So… I don’t even know where to start with this book.
Upon reading the back cover and inside flap of “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart, not a lot was revealed surrounding the actual plotline, or characters or anything really. Originally this kind of turned me away from the book. But upon hearing person after person insist that I read it, I finally gave in and checked it out from the library. Thank god I did.
Even though I checked it out about a week ago, I just started it the other night. And let me say, as a medium speed reader, it was kind of a long night. Before I knew it I had flew through over 200 pages of the novel, falling in love with the characters and writing style along the way. The book was full of beautiful quotes and wonderful descriptions and eventually an incredible twist that, to be honest, caught me quite off guard, even with my background knowledge of the fact a twist was there at all.
The story is centered around the Sinclair family, specifically Cadence Sinclair Eastman, who narrates the story from her own flawed perspective. The family, though it seems like your perfect all-American family, has many secrets of its own. And on their family’s island, Beechwood, all the secrets come out, especially Summer 15, when Cadence is 15 and her grandmother dies. All the aunts (grandmother’s daughters) fight over the inheritance. The first grandchildren, Johnny, Marin, Cadence and Gat, are stuck in the middle of the mess, and their future hangs in the balance, considering many of their families are dependent on that inheritance money. But many of the details of that summer (15) are not revealed until Cadence (narrator) can reveal them. During that summer, alongside all the fighting and complications, Cadence gets in a mysterious accident that causes her to get excruciating migraines and forget most of her experience at Beechwood that year. So after two years, she finally feels good enough to go back and get the answers she is missing. And as she pieces together what her family will tell her, which isn’t much, she realizes that the summer was nothing like she remembered.
The main characters were Marin, Johnny, Gat and Cadence, all incredibly unique, and all equally as mysterious. Marin is described as, “sugar, curiosity, and rain,” by Cadence, she’s a free spirit with lots of love and care to give. As you read about her, you will wish you had a cousin just like her as she bobs around telling stories in her cute bikinis. Johnny was, “bounce, effort, and snark,” according to Cadence. He was always the most energetic and always had the most enthusiasm out of them over the littlest of things. He could have an attitude sometimes, but pulls through to help Cadence and the people he cares about. Finally, Gat is “contemplation, and enthusiasm, ambition and strong coffee”. He is the most opinionated about all of them, and could easily connect with you on a mental level. He had many opinions on the world’s issues and had high hopes of making the world a better place, where everyone was equal and no one was judged by their skin color, gender, orientation or anything. And no matter how much the other’s expressed disinterest, he would never lose his spark that made him the way he was. Even though they were distinct from each other, together they made up a fantastic group for the plot to center around. The Strong One (Cadence), the Happy One (Marin), The Aspirational One (Gat) and The Funny One (Johnny). Together they made a good balance between happy and serious enough so the book never got too down and never was too happy that it lead you away from what was really happening. Quickly I loved all the characters, but Gat became my favorite the instant he appeared, and as we, as readers, learned more about him, my fondness only grew.
Overall, this book was incredibly fast paced even with the plotline I described. One event to the other, and you were drawn in, following clues and trying to piece it together before Cadence. And then ultimately failing when you realize what you thought was happening, wasn’t what happened at all. I would recommend this book to almost everyone. No restrictions because there was not a lot of vulgar language or sexual content, which to be honest, is kind of rare in such a popular book. Plus the writing style was unique but still easy to comprehend for not as advanced readers, even though they probably won’t get as much out of the story. Therefore, I think people of all ages should read We Were Liars, and get drawn into the book like my friends and I have been.
As hard as it is to follow such a great read, I’ve started two books Drop Dead Healthy by AJ Jacobs, and The Art Of Racing In The Rain. If they end up being as good as they are so far, soon you’ll be seeing reviews about them as well! I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!