Release Date: May 13th 2014
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
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You know how when you read a book, watch a movie or see something that is just so beautiful that it takes your breath away? We Were Liars was a book which did exactly this for me. Upon finishing it, I was crying in a crumpled heap on the train with the guy next to me wondering what was wrong with me. I couldn’t do anything but cry, sit there and contemplate the world and issues this book bought to the surface.
We Were Liars is about a girl named Cadence Sinclair who is the heir to the Sinclair family island. The Sinclairs are beautiful, blonde, rich and at first glance, their family seems perfect. Every summer, the family travels to their island; the adults sip cocktails while bickering at each other, while their children roam the island doing what they please and enjoying everything on offer. Cadence and three others are known throughout the novel as the Liars (three cousins and a friend). I don't want to delve into what happens too much as this is a story you should dive in head first to and enjoy the confusion, the frustration at not knowing and the beautiful way everything is woven together. Although I will talk about the characters and writing a little bit because it's just too hard not to rave about this novel in some way!
There are several characters in this novel and I found it a little hard to keep up at first, however I found it relatively easy after a few chapters and thoroughly enjoyed the dynamic between the main characters and their direct families. Despite having so many characters crammed into one novel, I cared about each of them to an extent, even those who were minor (which were most of them) and I cared even more deeply for our main protagonist and the rest of the Liars. Despite each hailing from the same rich family (except for one of them), all the cousins were different enough to keep things interesting and it didn’t feel like you were reading about cardboard copies. While they each have their own interests, problems and personalities, their love for each other is so obvious, it’s wonderful.
Without giving too much away, there is a love story and it’s the kind that leaves you aching. Simply put, it’s between our main character and a lovely, curious and kind boy who doesn’t quite fit in with the rich family he spends every Summer with. E. Lockhart slowly reveals more and more about this boy I found myself wanting to know so much more about and it's all written in a way that leaves you thinking and questioning the world and the issues that so many people are willing to sweep under the rug and pretend don't exist.
If you haven’t guessed by now, I freaking adored E. Lockhart’s writing. It was weirdly fragmented and a bit strange to read at times but I found this refreshing and gorgeous to read, and it wasn't bogged down by shitty, flowery, over the top prose. The pace at which things happen is spot on, things aren’t given away too soon and by the time you think you understand what is happening, you’re in way too deep to even consider putting the book down.
As I said earlier, I’m not going to delve too much into plot details as I’d really not rather risk spoiling this book for you if you haven’t read it yet. Psychological thrillers might not be your cup of tea, but if it is, or if you're even intrigued by the sound of it, stop reading this review and go buy this book. We Were Liars left me feeling tormented but satisfied and this story has stayed with me long after finishing.