Book Review: We Were Liars by E.Lockhart

We Were Liars, We were warm and shivering, and young and ancient, and Alive.

A high ended New England clan who spend their summer every year at Martha’s vineyard on a private Island owned by them. In Sinclair clan, “No one is a criminal. No one is an addict. No one is a failure.” These three sentences constitute a ticking bomb of a novel that may leave you shocked in the end. Winner of the Goodreads Choice Awards Best Young Adult Fiction, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is the YA book to read before the summers go away.

We Were Liars follows the story of Sinclair clan, who ensure to meet every summer at their Grandparent’s Beachwood Island. The eldest of all grandchildren, Cadence forms her own little world with similar age grouped cousins. There’re Cadence, Johnny and Mirren and an outsider, Gat, who joins them every year. As an outsider, Gat was always cast out from the family. But The Liars loved Gat and treated him as their own.

And Cadence, well she was in love with him. For her, he was like “contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee.”. He always stands out from Sinclair world, knowing that not everyone owned Islands, some of them work on them. Some of them worked in factories and some of them fight for life.

The Paradise was complete and in utter bliss for few years until Granny Tipper passes away. The family that was once close-knit, started breaking off slowly and gradually. Money is tight. Drinkers become drunks. Sexual jealousies surface between the sisters. And then one day, a freak accident takes place, making Cadence a victim of head injury, eventually leading to Amnesia. And that is when the real story begins.

We Were Liars

After two years of medicine and clots in the brain, Cadence decides to return to the Island and to find out about what happened before her accident? How come Gat left her to die when he loved her so much? Why were her mother and her sisters avoiding each other? The story starts jumping back and forth in Cadence’s mind, and she starts noticing everything on post-its, whatever she could remember. Until one day, when everything comes to light. And when it does, Cadence is left at her wits end.

Since the very first page, We Were Liars is a story that’s very gripping. Lockhart doesn’t shy away from sharing the breaks in the family since the beginning. The Amnesia stage of Cadence is shared in a metaphoric way, which makes the story much more engaging for any reader. The writing has been terrific and the plot is something that will keep you reading the story until the end. I for one wasn’t able to close the book and was stuck in the situation of “Just one more chapter”. A brilliant and intelligent novel, Lockhart has taken a common and cheap case of Amnesia and converted into something brilliant to read.

If I try to figure out what was wrong in We Were Liars, it’s just one thing that the climax feels a little splotchy. It could have definitely been better than a grieving family trying to forgive and forget their mistakes which changed their life forever. “Better to be safe with a secret within family than losing family name” didn’t quite fit well with the flow of the story for me.

All in all, We Were Liars is a book that you should read before the summers get over! It is brilliant and you won’t regret it, even the serious readers like me.

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