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.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
I can honestly say that I didn’t expect what I ended up getting in this book. That said, it was even better than I thought I’d be.
It is honestly so hard to think of something to say with regards to this novel without spoiling it, so I’m going to step away from the plot a little, and focus on everything else.
Let me start with the plot. The story is from Cadence’s point of view, for the most part. She’s a Sinclair, which means she’s rich, pretty, and appropriately polite. At the beginning of the story, we get a peak into her summer on the family island – her relationship with her cousins, and Gat, as well as the relationship between her and her parents. Then, we see her accident and are left with numerous questions, questions that she asks later on throughout the novel. Upon returning to the island, she’s greeted with more questions than answers, and is soon unable to figure out what’s true versus what isn’t.
I absolutely loved this novel’s writing. There was a sort of poetry about it that really worked with the book and the characters. In addition, the narrator was able to slip in tiny details, here and there, that, when looked back upon with hindsight bias, because glaringly obvious instead of insignificant and simply descriptive. The plot was weaved extremely well, allowing reader to uncover secrets and answers at the same time Cadence did. It was nice, knowing about as much as the main character did.
The description in this novel was amazing, too. People were describe with nouns instead of adjectives, while emotions and feelings were often portrayed through fantastical description. It was a really interesting layering of words that created an entire picture that fit perfectly with what was happening, while allowing me, as a reader, to empathize with Cadence, to feel like I’ve met Johnny and Gat, and to experience the island for myself.
Something that I REALLY loved about this book were the mini stories. Cadence points out that stories are generally the same, only tweaked and adjusted over time. Soon after, the stories begin. Each time it starts off with a father of three daughters, and each time, everything else changes. I thought that this was creative and unique, and I really enjoyed that the story changed according to what Cadence discovered.
The characters in this story were vibrant and real. Each one popped out of the page, having their own unique qualities and ways of speaking. Even when I was annoyed at a character, I couldn’t help but love their individuality and the points about them that set them apart from all other characters. The subtle changes of each character throughout the novel was also something that, later on, because extremely important.
I really want to read this book again, now that I know what happened, just to pick up the pieces I missed before. Absolutely captivating, this novel is actually one of my favourites of 2014 so far.
World Building: 5/5
eARC provided by Random House Children’s via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.