Monday, May 12, 2014

ARC Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Published: May 13, 2014 by Delacorte Press (Random House)
Amazon Goodreads

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.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from Nation Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

*** I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley in return for an honest review. My opinion has not been changed by this fact ***

Everyone who has read this book says the same thing, go in blind. Don't read the synopsis, don't read reviews, just read the book. I did my best to do just that and I absolutely agree with this statement. This is the kind of book that is made better by lack of knowledge. So therefore I would advise you that if you haven't read We Were Liars stop reading this and start reading that! Suffice to say, it's fantastic!

The book on the whole was incredibly well-written. Like all good Contemporary novels it balanced the deeper moments with the light-hearted and romantic. This one however hovered more around the dramatic. The writing style was poetic and deep and it really set the scene of a wealthy family living their summers on a private island. Like the island itself the book felt part gorgeous and part mysterious. The tone of the book gave a sense of uneasy confusion that kept me intrigued from beginning to end. In the interest of trying not to reveal too much about this book I will only mention two of my favorite things, the characters and the mystery.

First is the characters. We Were Liars is full of interesting and complex characters. First we have our narrator and main protagonist Cadence or Cady. Cady is a unreliable narrator in the vein of Holden Caulfield. When we are first introduced to her we find out that she had an accident that messed with her memories and throughout the rest of the story she is trying to remember what happened to her. She is an interesting character who is easy to sympathize with, you want to help her figure out the truth and come along for the ride. But Cady is quick to introduce us to her complicated family, the rich and perfect Sinclair family, but we learn pretty quickly that their perfection is merely an act. There's no real villain in this story and instead there is a bunch of people keeping secrets and trying to act like they are better than everyone around them. Cady's only real friends and confidants are her cousins and her love interest Gat, the Liars. They were good friends and helped Cady deal with the rough patches. All of the characters were interesting and complex. They all seemed to be hiding something, the truth.

But that hidden truth was the major part of the book after all. The book was full of mystery and intrigue. Add an unreliable narrator to a world full of secrets and that kind of thing is bound to happen. This was the kind of book that had me curious and intrigued throughout the entire novel. It had me asking so many questions and at one point I had the incredible urge to skip ahead to the ending to find out what happens. Then about a third of the way through the book I figured out the big mystery, but that didn't mean that the story felt predictable or uninteresting (come back Wednesday for a discussion post about this topic). In fact it had me instead searching for clues to prove my theory correct, and those clues where there for the taking.

And when everything was all said and done I was still emotionally effected by the ending. In fact I was surprised by how affected I was. I'm a crier to begin with and while I did shed a few tears it was a deeper sort of effect, I felt the emotion deep in my soul and when the book was over I couldn't feel feelings anymore and I mean that in the best possible way.

I give We Were Liars by E. Lockhart a 9.5 out of 10

Between the beautiful writing, complex characters, and heart-breaking mystery I loved this book. With an unreliable narrator and a mystery that was intriguing and solvable I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries, thrillers, and contemporary novels.


  1. This sounds like such an amazing read! I'm adding it to my TBR pile right away. I love the review.

    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

  2. I really feel like I want to read it too :)

    Jillian @ Jillian's Books

  3. I have requested this one from the library, but there are a lot of requests ahead of me and I have to wait a few more weeks until it becomes available. After all the positive reviews I've read, I can't wait until it's FINALLY in my hands!

  4. I've been hearing a lot of praise for We Were Liars lately. I'm hoping to be able to read it soon. I wish that it's as good as everyone says. Lovely review, by the way!

    Audrey @ Geeky Chiquitas

  5. I really loved this one and I am glad you liked it too. I completely agree that in order to get the full experience from this book , you need to go in blind and I am glad we both did!

    Great review my dear, I am glad you enjoyed it as much as me & thanks for sharing! :)

    Alex @ The Shelf Diaries

  6. Great to hear you liked it as others did. Unfortunately for me it didn't work.

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