A Book Review: We Were Liars

The following is a book review by theameribritmom. This post expresses the genuine opinion and experiences of theameribritmom and is in no way endorsed by authors, publishers, and outside influences. 

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Title: We Were Liars

Author: E. Lockhart

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Copyright Date: 2014

We Were Liars is a young adult novel that tells about the privileged and esteemed Sinclair family. The main character is Cadence Sinclair Eastman who is nearly 18. The Sinclair family fortune rests in Cadence’s grandfather, Harris Sinclair, and throughout the course of the novel Harris’ three daughters fight over the inheritance that they feel will be given out before long as their father’s dementia is settling in. Every summer the Sinclair families leave behind their big city, independent lives and move to Beechwood Island near Martha’s Vineyard. Beechwood Island is a private island whose only residents are the members of the Sinclair family. Harris has provided each daughter and her family with a mansion of their own on the island, although everyone knows the best home is his own home, The Clairmont.

Every summer Cadence spends time bonding with her cousins Johnny, Mirren, and her aunt’s step-nephew, Gat, and they call themselves The Liars. During the time on the island The Liars grow inseparable, but when summer is over they all live very separate lives.

Over Cadence’s fifteenth summer on the island something catastrophic happens. There is a horrible accident which leaves her with a severe case of amnesia. She spends the next two years in a fog haunted by migraines and missing pieces of the story that led to her injuries. Just before her eighteenth birthday Cadence begins to unravel the troubling details of her accident along with all of the family secrets that threaten to tear the Sinclair family apart.

In the end of the story Cadence finally remembers the tragic events that led to her injuries and all of the actions of her family members begin to make sense.

This story had a detailed plot and the characters were all very well developed. The author did a fantastic job giving each member of the Sinclair family a back story that contributed to the overall plot of the story and the reader’s understanding of life as a Sinclair. One thing that made this novel a little hard to follow was the fact that the story was told from Cadence’s perspective and since she was battling with amnesia a lot of the events were out of order. You really have to pay close attention to figure out the order of events which eventually come together in the climax of the book.

I’m not going to give anything away, but I will say that you will never ever guess the ending of this novel. As I read along and began to piece together the clues that Cadence revealed I had several ideas about what could have happened to her, but the truth never crossed my mind. The author did a good job at using red herrings and Cadence’s condition to keep you guessing and wanting to read more.

Overall, this was not one of my favorite books, but it was worth the read. I enjoyed the character development and plot twists, but would have liked to see the timing of events more clearly explained. I could see where many young readers may be deterred by this confusion. I get the reason behind the jumbled events, but I feel like even just giving a date and time at the beginning of each chapter (as a title) may have made this a little easier to follow and understand.

Feel free to give your feedback if you are reading or have read this book.

On to my next read, Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

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