We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Published by Delacorte Press in 2014
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Suspense
SO! I have decided that this year I’m going to do “Off the Bookcase” posts, where in between arcs I also read the lovely books that I have had on bookshelves, some for years.
So I started with We Were Liars by E. Lockhart! I knew nothing about it, I didn’t even know it was YA! (I have had it on the wrong shelf for years.)
If, unlike me, you know about it, you may know that everyone says it’s best to go in knowing nothing. And that’s fairly accurate. So I’m going to do a short review, explaining what I liked about it but with very few details.
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.
Now if you’re like me, you’re like WHAT PREMISE? Because that blurb is aggravatingly, intentionally vague. For me, that’s incredibly upsetting. In fact, when I bought it, I remember very clearly thinking, “What the fuck is this?” But I opened it up and read the first page, and I knew I’d like the writing, and that had to be enough.
And really, the blurb does tell you what the book is about. A rich family, their island, and lies.
CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW COOL IT IS THAT A CONTEMPORARY HAS A MAP IN IT?! I was so stoked on that. I LOVE maps. One edition of the book apparently has E. Lockhart’s hand-drawn map, also, which is very cool.
Are mostly terrible. Just expect that. And, I mean, they’re rich people with a private island? So like really, who is even surprised that they’re obnoxious.
I will say that I like Cadence, our narrator. And the characters I actively dislike, I really dislike. Which is great. There’s nothing I hate more than lukewarm. I can’t stand bland characters, and these are definitely not that.
THE WRITING THOUGH. This is what got me through a book about privileged kids on a private island, complaining about their lives.
The writing is honestly unparalleled. It shows how you do not need long, flowery sentences to say really profound things. Lines from this book will stick with me for a LONG time.
Cadence writes beautifully disgusting metaphors about what her headaches feel like. She writes little, short fairy tales. I really enjoyed these most.
And the formatting! Parts of it are written almost more like poetry than prose, with fascinating line breaks that make it almost difficult to catch your breath.
If, like me, you have somehow managed to avoid We Were Liars, it’s definitely worth the read. It’s short, only about 220 pages, and easily read in an afternoon.
Each of these gorgeous photos links to the IG post, show these some love!
*I don’t own any of the photos used for aesthetics in this post. Each photo links to where I found it!*