Release Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Buy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound
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.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
I have an unofficial word count for my reviews here, and I get the feeling this one will be decidedly shorter than usual. This is not because I do not have anything to say about the gorgeous We Were Liars; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. I have tons I’d like to say. I’d like to have an all-night gabfest about all the things I think about this story and all the things I haven’t thought of yet. I read the last words of the novel 8 hours ago, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
However, at a recent event, E. Lockhart began to tell the people in the audience about this book, and after she talked for a while, she pointed out that she had told us all who the characters are but nothing about what they do, by request of her publisher. This “please no spoilers” mandate interested me for a lot of reasons, mostly because that is kind of rare. What’s even rarer is that I hadn’t heard one peep about what the big twist was, except that it existed. I was able to dive into Cadence’s story completely unspoiled, and I am all the better for it.
So, I would like for anyone reading this review who hasn’t yet experienced We Were Liars to remain unspoiled as well. You’ll be all the better for it too!
But now, what can I say without giving everything away?
Thankfully, I can talk about E. Lockhart’s writing and style for hours and hours without giving away one piece of the plot. Dearie me. I do not like to mark up my books at all, but at page 16, I was tempted to highlight and underline a sentence that was so beautiful it practically knocked me out. I do not want to repeat it here (as River Song would say, Spoilers!) but I thought it was nearly perfect in its content and tone. Throughout the novel, the writing style continued to blow me away, which I fully expected but somehow didn’t expect it to this extent. This is my first E. Lockhart, but it very certainly will not be my last.
The stylistic writing works to enhance the plot as well. At times, I felt that certain elements of the story were pretty far-fetched and over-reaching. However, when it reads like this, I can easily accept anything and move on quickly. I’ll suspend my disbelief for art, thank you very much.
I don’t think I can really say much more, so I’ll just say that this is a one-of-a-kind read that I would highly recommend. Come for the plot twist, stay for the delectable words. No lie, We Were Liars is something special.