Book review: We were liars

The suspense thriller is surely riveting and I enjoyed it. Was that a lie? Read on.


Publisher/Delacorte Press

“We Were Liars,” written by E. Lockhart has gained immense traction on Booktok. Is the hype a lie?

 “We Were Liars,” written by E. Lockhart follows teen Cadence Sinclair Eastman, her two cousins Johnny and Mirren Sinclair—and her summer fling, Gatwick Patil. 

   Although initially published in 2014, the book gained popularity through TikTok, specifically subsection Booktok where many readers including myself became hooked.

   Known by their families, of course as “the liars.”

   Since they were little, the characters have lied about their actions on the island  

   And Cadence’s family, while no criminals, addicts or failures as she describes are not exactly regular people.   Her grandpa owns a private island and every summer ‘the liars’ go to the island with their families to joke about old times or catch up on their busy lives.   

   But this year Cadence remembers nothing of last year’s visit. She was found nearly drowned in one of the wading pools near the island, severely concussed.  

   And she senses something is missing from her memory but she just can’t put her finger on it. This mystery, like the beautiful and privileged, cracked and broken liars, defines the book.  The plot is probably the most interesting plot I have read since beginning my book obsession at the start of quarantine.  

  Together, the mystery of plot makes for one extremely hard to put down book. 

   As a reader, you will be confused by what might have happened, think and maybe even question what you just read. 

   However at times I was left with my own questions of trying to decipher the strange setup. 

    Some chapters start in the middle of the page, others are minuscule with not much meaning that feel offhandedly stuffed into the pages. It definitely threw me for a loop as someone who likes to finish chapters and then start on a new page.  

     And while reading I found myself just thinking about some of the things Cadence would say or do that would either anger me or just plain confuse me. 

   It sort of felt like the author was trying to confuse the reader or at least skew their perception of the Sinclair-Eastman family.  Yet Lockhart still does a beautiful job of making this fictional character almost feel real.  Like every human, character development should be an ever-changing and an ever-developing portion of who you are. 

   As Cadence begins questioning her family and herself trying to figure out what happened that near fatal night, she stops shifting the attention to the perfection that was her family and discovers her own, newly found, imperfect self. 

   The book ends just as it began, randomly and questionably and making me think til the end.

“My full name is Cadence Sinclair Eastman, I suffer migraines. I do not suffer fools. I like a twist of meaning, I endure.”   

   Like Cadence’s shift in identity, the book’s start had a “twist in meaning.”  The mystery endured. Could I actually trust what I just read?  Was it all I lie?

   So if you enjoy a bit of a plot twist just like our dear Cadence Sinclair, I recommend this 242 paged novel.

   I invite you to get lost in the mystery the book works in your mind.