I can ask for! :)

I LOVE THIS SM I AM CRYING! :) :) :) :) :) :)
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,676 reviews5,250 followers
June 2, 2015
 photo I hate thinking_zpsgx4pgezq.jpg

well this was all kinds of pointless
and also depressing.

the writing is so mannered
it is an affectation
a studied display of real or pretended feeling.
the whole book lacks affect;
it lacks the real emotion
that it so desperately tries to convey
in its own affect-less way.
the writer has talent
but here it is squandered.

I like the premise, it's enticing;
who doesn't want to read about
the fragile cloistered lives
of insular rich white people
who summer on their own private island?
makes us not-rich people feel better
reading about the miserable rich.
I guess?

 photo tumblr_np6owxgOij1qz6f9yo1_540_zpsdqnaaeim.jpg

but why go to all that trouble
setting up class critique
and racial tensions
and family drama
and dressing it up in fairy tale finery
when that will all just be thrown away
on a maudlin twist ending
with a corny moral message:
"Be a little kinder"...

those ideas went nowhere
those ideas were rendered pointless
because in the end the book
is not a scouring brillo pad after all,
it's just another soppy wet sponge.

rub that sponge on your face
it will look like you cried!

 photo no time for your tears_zpsv14edffs.png
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
December 10, 2020
Cadence and her family spend every summer on a private island, courtesy of her racist and classist grandfather.

All of her aunts constantly vie for the grandfather's attention and favor (in an attempt to keep ahold of the family fortune).

Cadence and her cousins consider themselves above such petty actions and spend most summers making trouble, being rich and taking advantage of the liquor bar.

Then, two summers ago, something terrible and tragic happens.

Everyone knows but Candace... and everyone absolutely refuses to tell her.

And she's bound and determined to find out, one way or another.

I don't want to go into too much depth with the plot because I strongly feel that by giving away the twist (even hints at the twist) would completely ruin the novel.

The twist was literally the only thing that kept me going.

Candace (ooo, that girl...) is such a great example of why kids should be given hard limits.

This chick literally goes to a private island every summer.... and all she does is whine about it.


I guess I understand why the author does this, by the end of the novel, I felt so bad for this poor little girl, who only could go to a single island every summer.

Honestly, I don't know how she could handle it.

I suppose she did have one, overarching hobby: love.

I'm not kidding. Her only hobby is waxing poetic about how how in love she is.

And this is not normal love, this is YA love (shudders).

Which is a whole other class of adoration.

There's this:
He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I could have looked at him forever.
and this:
The universe was good because he was in it.
I wanted to touch him like he was a bunny, a kitten, something so special and soft your fingertips can’t leave it alone.
Gag. Her talking about love nearly made me put the book down.

In typical YA fashion, she is more in love with the idea of being love than feeling any emotion.

Annnd...that's all there was that wasn't directly connected with the twist. Just her whining on and on about how much she loves the boy OR about how her rich family. Fab.

Audiobook Comments
The reader did her best with what she was given.

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
October 28, 2018
lets play two truths and a lie. ready? i will go first.

- this book has an unreliable narrator and you cant trust anything she tells you.

- this story has such deep secrets, even its secrets have secrets.

- this novel has a twist that you wont see coming, but you will try to convince yourself that you did.

think you got it?

i can guarantee you dont.

because the best lies are those based on truth.

so read this book for yourself.

maybe then you will be able to spot the imposter.

and if anyone asks you,

just lie.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,070 reviews51.3k followers
October 31, 2021
um. no.

am glad to have read this though so i can unhaul it! ngl it's satisfying getting rid of stuff you've owned forever.
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
June 20, 2018
so, just like Little Bee, this book begs you "NOOO, DON'T TELL ITS SEEEEKRITS!!" and if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

so part of me is tempted to write this whole long review about how this book is a magical adventure focusing on a young girl in manhattan during the blackout of 2003, when all the red pandas living in the sewers came out to play, carrying tiny flashlights and shepherding people from manhattan to their homes in the outer boroughs and all the lessons this young girl learns along the way from her red panda guide about life and humanity and art history and, ultimately, herself.

because i would read that book.

instead, i am just going to say that it is perhaps unwise to market a book in this way. true, the only reason i read it myself was because i came across it when making YA list for work, and i was all "SECRETS?? I LOVE SECRETS!! I WANT TO KNOW THE SECRETS!!" it's a very effective way of drumming up interest around a book.

but the problem is, when you are prepared for a big twist, it is very easy to guess the big twist, which i did very early on. if you think you are just reading a book about some rich family and a girl with a faulty memory and a mysterious summer, with no tantalizingly bossy instructions about keeping the book's secrets, you might be more surprised when the reveal is revealed. but when such a big deal is made of SHHHHHHH, and you know you are expecting something unexpected, you will probably find it, and so reading the book just becomes an exercise in waiting for the character to figure it out. which is fine, but less effective in terms of shock value.

i liked it anyway, but i think it would have been more fun to gasp in genuine surprise at the path it took. so forget i said anything, forget what the synopsis tells you to do, and just read it like you would any other book.

this should help you forget everything you have ever known:


come to my blog!
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
546 reviews34.7k followers
May 23, 2018
”We were warm and shivering,
and young and ancient,
and alive."

When I began to read this book I went in completely blind and had absolutely no clue what it was about. The blurb on the back didn’t tell me anything about the plot and everything I knew was that “We Were Liars” had apparently won the YA Goodreads Choice Award in 2014.
So yeah, I just decided to read it and hoped it would be good and looking at it in retrospective this actually was the best decision I could have made! ;-P

Because let’s face it, this book will mess with your head big time.
The Liars will make you wonder, they’ll make you question what happened in summer 15 and you’ll not only become curious but you’ll also feel a need to read on. XD

”Silence is a protective coating over pain.”

Of course there are plenty of hints, but will you be able to figure them out or will you be in the dark until the end?
I guess by now you already realised that this isn’t one of my typical reviews and yes, you’re right. I won’t write anything about the plot. Sorry?! No, I think I’m not. *lol*

”A brute beneath a pleasant surface, betraying his kindness in letting me come to his sheltered island every year – I’ve betrayed him by seducing his Catherine, his Cadence. And my penance is to become the monster he always saw in me.”

This is a book you’ll have to experience for yourself! And I want you all to scream: ”WHAT THE FREAKING HELL!!??” when you finally reach the ending. Haha!
And before you ask, yes I screamed it loud and clear!!! XD This story is a mindfuck and even my (usually very) observant mind wasn’t ready for the finale! ;-P

So all I’m going to do is to give you a little character description. The rest you’ll have to figure out on your own. XD

Meet the Liars:

”She is sugar. She is curiosity and rain.”
”Be a little kinder than you have to.”

”He is bounce. He is effort and snark.”
”Never eat anything bigger than your ass.”

”Do not accept an evil you can change.”
”His nose was dramatic, his mouth sweet. Skin deep borwn, hair black and waving. Body wired with energy. Gat seemed spring-loaded. Like he was searching for something. He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I could have looked at him forever.”

”Always do what you are afraid to do,” I say.
”These days she is a gnarled crone, touching the raw flesh of my brain with her cruel fingernails. She pokes my exposed nerves, exploring whether she’ll take up residence in my skull. If she gets in, I’m confined to my bedroom for a day or maybe two.”

Are you curious and intrigued already?

If yes, I hope you’ll enjoy the book as much as I did. It was a really nice and fast read and it definitely exceeded my expectations.
No! Truth be told, it completely messed with my mind.
But we all love deliberate confusion, don’t we? ;-P

”I suffer migraines. I do not suffer fools.
I like a twist of meaning.”
Profile Image for Kristin (KC).
251 reviews25.1k followers
March 25, 2017
*5 Stars*

There’s not even a Scrabble word for how I’m feeling right now…

This story left me defeated, but its tragedy was paired equally with an unconventional beauty. It gripped me instantly to the point where I couldn’t stop thinking about its mystery…

Its intrigue.

Its quiet calamity.

The suspense is painted on rather thickly, which is not to say that readers will not form an accurate theory early on. But the journey remains worth it whether you’ve Sherlock Holmes’d this one or not.

The plot introduces itself in a vague manner and slowly unravels. I found that the messages held more power than the characters delivering them—the sum was definitely greater than its parts. Which fit the tone nicely.

This review may seem just as ambiguous as the story itself, but it must be if you wish to obtain the full effect of its delivery.

I will say this, however: We Were Liars is a haunting portrayal of a group of teenagers who have formed a sacred bond; each one striving to be free and longing for acceptance. They consider love more important than social and economic stature, and are displeased with the prejudices surrounding their world.

They are young.
They are passionate.
They are imperfect.

They each suffer their own personal injustice. And this is their story.

What if we could somehow stop being the Beautiful Sinclair Family and just be a family? What if we could stop being different colors , different backgrounds, and just be in love?

The writing was unique and although it may not suit everyone’s taste, I relished it. I thought the author’s use of descriptive imagery was creative and applied with a gentle hand—nothing over-the-top or showy.

The story is told through the voice of a confused, emotional, and dejected eighteen year old girl—and the writing remained consistent with her distinctive perspective. It was poetic and profound—drifting in as a gentle breeze and building to the swirling force of a hurricane. It may not knock your socks off, but it certainly took my breath away.

She made me act normal. Because I was. Because I could. She told me to breathe and sit up.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a plot that persuades you to wonder. To readers who can accept the bittersweet circumstances of life displayed within their fiction. This is not a character-driven novel. The story shines brighter. I don't think I ever fully connected with any character at all--and the fact that I was moved to tears by the finish is what made this a five-star read for me.

Someone once wrote that a novel should deliver a series of small astonishments. I get the same thing spending an hour with you.

Although I found this story entirely unique, if I had to compare, I’d say its structure reminds me a bit of On the Jellicoe Road. Its haunting tone, as well.

A truly addictive, out-of-the-box read!

The universe is seeming really huge right now,” he told me. “I need something to hold on to.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Book Stats:
▪ Genre/Category: YA
▪ Romance: Young but present
▪ Characters: Teens struggling to find their way
▪ Plot: Mysterious. Twists slowly unravel
▪ Writing: Poetic. Simple yet profound.
▪ POV: First person: Heroine
▪ Cliffhanger: None. Standalone
▪  HEA?
Profile Image for Josu Diamond.
Author 8 books33.2k followers
June 20, 2021
Mmmmh. ¿Perdón?

Yo pensaba que We Were Liars iba a ser mi tipo de libro. Parecía extraño, con una forma de narrar elocuente y un misterio que rodeaba a la protagonista. Sin embargo, no. No ha sido mi tipo de libro.

Para empezar, el punto de que los Sinclair sean una familia con una isla privada y hablando de herencias y cosas de ricos me ha hecho desconectar casi desde el principio. Puedo entender algunos de los conflictos, pero no son conflictos realistas para personas de 15-16 años como tienen los protagonistas. Son problemas de gente rica, y lo siento, pero es que me da cringe. Eso para empezar.

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Luego tenemos el estilo de E. Lockhart, que no escribe mal la señora, pero creo que intenta elevar la novela a un punto al que no llega. No hay taaanto misterio ni taaantas cosas que hacer para que narre entre la prosa y la poesía, metiendo metáforas y escenas intensas en una historia que no deja de ser un libro sobre un verano de amigos y un poco de romance. En plan, Señora, no es necsario. No vayas de intensa que no hay por donde rascar.

¡Y es que es eso! La estrategia de marketing de este libro llega incluso a la propia sinopsis, donde se pide que si lees el libro mientas sobre él para que nadie sepa de lo que trata, y honestamente, es la trama más simple que he leído en muchos años. Vamos, que claro que es fácil mentir con este libro, porque es que no hay que pensar mucho para 'tapar' de lo que trata: porque va sobre la nada. No pasa nada, el misterio es básico y es aburrido.

Normalmente intento hacer críticas constructivas, pero sigo sin entender muy bien la intención de esta novela. ¿Dónde está el gran misterio que rodea a Cady, la protagonista? Ni siquiera creo que sea un thriller, como se cataloga. Es una historia sin más con un giro en la trama que se ve venir desde literalmente el primer capítulo. En serio, ¿qué mierdas? ¿De verdad me he tragado 200 páginas para descubrir algo que era más que obvio? Y encima ni siquiera es algo grave, es como... Normal, no sé, hay cientos de historias exactamente igual que estas.


Creo que se le quedan grande muchas cosas a este libro. Desde considerarlo una novela de misterio a considerar a Lockhart una gran escritora con un gran estilo. Es un libro pretencioso, que juega con elevarlo a un punto al que no llega solo por tratar de salvarse a sí mismo y ponerlo en una posición mejor de la que es. Pero que no os engañe: no es así.

We Were Liars muere con el hype que crea por sí mismo a su alrededor, con personajes que sacan de quicio y una trama simple que trata de mostrarse como compleja. No funciona, no engancha, no sucede nada y lo lees por el simple hecho de terminarlo, no porque te interese. No recomiendo.
Profile Image for Melanie.
76 reviews132 followers
January 5, 2022
y’all hyped this one up and I will never forgive you.
Profile Image for NickReads.
461 reviews1,196 followers
November 27, 2019
“Be a little kinder than you have to.”



Okay so where to begin. I liked this book,you can see it by my rating, but I don't feel it ended right. I am not saying it was a bad ending, not at all, I enjoyed it, but there was no justice.

“Do not accept an evil you can change.”



“Always do what you're afraid to do.”



I just finished reading the book and so many feels are tumbling so I may be confused and wrong in the text above, but that's what I am feeling and wanted to express it to you. Beside the summary, I like the writing style, it was rich and beautiful and I would recommend this book to readers out there. It's a very dark book and I assure you that you will find it very interesting.


*Pictures from the review are not mine, I took them mostly from Google images or Tumblr*
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,259 reviews5,612 followers
September 29, 2022
لكل منا مكان سيشعر فيه بصباه للابد
..وهناك عدد قليل جدا من الاقارب و الاصدقاء تعود معهم روحك بنفس انطلاقة سن 16 🏊بلا شروط او مصالح او تحيزات....

اجمل ما في الكاذبين انك كنت منهم يوما ما..رواية عصرية لا يميزها شئ الا اللغة السهلة و البساطة المتناهية🌚
..صعبة في اول 60 صفحة.. وتطلبت الكثير من قطع الشيكولاتة لعبورها!. .ولكن سريعة جدا فيما بعد حتى انني قرات اخر 120 صفحة في ساعات قليلة

..تقييمي لها كالاتي:الاسلوب و القابلية للقراءة 4 نجوم.. الحبكة 4 نجوم الهدف 5 نجوم..النهاية 4 نجوم
و اخيرا الشخصيات 2 نجمة..فقط لانه تم التضحية بها في سبيل التشويق.. لذا نجد صعوبة في التوحد مع البطلة

و ما ان يبدأ الشك ينمو في نفسك ستكشف السر.. واما ان تقبله او ترفضه مثلي..
قيمة الرواية ليست في سرها الصادم..بل تكمن في الهدف منها..و هو ان : خلافات الاسر على الماديات ابدية
،سواء كانت لا تتجاوز "فدان مشاع في البلد "او عمارة عائلية..او املاك بلا حدود
In America WE work for what we want" H.sinclair
هكذا هتف الجد محذرا أسرته رغم ثراؤه الفاحش
فالغيرة وقلة التسامح والتواكل طبع انساني عالمي..
الكل مثل سانكلير لا يقبل "لا" كاجابة..

.مع الكاذبين ستكتشف لماذا تحيا جدتك بعد سن 77 و🌚
لماذا يحرص بعض الاثرياء على العمل واهميته كقيمة..
و ان الطلاق فشل اجتماعي للمرأة وحدها عبر العالم..
وان على الصغار الابتعاد عن ماسي الكبار ..
ولماذا قال القدماء" الوباء ولا الغباء"!!.و
اذا اردت التشويق والمتعة ستجدها ايضا
Profile Image for Layla.
340 reviews383 followers
May 27, 2022
Hated the writing. Hated the characters. Sure, it's a interesting concept, but it was badly executed. All the messages were shallow and fell short. And I'm not going to sympathize with a conventionally attractive old money rich white family whose only problems stem from their own selfishness and egocentrism.
Profile Image for Era ➴.
217 reviews557 followers
August 31, 2022
[song match - Glory and Gore by Lorde.]

I love this book. I really do. I didn't expect to, but then I just fell in love with it and now it's an obsession.

The writing is pretty controversial - it’s the style of writing that people either love or hate, no in between. This type of book isn’t for everyone.
It’s a very flowery, metaphorical, lots-of-paragraph-breaks style of prose that’s super dreamy and a little too dramatic.
Luckily for me, I fall into the category of people who love this writing style.

I do understand why people hate on it so much. I just love it too much to listen.

I read in the ~extra~ part of my edition that E. Lockhart intended for this book to be through the eyes of a trauma survivor. She talked about the research she did about stages of trauma and events that might cause those mental effects.

And then she slayed.

In my opinion, at least.

“They know that tragedy is not glamorous. They know it doesn't play out in life as it does on a stage or between the pages of a book. It is neither a punishment meted out nor a lesson conferred. Its horrors are not attributable to one single person. Tragedy is ugly and tangled, stupid and confusing.”

It wasn’t the most traditional sense of mental health representation, but it still gave a very unique look at trauma rep. The trippy, metaphorical writing layered with the distortion from Cadence’s mind added so much to the plot. It made things so much more...confusing, but in a dreamy way.

I also loved the drama in this book. A lot of people talk about court intrigue in fantasy books/books with monarchy systems, but if you really want the dirt then books like this work just fine. There was all this internal fighting, family members blowing up (NOT LITERALLY), and tangled relationships.

“We are Sinclairs. Beautiful. Privileged. Damaged. Liars. We live, least in the summertime, on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. Perhaps that is all you need to know.”

“We Were Liars” follows Cadence Sinclair Eastman. Her mother’s side of the family, the Sinclairs, are “old-money Democrats” as she puts it. They spend their summers on a private island called Beechwood Island.

This book...I would call it enchanting. I got seriously drawn in by this whole “rich-white-person” thing. It was amazing to read about private islands and summers on the beach and family drama. Imagine being so privileged that your biggest worry is which one of your sisters is wearing the family pearl necklace (*ahem* Kardashians).

Don't worry, this book isn't trashy.

I loved that feeling of constant perfection. How despite being messed up, the Sinclairs managed to be “sparkling, sunburnt and blessed” - despite being awful, they were perfect. There was just that consistent ethereal quality.

“Life feels beautiful that day. The four of us Liars, we have always been. We always will be. No matter what happens as we go to college, grow old, build lives for ourselves; no matter if Gat and I are together or not. No matter where we go, we will always be able to line up on the roof of Cuddledown and gaze at the sea. This island is ours. Here, in some way, we are young forever.”

This book was unique. The quality of the writing, the expressiveness and the atmosphere of the whole thing just drew me in. Every single time.

Another thing I loved was how different the characters were. The whole book is from Cady’s first-person narrative, and as you can tell, that narrative is very individual only to Cadence. The writing style and the prose would have been completely different if it had been from any of the other characters’ perspectives. Imagine if Gat or Johnny or Mirren had narrated this.

It wouldn’t have been the same.

“We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken.”

I would absolutely recommend this book. It stole my heart and then ripped it to pieces. The prose and lyrical tone drew me in and then broke me. Three words I would use to describe it: enchanting, emotional, and exquisite.

Profile Image for Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile.
2,043 reviews628 followers
February 16, 2021
Reread 2/13/21. Still amazing. Still crying.

OH MY GOD. Hands down, this is by far the most amazing book I've read so far this year, and possibly a good part of last year. I went into it knowing hardly anything about it, which is the way it should be. Now that I'm done, I literally want to pick it up and start it all over again.

I know alot of people dislike the disjointed writing, but it didn't bother me in the least. I flew through this book today despite being extremely busy at work, and I came home and immediately picked it back up. I just finished it after taking far too long of a bath and becoming raisin-y just because I couldn't bear to put the book down. I finished and got out of the bath (which had doubled in water volume due to tears) and IMMEDIATELY came to write my review. Still a little weepy.

girl sobbing photo: sobbing sobbing_zps29276070.gif

But seriously, GO READ THIS. Stop what you're doing and go get it RIGHT NOW. It will blow you away.

As for me? I'm gonna go eat a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles and find something happy to read. I'll be ok, really.

sobbing photo: SOBBING tumblr_m0hmrgSLXk1qhejhu.gif
Profile Image for emma.
1,865 reviews54.3k followers
July 15, 2021
something you have to respect about a book with a twist is that it's all twist.

take this, for example. no one ever talks about the lovable characters, or the memorable relationships, or the lovely writing.

that's because it doesn't have any of that. it's a twist and that's all.

previous to this moment the entirety of my review of this was the following: "what???"

and in truth that sums it up!

part of a project i'm doing where i review books i read a long time ago, and in so doing add nothing at all to any conversation
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