Age: Young Adult
Rating: 5 stars
“We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken.”
Juliet Thinks: Simply put, We Were Liars will leave you reeling. Once you reach the last page and close the book, you will be breathless for a moment. It is that kind of book. I had been anticipating this book for quite some time--all the big authors in YA (John Green, Sarah Dessen, etc) had been raving about their ARCs. Released in May 2014, it did not disappoint at all.
The book opens with a map of a private island and a family tree of the Sinclairs. The island is Beechwood Island, the one in which Cadence Sinclair sojourns every summer with the other Sinclairs. Though they are seemingly flawless, their values are questionable. Cadence, as the eldest grandchild, has an immense amount of pressure resting upon her shoulders. Johnny, Mirren, and Gat are her fellow ‘Liars’. They are inseparable. Cadence also struggles with amnesia and migraines, having suffered from a horrific accident. The storyline revolves upon her desperate attempts to piece together what she cannot remember.
As you read, you will sense that something is off. It doesn’t strike you as peppy. It carries a sense of underlying tragedy. Something is deeply wrong. If you’ve read any of Lockhart’s previous books, you will note that this deviates from her usual. Her books typically center on spunky female protagonists in a high school setting. Speckled with dark twists on fairy tales, We Were Liars’ chapters build spectacularly to the aura of unease surrounding Cadence. Lockhart’s prose is jarring. Class and race issues are also significant underlying themes.
If none of this praise has drawn you to reading the book yet, perhaps it’d be interesting to know that its film rights were sold within two weeks of its release. We Were Liars will haunt you long after you read it in the best possible way.