We Were Liars Hardcover – May 13 2014
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An Amazon Best Young Adult Book of the Month, May 2014: E. Lockhart’s novel, We Were Liars, is clever, alluring, and wildly addictive. Each summer the wealthy, seemingly perfect, members of the Sinclair family gather on their private island. We Were Liars is the story of those annual reunions; in particular what happened during a summer that protagonist Cadence is unable to remember. Prejudice, greed, and shifting patriarchal favoritism among the three adult sisters contrasts with the camaraderie and worldview of the teenage cousins and their dear friend Gat. Lazy days of sticky lemonades on the roof and marathon Scrabble games give way to twisty suspense, true love, and good intentions gone horribly wrong. We Were Liars is a story that begs to be read in one sitting. --Seira Wilson
"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
- 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.”
"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.”
“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.”
"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
—BuzzFeed.com, YA Novels to Watch Out for Spring 2014
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E. Lockhart is really one of my favourite authors. I've been reading her books for the longest time, starting off with The Boyfriend List back when I was younger. I can somewhat say that her books have been with me from the start, and this is a huge change, jumping from contemporary-chick lit to something kind of like Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. This was impressive and a great change to the genre that I've been dealing with recently.
As a perfect summer or midseason winter-blues romance, this can definitely be classified as a pure young-adult psychological thriller. From time to time while reading, I found that its type and genre kept switching to keep it looking "innocent" from time to time. If you read this at the beach and finish it, beware that a fear of the people sitting next to you will form. Not such a typical summer read, huh? The concept was manipulative to the mind, but it kept me thinking from time to time and the poetic written format was the most 'special' part of it all.
"I felt the love rush from me to Gat and from Gat to me. We were warm and shivering, and young and ancient, and alive. I was thinking, It's true. We already love each other. We already do."
As Oscar Wilde once said, "No man is rich enough to buy back his past," and that quote goes with this book more than anything. The Liars, the friends—they're all filthy rich and are used to luxury and to all of the best in the world. Once you open the hardcover edition of the book, you will spot a family tree showing the inheritances of everyone. DAMN, THEY'RE ALL RELATED AND GET TO LIVE ON THAT GORGEOUS ISLAND DURING THE SUMMER. *cries* Okay, so that may seem like your annual perfect vacation that you have in mind, but you may not want to live with the actual people on the island.
You may think that these characters have the perfect posh life, but their personalities sure aren't. You see, our Liars here are: Cadence, Mirren, Gat and Johnny. These people each have their own secrets but somehow they're and have always been together? That's the question that kept floating in my mind but I guess in order to read this book you'll have to deal with the questions of the unnecessary weirdo friendship here. They're spoiled brats and each of them got on my nerves in their own little-posh-way.
With a mix of different genres and writing styles (poetic to regular narrative-format) I see this as something new and different introduced to the YA fiction world. With about half a year after its first printing, this has won the hearts of many of my bloggy friends and of course, many starred reviews and awards—including the 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards. I don't know about you, but that totally must mean something. Though, I didn't see it as that amazing compared to the opinions and expressions faced by other reviewers that I personally know. What did they seem to have seen differently than I, in a positive way?
The characters. Basing this off of my past experiences, I can tell you that Lockhart has a heart of gold when forming relatable characters. In her 'Ruby Oliver' series, I found her protagonist, Ruby, to explain the thoughts of every teenager out there someway. Ruby was relatable and I adored her to death, still remembering her quirky ways 5 years later. But these guys?—I sure won't remember them, even in a few weeks' time.
I can't really explain who was the main character and who wasn't, as Lockhart paid special attention to each of the Liars. But Cadence is the one who's story was the problem. I mean, when we find out what actually happened, you can tell that it has to do with someone on the island and that there's a meaning behind all of this. Add cliffhangers and plot twists and you've got this book.
"We should not let family fall apart. We should not accept an evil we can change. We would stand up against it, would we not? Yes. We should. We would be heroes, even."
Deep? Deep. Coming of age? Coming of age. Unexpectedly we got a flash of realism around and around, but Lockhart didn't take it to that undeniably crazy point that most authors with psychological fiction do with. The ending of this was something that you can easily stress over with and wonder if it happens in reality. The plot did need improvement as this was just a healing story where Cadence was trying to figure out what happened and who she is in, though it's the book you'll spend an evening with and have a 50/50 chance to become captured with and into. Detectives won't even be able to solve this stuff.
Spend an evening reading this because it's not too easy to set aside, let having to get your mind to focus on something else for awhile. E. Lockhart did a splendid job with her newest comeback, bringing us into a huge mystery/thriller, with friendship and questions that will still haunt your mind today. Throw in some unrelated characters and a messy plot, and this is the total outcome you get—a mystery that you'd see on the news, indeed.
Having now read We Were Liars, I can readily confirm that it is a thrilling read, a story absolutely brimming with secrets.
Reasons to Read:
1. An emotional narrative:
E Lockhart tells a brilliant story, although while not quite as shocking as I anticipated, of the tragic events to befall the main character's family (Cady). The writing style is poignant, and every mixed emotion felt by Cady is likewise experienced by the reader. As a reader, you are
2. A Shakespearean-esque tragedy:
The day after having finished We Were Liars I saw a performance of King Lear, and it struck me how similar the two were in some ways. Let me emphasize that they are not the same story; but there are some characteristics the two share, such as the family dynamics. We Were Liars clearly evokes some of the feelings and themes from classical literature.
3. An unreliable narrator:
I absolutely love reading books with an unreliable narrator, because I'm left guessing and gradually putting together all the clues and hints as to what actually happened. Cady is particularly effective as an unreliable narrator because even she isn't sure about the truth of what happened.
After hearing so much about how the ending was truly shocking and surprising, I was a tad disappointed when I finished and discovered that my initial prediction was mostly correct (but not entirely). Then again, I think this was the ideal ending for the book and I don't think there could have been an ending that worked better with the story than this one. I won't say anything else because this is a story that must not be spoiled!
This is the kind of book that stays with you long after you finish reading it. I'll have to find time to reread it, because I feel like I have more questions after having read it than I did before I started!
Review copy received from Random House Canada; no other compensation was received.
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The unusual style that Cady, the narrator, uses takes a while to get used to. She often drifts off into her own fantasies.Read more
I won this book from BookOutlet, so I knew nothing about it and didn’t know what to expect.Read more