We Were Liars

( 112 )

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...

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We Were Liars

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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

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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)
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
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)
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

"Readers during the summer of 2012 were captivated by the twist and turns of Gillian Flynn's psychological thriller Gone Girl. As we lead up to the release of the movie adaptation, we're looking for other books that can give us the same chills and surprises. This summer the surprise ending everyone will be talking about is E. Lockhart's We Were Liars."
- Bustle.com

"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

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

"A haunting psychological thriller."—The Guardian

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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385741262
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/13/2014
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 171
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL600L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

E. Lockhart

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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 112 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(59)

4 Star

(32)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 112 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 13, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Just read this book! I received an advance reader edition of th

    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.

    33 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2014

    Must Read, No Spoilers!

    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!!

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2014

    I loved this book. This is not the style of book I normally read

    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.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2014

    it really is a must read. This book had me in tears and i can't

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2014

    I opened the first page of this book with high expectations, and

    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!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    Great read

    Read

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2014

    We were liers

    Great book! Very sad

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2014

    Read it. Just do it.

    Read it. Just do it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2014

    Beautiful. Privileged. Damaged. Liars So I'm guessing that you

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2014

    We were liars

    I want to read this book because it sounds suspensful, and because its popular, but i have no idea what its about. If someone could help me...? Thanks. -bookworm14

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2014

    This book was amazing . It was the book of summer . The Liars ar

    This book was amazing . It was the book of summer . The Liars are so well written and I fell in love with their little dynamic . It has THE biggest plot twist; I was not expecting it at all ! If you ever read this book , 

    Don't you dare spoil the ending . Lie .

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2014

    Great Book!

    I loved the mystique and suspense throughout and the unexpected plot twist! I would definitely recommend reading this. :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2014

    It was amazing

    Honestly one of the best books ever. Had everything I look for in books. I highly recommend it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    Honestly made you think throughout the entire novel. You experi

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2014

    Great

    It was a great book with an unexpected ending. Perfect book to sit and relax on the beach with. Brilliantly written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2014

    This book is all out wonderful. I just want you to be aware that

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    They all die don't they?

    They all die, except for her and that's why she has brain damage and memory loss. At the end of the book she remebers their deaths. I haven't read the book, but this is what probably happened.

    1 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2014

    Wonderful

    I got this book yesturday since I needed something new to read durring my dull drive down to Martha's Vineyard. It was interesting for me to find out that the main charactor Cady lives in the same town as me and she spends her summers in her family's private is land which just happens to be off the coast of the destination of my car ride journey. I definatly could connect to her that way, but I also understood her. I could understand the way she felt and this is one reason why I praise the author. The story too is fenominal. I just loved this book. The twist is so unexpected. This book litterally broke my heart. I will definitally read this book again and again! I recommend it all the way to everyone! Read it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    This was an incredible book. Read it. Please. Ow. My heart is hu

    This was an incredible book. Read it. Please. Ow. My heart is hurting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2014

    great

    It is a wonderful book thats hard to put down and is a quick read you could finish in less than a day. Unexcpeted twist at the end that adds a certian mood to the book( i dont care if i spelled unexcpeted wrong)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 112 Customer Reviews

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