Review: We Were Liars

by Gurpreet Sihat

Before boxing day, when my sister and I were choosing books to buy during the sales, I hadn’t even heard of E. Lockhart or her novel, We Were Liars. I was simply splitting the books into a pile for her and a pile for me when I caught sight of the blurb:


Admit it, you’re curious now too!

I admit, I’m struggling to write this review; not because there isn’t anything to say but because there is so much to say about such a short and beautifully written book that I don’t want to spoil it for you.

The finely crafted narrative follows around 17-year-old Cadence Sinclair, the eldest of seven grandchildren, who suffered an accident at the age of 15 while on her family’s private island. Two years later she returns to the island, to her cousins, Johnny and Mirren, and to the love of her life, Gat, (the four of whom make up the titular Liars). The problem is that Cadence now has gaps in her memory and she spends the holiday trying to piece together the summer she cannot remember.

Cadence, at times, was slightly annoying, although I expect that every 17-year-old’s diary is similar; all the small and negative things that happen she considers to be the same magnitude as a natural disaster that disrupts the lives of thousands. I adored, however, the way she begins to comment on events in the form of fairy tales about kings and princesses and beasts.

Although the young adult novel is something I wouldn’t ordinarily have picked up off a shelf, it’s definitely one that I think everyone should read, even adults! The twist is fantastic, the ending sad yet strangely beautiful.

As for the author, while researching her and her other publications afterwards, I read about someone who found it impossible not to reminisce on her own summers while reading We Were Liars and it occurred to me that that’s exactly what I had been doing: remembering about the friends I had growing up who I no longer see or speak to, the way we use to race to the swings in the park despite being teenagers, how we used to gossip about the guys we had crushes on and send silly little notes to each other. Lockhart is one of those writers that has that rare talent for pulling you into a story without you realising it which makes her extremely gifted.

All in all, a must read for all bookworms!

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