We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: May 13th 2014
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.
Gonna totally lie, and not spoil the ending of this book. Because that's basically what this book builds up on.
Or will I? (I really won't don't worry scroll on)
Cadence's family, the Sinclairs, come from old money. Old enough money to own their own island, Beechwood, and have four houses built on it. Harris Sinclair is the head of the family, and he gives a house to each of his daughters, Carrie, Bess, and Penny. Cadence is the daughter of Penny, and being the oldest grandchild, technically the one who will inherit the Sinclair fortune, although the other grandchildren (Cadence's cousins) Mirren and Johnny are close in age and all their mothers are competing for the family inheritance. There is also Gat, whose uncle Ed is dating Carrie, and stays with them every summer.
The old money luxurious lifestyle tied in with Harris Sinclair's dislike of the outsider Gat (and Gat does mention this in the book) had very The Great Gatsby and Wuthering Heights vibes. And this is kind of funny, because I loved the former and hated the latter. But, there was less of a focus on the forbidden romance/rich girl falling for poor outsider guy tropes. Instead, We Were Liars was one of those artsy poetic coming-of-age books. I know some people who read this did not like how the passages
But, after finishing the book, I can see why E. Lockhart would choose to do this format. It carried her message much more strongly, and certainly had an impressive impact.
Despite the fact that I cannot relate to these characters at all on a monetary scale, coming from a first generation immigrant family, I saw myself in The Liars. They're young, they're carefree. They think they can change the world, and do whatever they please. I wish there was a better explanation though on why they were called The Liars. Because they lie?
In any case, their devil-may-care attitudes really got through to me. We do tend to not think about the consequences of our actions and do not think highly of what we have. And Cadence, after that accident, still kept on whining about her privileged life the entire time! That really irked me. Until the big reveal of course. I did not see that plot twist coming. And I absolutely loved how Cadence really was an unreliable narrator up until the very end.
I just totally pulled some English class analysis on this book right now. The only person that really bothered me was Cadence, and her whininess. I felt reaaaalllly bad for Mirren, Johnny, and Gat, and they were much more interesting (and less annoying) than her.
If you're into artsy poetic formatting mixed into coming-of-age symbolism, then I recommend this book!
My full name is Cadence Sinclair Eastman.
I suffer migraines. I do not suffer fools.
I like a twist of meaning.
- p. 225