Monday, 19 May 2014

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Release date: 15th May 2014
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Reason for reading: the twist! the twist!
Add it on Goodreads

Goodreads synopsis:

We are the Liars.

We are beautiful, privileged and live a life of carefree luxury.

We are cracked and broken.

A story of love and romance.

A tale of tragedy.

Which are lies?

Which is truth?

My thoughts:

 We don’t know much as the story starts. We know something happened to Cadence two years ago, on the island where her family spends their summers. We know she can’t remember what it was. We see Cadence struggle with debilitating headaches, see her life fall apart around her, and see her slowly, painfully, attempt to piece it back together. Cadence is the very definition of unreliable narrator; she barely remembers that whole summer, let alone the event that triggered her memory loss. Cadence returns to the island two years after the incident to discover the truth of what happened there; the truth so awful she forgets it whenever she is told it. 

The awkward, grasping feel of the present on the island is interspersed with Cady’s idyllic, dream-like recollections of summers past and with whimsical fairytale retellings. An interesting narrative style that left me feeling as though I was constantly teetering on the precipice of a massive revelation; dangerously close to a horrible truth, yet a touch too far away to see it clearly. The overall effect is unique and very haunting, wrapped up in the most luscious and elegant of prose. 

Cadence, the Liars, their families and the island were all described so vividly they felt tangible. I was completely enthralled by them all and their ridiculous, privileged, appearances-are-everything existence. You should hate them, or feel sorry for them, but I was addicted. I couldn't get enough of them. The more Cadence told us, the more I wanted to know. 

The ending did come as a massive shock because I was just so immersed in the world of We Were Liars. It's the kind of ending that makes you wonder how you missed it, makes you want to go back and read it again to catch the clues, makes you wish it wasn't so. But you shouldn't read this for The Twist, or because of how hyped up it is, read it because it is beautiful and painful, because it is love and loss and because it will make your heart ache. 

TL;DR: A beautiful, haunting story told in beautiful, haunting prose. Don't try to figure it out, just enjoy it.


  1. I think you summed up the experience of reading this novel beautifully!

  2. I've got this waiting to be read on my Kindle. I'm looking forward to it now :-)


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