Book Review: We Were Liars
By: E. Lockhart
Published By: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Page Count: 227
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary
Cadence Sinclair is a rich, privileged girl who spent her summers on their family's own private island off Martha's Vineyard. There are 3 cousins - Cadence, Mirren, and Johnny, and Gat...the "Liars". Gat started coming when Cadence was 8 years old. He is the nephew of the man who live's with Johnny's mother, Ed. But Ed wasn't white, and neither was Gat. Granddad and Granny Tipper were a stolidly New England WASP family. However, Johnny wanted Gat to come every summer from then on. Since Johnny was the oldest Sinclair grandchild, he got what he wanted.
It seems that most everyone in the Sinclair family got what they wanted financially, at least from Cadence's point of view. But the more they seemed to get, the more her aunts seemed to fight over all that her grandparents had.
The Liars spent all their time together every summer. They talked about their parents and the drama going on with their families. They discussed their hopes and dreams, and their desires not to turn out like their parents. And finally one summer when it all got to be too much for them, they decided to do something drastic about it. And in the end, they could only lie about what happened.
I'm not really sure that I could say I enjoyed this book. It was a bit depressing. Since I grew up in the Midwest and now live in California, this New England lifestyle is very foreign to me and I had a difficult time feeling sympathy for any of the characters in the book. Although, I think that is the point of the book. The characters aren't likable at all, except for the Liars. Cadence does draw some sympathy in the end as she comes to grips with what actually happened in the accident. But I feel like as smart as these kids seem to have been, the accident should never have happened in the first place.
We Were Liars is a quick read and an interesting study in what it means to grow up with money and no expectation to work for that wealth.
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.