Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 224 (Hardcover)
Source: Bought
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 National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

On May 20th, I went to a signing and E. Lockhart was one of the many authors there. She had nearly the entire crowd captivated about her novel for one reason alone...when asked to explain her novel she sat there and explained that her publisher won't allow her to do so. I was going to buy the book and get it signed before she said that, but that line would have convinced me to buy it if I were on the fence.

After reading the book, I completely understand why this book cannot be described or spoken about. Nothing can be said about it because part of the experience is discovering the insanity for yourself. I will tell you nothing of this story, and only of the writing and my most vague thoughts. It would be improper for me to actually analyze anything for you because I don't want to ruin this amazing reading experience for anyone.

Plus...if you ask me about the ending...I'd have to LIE

In the beginning of the book, we are not told much about Cady. We know something bad happened and we know how she is today as a result of whatever happened, but everything else is blank. This story is her discovering what happened to make her the way she is now because she can't remember. It is an absolutely enthralling journey that takes the reader unimaginable places. There's something to be said when an author is willing to go to great lengths and enter untouchable territory. E. Lockhart does such a thing marvelously.

And then there's the ending. Part of me saw it coming only because of a gut instinct, but I didn't exactly see the full picture until I read it. My jaw dropped and I sat there in shock for a little. Anger, grief, sorrow, hope, shock...those are just a few of the emotions that coursed through me after flipping the very last page. The twist in this tale is certainly unique, but I beg nobody to skip ahead. I'm seeing several instances of people skipping ahead and it ruins the tale if you do so. Do not do that to yourself. Instead allow yourself to be immersed in the insanity that is Cady's family and her mind. 

The writing in this book is absolutely beautiful. It is very poetic and unique and though the book is very short, it drags you in immediately. The imagery and detail and out of this world description is mind-bogglingly beautiful. There's no other way to describe it. Awesome story aside, this book is worth reading merely for the writing and the unparalleled story line.

And the best part about this book is that it makes you think. It makes you think about the one percent, those with trust funds and how they go about living. Are things all merry the way it looks on the outside or is there some really messed up drama bubbling under the surface? Are there threats? Is there desperation? It makes you think about the horrors that come with abundant amounts of money and how those with high-class lifestyles may have deep-rooted elitist beliefs and ways of going about things. You know a book is amazing if it gets you thinking.

However, I can't say I loved this book. I was simply satisfied, and I think that is contributed to the hype surrounding this book. Sometimes a book lives up to its hype and sometimes it makes the fall from the pedestal even worse. I was expecting something that completely blew me away, and though I greatly enjoyed the mystery in this one, I was not wowed the way I thought I would be. The hype, in this case, ruined it for me. I hope it doesn't do the same for anyone else.

Warning for parents: There is underage drinking and stupid decisions in this book. 

3.5 stars



  1. Hrm, and that's an issue for me because I've been hearing the hype for this as well. True that sometimes it's warranted and often it can be disappointing. Will read her work as she sounds like a deft writer.

  2. I love books with great writing!! Haven't read this one yet but I'm dying to now that I know that there's a jaw dropping twist in the end. Loved the review.

  3. Ohhhh like your review but I still want to read this badly. Weird cause it's not my typical genre either