We Were Liars

We Were Liars

4.2 306
by E. Lockhart
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

A New York Times Bestseller

"Haunting, sophisticated . . . a novel so twisty and well-told that it will appeal to older readers as well as to adolescents."—Wall Street Journal

"A rich, stunning summer mystery with a sharp twist that will leave you dying to talk about the book with a pal or ten."—Parade.com

Overview

A New York Times Bestseller

"Haunting, sophisticated . . . a novel so twisty and well-told that it will appeal to older readers as well as to adolescents."—Wall Street Journal

"A rich, stunning summer mystery with a sharp twist that will leave you dying to talk about the book with a pal or ten."—Parade.com

"Thrilling, beautiful, and blisteringly smart, We Were Liars is utterly unforgettable." - John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars

"You’re going to want to remember the title. Liars details the summers of a girl who harbors a dark secret, and delivers a satisfying, but shocking twist ending."
- Breia Brissey, Entertainment Weekly

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 a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

"An ambitious novel with an engaging voice, a clever plot and some terrific writing."—New York Times Book Review

"No one should be talking about the shocking twist ending. What we can talk about is...[Lockhart's] razor-sharp portrayal of a family for whom keeping up appearances is paramount and, ultimately, tragic."—The Chicago Tribune

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 02/17/2014
Cadence Sinclair Eastman, heiress to a fortune her grandfather amassed “doing business I never bothered to understand,” is the highly unreliable narrator of this searing story from National Book Award finalist Lockhart (The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks), which begins during her 15th summer when she suffers a head injury on the private island Granddad owns off Cape Cod. Cady vacations on Beechwood every year with her mother, two aunts, and—most importantly—the other liars of the title: cousins Mirren and Johnny, and Gat Patil, the nephew of Aunt Carrie’s longtime boyfriend. The book unfolds two summers later, with Cadence trying to piece together the memories she lost after the accident while up against crippling headaches, a brain that feels “broken in countless medically diagnosed ways,” and family members who refuse to speak on the subject (or have been cautioned not to). Lockhart’s gimlet-eyed depiction of Yankee privilege is astute; the Sinclairs are bigoted “old-money Democrats” who prize height, blonde hair, athleticism, and possessions above all else. There’s enough of a King Lear dynamic going on between Granddad and his three avaricious daughters to distract readers from Lockhart’s deft foreshadowing of the novel’s principal tragedy, and even that may be saying too much. Lockhart has created a mystery with an ending most readers won’t see coming, one so horrific it will prompt some to return immediately to page one to figure out how they missed it. At the center of it is a girl who learns the hardest way of all what family means, and what it means to lose the one that really mattered to you. Ages 12–up. Agent: Elizabeth Kaplan, Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency. (May)
From the Publisher
"You’re going to want to remember the title. Liars details the summers of a girl who harbors a dark secret, and delivers a satisfying, but shocking twist ending."
- Breia Brissey, Entertainment Weekly

"Thrilling, beautiful, and blisteringly smart, We Were Liars is utterly unforgettable."
- John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars

"This mindblowing YA thriller from E. Lockhart will make you glad you're the 99 percent...And that's about all we can tell you when it comes to the story of 'We Were Liars,' the book by E. Lockhart that everyone will be reading, and re-reading, this summer. It's twisty, it's mysterious, and it's got a surprise ending that'll knock your socks off."
-Kat Rosenfield, MTV News

"Surprising, thrilling, and beautifully executed in spare, precise, and lyrical prose, Lockhart spins a tragic family drama, the roots of which go back generations. And the ending? Shhhh. Not telling. (But it’s a doozy)...This is poised to be big."
-Booklist, starred review

"Lockhart has created a mystery with an ending most readers won’t see coming, one so horrific it will prompt some to return immediately to page one to figure out how they missed it. At the center of it is a girl who learns the hardest way of all what family means, and what it means to lose the one that really mattered to you."
-Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Riveting, brutal and beautifully told."
-Kirkus, starred review

"The ending is a stunner that  will haunt readers for a long time to come."
-School Library Journal, starred review

"A taut psychological mystery marked by an air of uneasy disorientation...The ultimate reveal is shocking both for its tragedy and for the how-could-I-have-not-suspected-that? feeling it leaves us with. But we didn’t, which is Lockhart’s commendable triumph."
-The Horn Book, starred review

“This is a love story as much as it is a psychological mystery…Astonishing."
-Shelf Awareness, starred review

“[a] haunting, sophisticated mystery...a novel so twisty and well-told that it will appeal to older readers as well as to adolescents”
- The Wall Street Journal

“Irresistible premise for this ticking time bomb of a novel”
- The New York Times Book Review

"A Lockhart YA is always a treat and this is no exception...The glimpse we get into a life of privilege, a lifestyle most of us can only imagine, is insightful and thrilling. The ending will shock the mose jaded of readers, we promise!"
-RT Book Reviews

"There's trouble in paradise at the opening of National Book Award finalist and Printz honoree E. Lockhart's shattering yet ultimately hopeful YA novel . . . and neither family nor reader will ever be the same."
- Library Journal

"It's a nearly perfect story, and it's utterly absorbing."
- Bustle.com, 2014's Best YA Books

"No book on this summer's reading list will have readers immobilized in their hammocks more than E. Lockhart's We Were Liars..... This book has that surprise quality—like Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity—that makes readers scramble back through hungrily devoured chapters and wonder in admiration: Could I have seen this coming? Did I miss any clues?"—Newsday

"Like a shard of glass, WE WERE LIARS glitters and shines, then cuts deep. E. Lockhart has truly outdone herself with this masterful, darkly mesmerizing portrait of a fractured family ruined by the excess of wealth. Humming with rich descriptions and razor-sharp intelligence, the story of Cadence Sinclair Eastman will both inspire and haunt readers for years to come."
- Sarah Pitre, Forever Young Adult

"Perception often is not reality — and it certainly is not in WE WERE LIARS. This is a look at what “a perfect world” looks like on the inside and how it unravels once one of the players sees it for what it is. Pitch perfect in both plotting and character development."
- Carol Fitzgerald, Book Reporter

"The must-read contemporary novel so far this year is definitely E. Lockhart’s stellar We Were Liars, a rich, stunning summer mystery with a sharp twist that will leaving you dying to talk about the book with a pal or ten."
- Sonia Charaipotra, Parade

"A haunting tale about how families live within their own mythologies. Sad, wonderful, and real."
- Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies and Leviathan

"I've fallen in love with every E. Lockhart book I've ever read (and I've read them all), but We Were Liars blows them all out of the water. Dark, gripping, heartrending, and terrifyingly smart, this book grabs you from the first page—and will never let go."
- Robin Wasserman, author of The Waking Dark

"Spectacular."
- Lauren Myracle, author of Shine, The Infinite Moment of Us, and TTYL

"A haunting, brilliant, beautiful book. This is E. Lockhart at her mind-blowing best."
- Sarah Mlynowski, author of Don't Even Think About It and Gimme a Call

"Beautiful and disturbing."—Justine Larbalestier

"Stunningly sharp. . . . will sear itself into your memory." - Christian Science Monitor

"A haunting psychological thriller."—The Guardian

"This is a brilliant new novel by E. Lockhart. I've always adored a good generational drama and this is deeply fascinating reading and soaked in suspense. And the ending is utterly spooky."—Martin Short, including WE WERE LIARS in his top 3 books of 2014

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is a book as tragic as it is interesting.”
USAToday.com, Must-Read Romances
 
 “Utterly immersive story of family privilege, young love and insurmountable tragedy.”
Salisbury Post 

"The mystery driving the plot is a shocking punch in the face that will stay with you long after you finish."—Hypable.com. Hypable-Weekend Reading
 
“There’s no preparing for the shocker of an ending.”
SLJ.com

“This month marks the publication of another fine YA novel destined to extend beyond the teen set. ‘We Were Liars,’ by E. Lockhart is quite simply amazing.”
The Missourian

"This book has everything I want from a summer read: a gorgeous setting that I can imagine I'm vacationing in; flawed, unreliable, sometimes infuriating characters; and a twity-turny psychological mystery that is impossible to put down."—RookieMag.com

"We Were Liars is amazing. I felt run over by it . . . .Emily has done something incredible here.—Paul O. Zelinsky

 
“Goose bump-inducing.”
BuzzFeed.com, YA Novels to Watch Out for Spring 2014

Children's Literature - Emily Griffin
The tall, blond, and wealthy Sinclair family lives an enigmatic existence. Old money Democrats scattered throughout New England, generations of Sinclair's have spent summers on their private Beachwood Island off the coast of Massachusetts. Current family patriarch, Harris, built each of his three daughter's houses of their own there. Bess, Carrie, and Penny all have children and divorces. Cadence Sinclair Eastman, the oldest grandchild and the only child of Penny, has nothing but golden memories of spending summer's with The Liars, what she, her cousin Johnny, cousin Mirren, and Gat, the nephew of Carrie's Indian boyfriend, call themselves. Intelligent, glamorous, and waspy, everything is perfect even when it's not for the large Sinclair family. But summer fifteen brings too much drama for the Liars, and after an accident no one is talking about, Cadence is left with amnesia and debilitating migraines. She returns to the island for summer seventeen determined to discover the secret of that momentous—and mysterious—summer. Thoughtful and written in lyrical prose this is a dark, beautiful suspense novel. Scattered memories create a patchy timeline that jumps around throughout, and characters can be simultaneously likeable and irritating. Fairy tales (all about a king, three daughters, and a misfortune) woven throughout add to the intensity and heartbreak. With a twist ending that is certain to provoke strong reactions from readers, this is a captivating read. Reviewer: Emily Griffin
School Library Journal
★ 04/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—Cadence Sinclair Easton comes from an old-money family, headed by a patriarch who owns a private island off of Cape Cod. Each summer, the extended family gathers at the various houses on the island, and Cadence, her cousins Johnny and Mirren, and friend Gat (the four "Liars"), have been inseparable since age eight. During their fifteenth summer however, Cadence suffers a mysterious accident. She spends the next two years—and the course of the book—in a haze of amnesia, debilitating migraines, and painkillers, trying to piece together just what happened. Lockhart writes in a somewhat sparse style filled with metaphor and jumps from past to present and back again—rather fitting for a main character struggling with a sudden and unexplainable life change. The story, while lightly touching on issues of class and race, more fully focuses on dysfunctional family drama, a heart-wrenching romance between Cadence and Gat, and, ultimately, the suspense of what happened during that fateful summer. The ending is a stunner that will haunt readers for a long time to come.—Jenny Berggren, formerly at New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-03-17
A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady's life apart. Cady Sinclair's family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady's reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters' slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady's fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle's closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family's foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible—if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naïveté make the teens' desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic. Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375989940
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
05/13/2014
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

1

Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family.

No one is a criminal.

No one is an addict.

No one is a failure.

The Sinclairs are athletic, tall, and handsome. We are old-money Democrats. Our smiles are wide, our chins square, and our tennis serves aggressive.

It doesn't matter if divorce shreds the muscles of our hearts so that they will hardly beat without a struggle. It doesn't matter if trust-fund money is running out; if credit card bills go unpaid on the kitchen counter. It doesn't matter if there's a cluster of pill bottles on the bedside table.

It doesn't matter if one of us is desperately, desperately in love.

So much

in love

that equally desperate measures

must be taken.

We are Sinclairs.

No one is needy.

No one is wrong.

We live, at least in the summertime, on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts.

Perhaps that is all you need to know.

2

My full name is Cadence Sinclair Eastman.

I live in Burlington, Vermont, with Mummy and three dogs.

I am nearly eighteen.

I own a well-used library card and not much else, though it is true I live in a grand house full of expensive, useless objects.

I used to be blond, but now my hair is black.

I used to be strong, but now I am weak.

I used to be pretty, but now I look sick.

It is true I suffer migraines since my accident.

It is true I do not suffer fools.

I like a twist of meaning. You see? Suffer migraines. Do not suffer fools. The word means almost the same as it did in the previous sentence, but not quite.

Suffer.

You could say it means endure, but that's not exactly right.

My story starts before the accident. June of the summer I was fifteen, my father ran off with some woman he loved more than us.

Dad was a middling-successful professor of military history. Back then I adored him. He wore tweed jackets. He was gaunt. He drank milky tea. He was fond of board games and let me win, fond of boats and taught me to kayak, fond of bicycles, books, and art museums.

He was never fond of dogs, and it was a sign of how much he loved my mother that he let our golden retrievers sleep on the sofas and walked them three miles every morning. He was never fond of my grandparents, either, and it was a sign of how much he loved both me and Mummy that he spent every summer in Windemere House on Beechwood Island, writing articles on wars fought long ago and putting on a smile for the relatives at every meal.

That June, summer fifteen, Dad announced he was leaving and departed two days later. He told my mother he wasn't a Sinclair, and couldn't try to be one, any longer. He couldn't smile, couldn't lie, couldn't be part of that beautiful family in those beautiful houses.

Couldn't. Couldn't. Wouldn't.

He had hired moving vans already. He'd rented a house, too. My father put a last suitcase into the backseat of the Mercedes (he was leaving Mummy with only the Saab), and started the engine.

Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound,

then from my eyes,

my ears,

my mouth.

It tasted like salt and failure. The bright red shame of being unloved soaked the grass in front of our house, the bricks of the path, the steps to the porch. My heart spasmed among the peonies like a trout.

Mummy snapped. She said to get hold of myself.

Be normal, now, she said. Right now, she said.

Because you are. Because you can be.

Don't cause a scene, she told me. Breathe and sit up.

I did what she asked.

She was all I had left.

Mummy and I tilted our square chins high as Dad drove down the hill. Then we went indoors and trashed the gifts he'd given us: jewelry, clothes, books, anything. In the days that followed, we got rid of the couch and armchairs my parents had bought together. Tossed the wedding china, the silver, the photographs.

We purchased new furniture. Hired a decorator. Placed an order for Tiffany silverware. Spent a day walking through art galleries and bought paintings to cover the empty spaces on our walls.

We asked Granddad's lawyers to secure Mummy's assets.

Then we packed our bags and went to Beechwood Island.

3

Penny, Carrie, and Bess are the daughters of Tipper and Harris Sinclair. Harris came into his money at twenty-one after Harvard and grew the fortune doing business I never bothered to understand. He inherited houses and land. He made intelligent decisions about the stock market. He married Tipper and kept her in the kitchen and the garden. He put her on display in pearls and on sailboats. She seemed to enjoy it.

Granddad's only failure was that he never had a son, but no matter. The Sinclair daughters were sunburnt and blessed. Tall, merry, and rich, those girls were like princesses in a fairy tale. They were known throughout Boston, Harvard Yard, and Martha's Vineyard for their cashmere cardigans and grand parties. They were made for legends. Made for princes and Ivy League schools, ivory statues and majestic houses.

Granddad and Tipper loved the girls so, they couldn't say whom they loved best. First Carrie, then Penny, then Bess, then Carrie again. There were splashy weddings with salmon and harpists, then bright blond grandchildren and funny blond dogs. No one could ever have been prouder of their beautiful American girls than Tipper and Harris were, back then.

They built three new houses on their craggy private island and gave them each a name: Windemere for Penny, Red Gate for Carrie, and Cuddledown for Bess.

I am the eldest Sinclair grandchild. Heiress to the island, the fortune, and the expectations.

Well, probably.

4

Me, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat. Gat, Mirren, Johnny, and me.

The family calls us four the Liars, and probably we deserve it. We are all nearly the same age, and we all have birthdays in the fall. Most years on the island, we've been trouble.

Gat started coming to Beechwood the year we were eight. Summer eight, we called it.

Before that, Mirren, Johnny, and I weren't Liars. We were nothing but cousins, and Johnny was a pain because he didn't like playing with girls.

Johnny, he is bounce, effort, and snark. Back then he would hang our Barbies by the necks or shoot us with guns made of Lego.

Mirren, she is sugar, curiosity, and rain. Back then she spent long afternoons with Taft and the twins, splashing at the big beach, while I drew pictures on graph paper and read in the hammock on the Clairmont house porch.

Then Gat came to spend the summers with us.

Aunt Carrie's husband left her when she was pregnant with Johnny's brother, Will. I don't know what happened. The family never speaks of it. By summer eight, Will was a baby and Carrie had taken up with Ed already.

This Ed, he was an art dealer and he adored the kids. That was all we'd heard about him when Carrie announced she was bringing him to Beechwood, along with Johnny and the baby.

They were the last to arrive that summer, and most of us were on the dock waiting for the boat to pull in. Granddad lifted me up so I could wave at Johnny, who was wearing an orange life vest and shouting over the prow.

Granny Tipper stood next to us. She turned away from the boat for a moment, reached in her pocket, and brought out a white peppermint. Unwrapped it and tucked it into my mouth.

As she looked back at the boat, Gran's face changed. I squinted to see what she saw.

Carrie stepped off with Will on her hip. He was in a baby's yellow life vest, and was really no more than a shock of white-blond hair sticking up over it. A cheer went up at the sight of him. That vest, which we had all worn as babies. The hair. How wonderful that this little boy we didn't know yet was so obviously a Sinclair.

Johnny leapt off the boat and threw his own vest on the dock. First thing, he ran up to Mirren and kicked her. Then he kicked me. Kicked the twins. Walked over to our grandparents and stood up straight. "Good to see you, Granny and Granddad. I look forward to a happy summer."

Tipper hugged him. "Your mother told you to say that, didn't she?"

"Yes," said Johnny. "And I'm to say, nice to see you again."

"Good boy."

"Can I go now?"

Tipper kissed his freckled cheek. "Go on, then."

Ed followed Johnny, having stopped to help the staff unload the luggage from the motorboat. He was tall and slim. His skin was very dark: Indian heritage, we'd later learn. He wore black-framed glasses and was dressed in dapper city clothes: a linen suit and striped shirt. The pants were wrinkled from traveling.

Granddad set me down.

Granny Tipper's mouth made a straight line. Then she showed all her teeth and went forward.

"You must be Ed. What a lovely surprise."

He shook hands. "Didn't Carrie tell you we were coming?"

"Of course she did."

Ed looked around at our white, white family. Turned to Carrie. "Where's Gat?"

They called for him, and he climbed from the inside of the boat, taking off his life vest, looking down to undo the buckles.

"Mother, Dad," said Carrie, "we brought Ed's nephew to play with Johnny. This is Gat Patil."

Granddad reached out and patted Gat's head. "Hello, young man."

"Hello."

"His father passed on, just this year," explained Carrie. "He and Johnny are the best of friends. It's a big help to Ed's sister if we take him for a few weeks. And, Gat? You'll get to have cookouts and go swimming like we talked about. Okay?"

But Gat didn't answer. He was looking at me.

His nose was dramatic, his mouth sweet. Skin deep brown, hair black and waving. Body wired with energy. Gat seemed spring-loaded. Like he was searching for something. He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I could have looked at him forever.

Our eyes locked.

I turned and ran away.

Gat followed. I could hear his feet behind me on the wooden walkways that cross the island.

I kept running. He kept following.

Johnny chased Gat. And Mirren chased Johnny.

The adults remained talking on the dock, circling politely around Ed, cooing over baby Will. The littles did whatever littles do.

We four stopped running at the tiny beach down by Cuddledown House. It's a small stretch of sand with high rocks on either side. No one used it much, back then. The big beach had softer sand and less seaweed.

Mirren took off her shoes and the rest of us followed. We tossed stones into the water. We just existed.

I wrote our names in the sand.

Cadence, Mirren, Johnny, and Gat.

Gat, Johnny, Mirren, and Cadence.

That was the beginning of us.

Johnny begged to have Gat stay longer.

He got what he wanted.

The next year he begged to have him come for the entire summer.

Gat came.

Johnny was the first grandson. My grandparents almost never said no to Johnny.

5

Summer fourteen, Gat and I took out the small motorboat alone. It was just after breakfast. Bess made Mirren play tennis with the twins and Taft. Johnny had started running that year and was doing loops around the perimeter path. Gat found me in the Clairmont kitchen and asked, did I want to take the boat out?

"Not really." I wanted to go back to bed with a book.

"Please?" Gat almost never said please.

"Take it out yourself."

"I can't borrow it," he said. "I don't feel right."

"Of course you can borrow it."

"Not without one of you."

He was being ridiculous. "Where do you want to go?" I asked.

"I just want to get off-island. Sometimes I can't stand it here."

I couldn't imagine, then, what it was he couldn't stand, but I said all right. We motored out to sea in wind jackets and bathing suits. After a bit, Gat cut the engine. We sat eating pistachios and breathing salt air. The sunlight shone on the water.

"Let's go in," I said.

Gat jumped and I followed, but the water was so much colder than off the beach, it snatched our breath. The sun went behind a cloud. We laughed panicky laughs and shouted that it was the stupidest idea to get in the water. What had we been thinking? There were sharks off the coast, everybody knew that.

Don't talk about sharks, God! We scrambled and pushed each other, struggling to be the first one up the ladder at the back of the boat.

After a minute, Gat leaned back and let me go first. "Not because you're a girl but because I'm a good person," he told me.

"Thanks." I stuck out my tongue.

"But when a shark bites my legs off, promise to write a speech about how awesome I was."

"Done," I said. "Gatwick Matthew Patil made a delicious meal."

It seemed hysterically funny to be so cold. We didn't have towels. We huddled together under a fleece blanket we found under the seats, our bare shoulders touching each other. Cold feet, on top of one another.

"This is only so we don't get hypothermia," said Gat. "Don't think I find you pretty or anything."

"I know you don't."

"You're hogging the blanket."

"Sorry."

A pause.

Gat said, "I do find you pretty, Cady. I didn't mean that the way it came out. In fact, when did you get so pretty? It's distracting."

"I look the same as always."

"You changed over the school year. It's putting me off my game."

"You have a game?"

He nodded solemnly.

"That is the dumbest thing I ever heard. What is your game?"

"Nothing penetrates my armor. Hadn't you noticed?"

That made me laugh. "No."

"Damn. I thought it was working."

We changed the subject. Talked about bringing the littles to Edgartown to see a movie in the afternoon, about sharks and whether they really ate people, about Plants Versus Zombies.

Then we drove back to the island.

Not long after that, Gat started lending me his books and finding me at the tiny beach in the early evenings. He'd search me out when I was lying on the Windemere lawn with the goldens.

We started walking together on the path that circles the island, Gat in front and me behind. We'd talk about books or invent imaginary worlds. Sometimes we'd end up walking several times around the edge before we got hungry or bored.

Meet the Author

E. Lockhart is the author of the highly acclaimed New York Times bestseller We Were Liars and the Ruby Oliver quartet (The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Boys, and Real Live Boyfriends), as well as Fly on the Wall, Dramarama, and How to Be Bad (the last with Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle). Her novel The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks was a Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book, a finalist for the National Book Award, and winner of a Cybils Award for Best Young Adult Novel. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

We Were Liars 4.2 out of 5 based on 14 ratings. 306 reviews.
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
Just read this book! I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Children's Publishing and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review. 4.5 Stars STOP! Quit reading reviews about this book! The only productive thing anyone is going to be able to tell you about this book is that you need to read it. If anyone tries to tell you anything else, do not let them. No good can come from knowing anything about this book. Your friends who wish to tell you about the book are really just ruining it for you. If you are in public and hear people discussing this book, the best thing to do would be to cover your ears and sing Mary Had a Little Lamb at the top of your lungs so that you cannot hear what is being discussed. One minor flaw in that plan would be that new discussions may start about the crazy person singing nursery rhymes at the top of their lungs in public for no apparent reason. Maybe this is not a good plan. If you have read the book, zip it. Your friends deserve the same chance that you had. Allow them the privilege of going into this book blindly. I know that we all like to prepare our friends for what is ahead. In this case, don’t do it….you are not helping! If you feel that you MUST discuss this book, here is what you can do. Buy extra copies of the book and give them to your friends. Wait until your friends have read the book. Then and only then discuss the book (but not in a public area so that we can avoid the whole singing episode previously mentioned). It will be fun. It will be like when you were little and played school…and this time you get to be the teacher because you will be handing out the assignments. I must say that I did figure out the big twist in the book about half way through but I had to find out that I was right so I kept reading and enjoyed the journey. If I had known that I was right, it seriously would have ruined all of the fun. Seriously? Can nobody follow directions anymore? Why are you still reading this review? Stop…just stop and go read the book.
BlondeLibrarian More than 1 year ago
Beautiful. Privileged. Damaged. Liars So I'm guessing that you have read quite a few reviews of this book now - and most of them don't really tell you much right? Everyone is keeping all hush hush and saying 'just read it!!!' I have to be annoying....this review is pretty much more of the same. I'm not going to tell you many things about We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. But PLEASE believe me when I say that it's in YOUR best interests (I'll explain that point in a moment). I WILL NOT SPOIL THIS BOOK FOR YOU! I REFUSE! Okay...so let's see what I can say... The Sinclairs are a beautiful family. They spend their summers on a beautiful island, in beautiful houses with their beautiful children. Something happens, and everything changes. We don't know what happens, or why everything changes. We spend this book finding out. There...I think I did well yes? Honestly, I really do understand why nobody says much about this book. I think you need to go into this knowing as little as possible - here is my proven experience with this.... I am obviously a book-lover. I blog about books, I read lots of reviews and watch lots of Booktube. I take part in alot of bookish discussions and get involved in the community. Obviously I had heard the hype surrounding We Were Liars (and in all honesty, yes - that is why I picked it up). I had heard about how insane this oh-so-secret ending is, and I was very excited. For this reason, I instantly turned into Hercule Poirot from the moment I opened this book. I was looking for clues to things that hadn't even happened yet, I read WAY too much into things, and concocted a theory that I was convinced was correct. My theory was very shocking, very disturbing - and as it turned out - very wrong. When the truth of We Were Liars is actually revealed, I found it less shocking than the craziness I conjured in my head...and so I was slightly underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong - I was shocked, I wasn't expecting it - but my theory was more intense. The fact that I knew so much about this book going in meant that I actually ruined the experience for myself a little. Now, my stepmum Sam is also a keen reader. She doesn't blog, she probably rarely reads reviews. If a book takes her fancy, she just reads it. She purchased We Were Liars on her Kindle because it was on sale. She knew nothing about it, and dived into the unknown. Sam absolutely LOVED this book! She was blown away and had a much better experience than I did. So you see - when everyone is frustratingly holding back the dirty details - they are doing you a favour! Just read this....and do so with an open mind :) I didn't enjoy this as much as I was expecting to. I mentioned the ending being a bit underwhelming for me (but that was my own fault so it doesn't count). I also found it a tad on the slow side - but please do stick with it. It's not a long book, and it picks up - you need to read to the end. I can't give this full marks as it didn't blow my mind like I wanted it to, but it was beautifully written, poignant and did touch me deeply, so I'm giving it a good rating :) I did enjoy this book. I'm glad I read it and I do recommend it to anyone who wants to solve a mystery and have their emotions played with.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a grown ass woman so I do not throw out the OMG very often. Actually not at all but there you have it... OMFG!! I have no idea as to how to go about this review. Let me collect myself and I'll get back to you! And yes this is absolutely going on my favorite shelf! I have had a moment to think about what to say and there just aren't any words that I can come up with that do this book justice. To me it was real and deep, something that the young adult genre lacks a lot of. E. Lockhart has a beautiful, mesmorizing way with words. There were several passages through out this book that I highlighted not only because I wanted to share them with you but because I wanted to be able to look back and read them again and again and expierence the raw emotion that this book brought out of me. I decided that I will not share any of my favorite quotes or passages in this review like I had first intended. I am going to ask that you read this piece of art work for yourself because that is exactly what it is... ART! This is not a book you want to hear all about from someone else. This my fellow readers is a book you want to expierence all your own. And from my own personal experience, let me warn you, get ready for the tears!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. This is not the style of book I normally read, but the cover was pretty and the idea intrigued me, so when I got my hands on an advanced reader's copy, I jumped in. The writing style was perfect, the prose beautiful and simple all at the same time. Very carefully constructed, as you'll see when everything fits together at the end and you find out what happened to Cady. I don't ever care about books that are just a story about normal people, particularly normal rich people. But this one gets past all that, and gets into the characters' souls. I don't normally care for a strong romance element; this one was done perfectly.
cmaries More than 1 year ago
I opened the first page of this book with high expectations, and the book proved me wrong with even higher ones. I read it in 24 hours and thought about it all night after finishing it. I still think about it 2 days later, and I am reading it a second time. No questions asked, you HAVE to read this book. It is definitely my new favorite and I obsessed with it. The plot twist is what got me the most. I cried so hard I couldn't continue reading until I stopped. The tears had blurred my vision. I will never stop thinking about Cady, Gat, Mirren, and Johnny. I will always remember the story of the liars. Once you finish this book, everything you see and hear reminds you of them. Please, please, please get a hold of this book. It changes your life in the best way possible!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We Were Liars is one of my favorite books. I can't even begin to describe how it made me feel. It triggered a mixture of emotions in me I didn't even know I had. It didn't help that I loved the characters. They were all a bit pretentious and damaged, but I adored them nevertheless. Another great thing about this book is the way it's written. It's written kind of hazy, or blurry, like something is being kept secret (which there definitely is). But if I have to give advice about this book, it would be to definitely NOT look up spoilers. It ruins it, trust me. It isn't like other books where it's no big deal. Believe me, if you knew spoilers for this book, the whole effect of it would be lost. Go buy this book, now. (Also, never eat anything bigger than your ass, and always be kinder than you have to.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
it really is a must read. This book had me in tears and i can't say that for most books. Great plot twist. Loved the characters. Overall great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best YA novels published this year. I'm not a fan of the unreliable narrator, but Cady Sinclair is such a strong, vibrant and REAL character, I would forgive her anything. A terrific look at an outwardly perfect, inwardly dysfunctional family the stresses they put on their own children and how those children bend and break in response. Highly recommended.
carmen_71 More than 1 year ago
Read it. Just do it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the mystique and suspense throughout and the unexpected plot twist! I would definitely recommend reading this. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No family has it as good as the Sinclairs. They have wealth, talent, and good looks, but they also have misfortune. In the fiction novel, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, not one of the sisters in the Sinclair family has managed to stay with their husband. Divorce, money, and drinking are three factors that go into the families fight growing bigger. Candace Eastman, the oldest Sinclair grandchild and her other two cousins, Mirren and Johnny, have been going to the family's private island on Martha’s Vineyard their whole life, every summer. On the tenth summer, Mirren and Johnny’s mom brought her new boyfriend's son Gat to stay too. The instant Gat and Candace meet, they have a connection stronger than most, for they are in love. The four kids give themselves the name, “The Liars,” because they are the only people in the family who seem to realize what is happening, but nobody believes them. Then on summer fifteen, they decide to make one of the biggest decisions of their lives, and it might affect more than the perfect Sinclair family. One of the general themes throughout the book is that regret is the worst consequence of all. Once something is done, it cannot be undone. Of the many Sinclairs, Mirren, Johnny, Gat, and Candace are the four main ones. They all encountered one problem, greed. All three of the sisters, who are their aunts, had wanted the fortune and fame, ever since their mom, or the kids grandma, passed away. Their Grandpa, or “Grandad,” had been devastated over the loss of his wife, and he had been letting the sisters compete for his possessions. This was only the start of the twisted Sinclair family’s story. The four liars were the only ones who realized what was happening. The littles, or the younger cousins, were too young to know what was going on. The liars started skipping family meals, and plotting what they needed to do to bring the family back together. The liars goal was to stop the arguing, and return the family to how it was at the beginning of their lives- orderly, polite, and good-natured. My favorite character was Candace, she was the leader of the liars. One night on summer fifteen, she had a horrible accident, and was found in the ocean by a large rock. Her head was cut open and bleeding. She was then immediately rushed to the hospital, and after that she could notrecall anything that had happened that whole summer. Nobody would talk to her about her accident after that. “Will it matter to them, the way I can’t even hold on to basic facts surrounding my accident? I’ve lost so much of what we did together summer fifteen. I wonder if the aunts have been talking about me,” (Lockhart 69). Things just got worse for her. She didn’t want to be a Sinclair, she cut and dyed her hair from beachy blonde to a dark black. Candace stopped going to school, she would get awful headaches that would last her days. All Candace had to help was her mother’s support, and her always empty bottle of painkillers. When she arrived on the island at the beginning of summer sixteen, Candace had to figure out what had happened that summer, and why everything was suddenly different. None of the cousins, aunts, or even her mom would tell her. It was up to Candance to figure out what exactly had happened. As the summer went on, Candace pieced together parts of the puzzle to reveal her shocking discovery. The truth. Candace had worked through the worst of headaches to figure out the turn of events. “I am left, there on the Southern tip o
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have no words for how amazing this book is. We Were Liars is honestly one of the most breathtaking novels I have ever read! When I began reading this book I had very high expectations, because of the mystery in the summary. I was not dissapointed!!! I could go on and on about how beautifully written this book is and the emotions I feel for the characters, but I won't. All I can say, is this book is unique in its on way, and if your one of those people that like to read spoilers before reading the book, don't do that with this novel. Just read it, and I promise you WILL NOT be dissappionted!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is not even a scrabble word to truly describe how great and moving this book is. Do NOT let anyone discuss the book with you. You don't want to risk finding out about the end before you read it! This is now one of my top favorites!
anne40 More than 1 year ago
This book has a compelling story with wonderful characters. I could not put it down. I am 74 and I thought it was wonderful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly made you think throughout the entire novel. You experience confusion, understanding, love, sadness, and pity all at the same time. Remarkable story and plot twist. The ending made me want to flip back towards the beginning of the book to read and discover what I missed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a great book with an unexpected ending. Perfect book to sit and relax on the beach with. Brilliantly written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is all out wonderful. I just want you to be aware that on this very site, someone wanted to spoil the ending which will ruin your experience. So please be careful. So whoever you are you ruined it for me and I am writing so you do not ruin this wonderful, shocking book for anyone else.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have a knack for spotting plot twists, but the set-up for this one is so brilliant that I never even saw it coming. An easy five stars for a novel that I haven't stopped thinking about since I finished it almost twelve hours ago.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a really good read for me. Not only for the story, but also the writing style. The metaphors are very different and you have to kind of step back and think about it when you first read them. I would love to tell you about the novel itself but I feel the less you know going into it, the better it is. I will say that it is totally worth the read.
Angelized_1st More than 1 year ago
We Were Liars recounts the tale of an affluent family that spends their summers on a private island off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. Why were these three cousins and their best friend Liars? The title is one of the various mysteries the reader has to unravel for themselves. The narrator of the story is one of the Liars, Cadence Sinclair Eastman, who you glean from the very first page is an unreliable narrator just from the fact that she’s a member of the Liars. Cady is the eldest grandchild, and thought to be the heir to the Sinclair family fortune. The majority of the story takes place after a horrible tragedy befalls the family, in which Cady is left with amnesia, but readers are filled in via flashbacks, fairy tales, and clues perfectly placed throughout the book. Since Cady is an unreliable narrator, readers have to shift through the clues she leaves in her retelling in order to figure out what exactly happened to her when she was fifteen years old. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story, but at times it was a bit frustrating. Not only is Cady a Liar, but she’s an amnesic. Not only did I wonder if she was lying about everything, but part of me even wondered if any of it even happened. If maybe the events Cady is retelling are all a figment of her imagination. I liked Cady, but the rest of the characters annoyed me. I never understood the attraction Cady felt for Gat, as he seemed like a pretentious a-hole. That’s not to say that many of his observations weren’t spot-on, I just felt that his actions made him a hypocrite. Cady’s cousins Mirren and Johnny were also annoying. Actually, I disliked her entire family. Nothing irritates me more that listening to rich people whining about being rich. Except reading about it. I guess Lockhart wanted readers to empathize with these characters, but I found them to be racist snobs. We Were Liars was massively talked about this year. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to be in on the conversations that surround this novel. It’s an easy read, and somewhat entertaining, so readers can read it pretty quickly. However, I feel this story could have been done better, and isn’t a book someone needs to run out and immediately read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tbh, I didn't know what to expect from this book, and I didn't think that I was that into it, yet I finished this book in a day. I couldn't seem to put it down. I'm not going to say that its my favorite book, but it was fabulous. There's no critiques. It can get a little confusing, but you figure it out. It was an amazing book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it, such an unexpected ending, it was crazy. But every worth your time
AnnieKong More than 1 year ago
A captivating read. Cadence tries to uncover what exactly happened during "summer fifteen", after losing memory of a majority of that summer. This is a really quick read, with only about 200 pages, but will keep you to the very end. I absolutely love the characters and if you want to find out what happens, honestly, just read the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, dark, brighy, twisted, satisfying.... I carried the emotions of the shocking ending with me for days. Theres not much I can say without giving the book away - all I can say is READ THIS!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was slow in the begin but i loved the book. The book will make you cry but hands down one of the my fav books.