We Were Liars: A Review

By Maxine Rechter, Year 12

I fell in love with books at age 10, I couldn’t get enough of them. I would read at any time and in any place: at the table during dinner (much to my parent’s frustration), at school, during the five minute break. Everywhere I went I had a new book that I was devouring in a few hours. Sometimes a book would have so much suspense I would find myself still awake at 5am or give up on sleep for the night – during holidays of course. I admit that I have become quite bored with books today. Not just has schoolwork taken over my free time, but no new books have grabbed my attention. The plots in the young adult genre are all the same; someone has to save the world, on the way they fall in love and discover the person that they are meant to be, blah blah blah. I find myself in bookstores desperately trying to find a book to distract myself from the depressing reality of school and IB, and reading the same summaries on every back cover. I predict the ending almost immediately and want to claw my eyes out from boredom.

You can understand that when a friend and I were browsing around a bookstore, I didn’t think that I’d be buying anything. However, as I was ranting about the monotony of books these days, she mentioned this book, “We were liars by E.Lockhart. I loved it, you really can’t see the end coming”. Slightly apprehensive, I found the book and bought it. When I returned home, I decided to start reading it immediately, what did I have to lose? Thank god I did. I spent all night reading it and didn’t stop, not even to go to the toilet. I inhaled it and couldn’t wait to tell others about this gem.

So here I am recommending it to you, fellow readers.

The book is short, only 227 pages, yet packed with emotion and mystery. It’s perfect for people who just want to read a small yet captivating book. It tells the story of Cadence Sinclair, a girl who goes to private school, comes from a wealthy family and vacations on her grandparents’ private island every summer with her cousins and her aunt’s partner’s nephews: Johnny, Mirren and Gat. Together they are the Liars, as their family nicknames them. Every summer they are together, until she suffers from a brain injury that comes from an accident that she can’t remember and doesn’t return to the island for a year. When she comes back two years after the accident, she starts unraveling the events that occurred that fateful summer. As she does, her family doesn’t seem so perfect anymore and neither does she. As we follow her along this “journey” so many different themes are explored such as self-acceptance and the separation of yours and your family morals. The complexity of Cadence’s emotions is fascinating to read about. I wept whilst reading and laughed out loud more times than is socially acceptable. Honestly, I’m very glad that I wasn’t reading in public.

Even though this book enthralled me, I have to warn you that a few reviews have said that the writing style wasn’t suited to their taste because it has a lot of dramatic imagery and the prose is quite choppy. It’s available at the MMC and you can buy it at Payot.

In conclusion, I would definitely recommend this book and if you read it, I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.