We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, a Review


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.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is the story of the lives of a wealthy American family who own a private island somewhere near Martha’s Vineyard. The protagonist, who is part of a close knit group of cousins (and one non-relative), who spend their summers in this isolated haven of privilege. The usual YA themes are there- misunderstood teens who want to make the world a better place, a tragic accident, young love, family secrets…. But what sets this novel apart is E. Lockhart’s execution and a seriously interesting plot twist. Lockhart’s writing is solid, and she does an admirable job of capturing the protagonist’s teenage POV in a way that isn’t too grating on an adult reader. She also throws a nice curveball that adds velocity to the plot in the right place.

If you read reviews about this book, you’ll see a lot of people who say they sobbed their way through this one. Maybe I wasn’t the target audience, but I found certain aspects of the book to be too predictable to generate that type of emotional response. Highlight for spoiler: However, I will say that as a dog lover, I definitely let out an audible sob around the three-quarters area.

Finished this off in one late night sitting. Definitely addictive, despite writing that I found occasionally to be a bit repetitive. In my mind the perfect book gives you just enough detail to disappear into the plot, but not so much that it becomes tiresome (after all, isn’t that what imagination is for?). Perfect for avid readers of the YA that are looking for something that is of higher-quality than your average teen summer novel, but perhaps not compelling enough for those that dabble in the genre.

Available for pre-order on Amazon and on shelves in May 2014.

xo The Book Bird

Disclaimer: An advance copy of this book was provided by the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.