We Were Liars

Lockhart, E.

Book - 2014
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
We Were Liars
Spending the summers on her family's private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her cousins and a special boy named Gat, teenaged Cadence struggles to remember what happened during her fifteenth summer. 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. Spending the summers on her family's private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her cousins and a special boy named Gat, teenaged Cadence struggles to remember what happened during her fifteenth summer. We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. Read it. And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE. - Publisher.

Publisher: New York :, Delacorte Press,, [2014]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 0385390092
Characteristics: 227 pages :,illustrations ;,22 cm


From Library Staff

Comment by: Johna A Large Jun 21, 2014

I didn't fnd this as captivating as the reviews claimed. I enjoyed the fairy tale allusions and the complexities of the teens' relationships, but the ending was predictable.

From the critics

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Mar 29, 2015
  • DreDre rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

It's difficult to connect with the characters at first and some points of the story were confusing. But near the end the plot picks up with a surprise ending.

Feb 16, 2015
  • claralex800 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

The entire book is confusing, mostly because of Cadence's narration and the formatting. I keep forgetting where one chapter ended and the next began. I also didn't bother to learn the character's names. The plot and the idea of the book is interesting though. But *SPOILER* you'd think that someone would tell C that she's talking to people who aren't there.

Feb 11, 2015
  • 0Charlie rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

It takes a while to connect with the main characters - privileged, beautiful, isolated - but it becomes an engrossing work as we flash back and forth between times and fairy tale retellings unti the mystery is resolved. Recommended for teen readers.

Jan 17, 2015
  • gerimark rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Wealthy kids in new england. sort of poltergeist-ish story.

Jan 15, 2015
  • Kellkolo rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I would have liked this book more if I had not predicted the ending within the first few pages. I was hoping the whole time that my prediction was wrong, and this hope kept me hooked and made the book hard to put down. Fun read!

Jan 08, 2015
  • JCLGreggW rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

You'll find this book on many best-of 2014 lists. While it's an excellent book, it didn't QUITE live up to the hype, but readers who are looking for a coming-of-age tale that has a bit more literary meat than the usual will find lots to like here. With WE WERE LIARS, Lockhart takes us onto dreamy summers on a private island off Martha's Vineyard, where a sprawling family spends months out of the year. A traumatic event happens to Cadence, the main character, and she returns to the island, several years later, looking for answers to her own past and unraveling what she thought was a perfect, idyllic family, revealing layers of corruption and greed, along with the true identities of the Liars, a group of cousins around the same age who hang out together. (Suffers a bit from Unreliable Narrator Syndrome, but still worthwhile.)

Jan 05, 2015
  • winta_yos rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

After meeting the author at the Teen Author Fest event, I was so excited to read this book. I was really disappointed. I really did not like the of how it was written. I was confused most of the time while I was reading. The ending was very shocking. In conclusion, this book isn't for every one and it just wasn't for me

Dec 24, 2014
  • Michael Colford rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Cady loses a summer to what she thinks is a head injury incurred while swimming by herself at her summer home on an island near Martha's Vineyard. The problem is, it's two years later, she's now 17, and she can't remember most of her fifteenth summer, and no one, not her family, not her closest friends or her boyfriend, will tell her what happened. E. Lockhart takes her time with the big reveal, and it's a bit of a doozy.

I liked a lot about We Were Liars, but I had some problem with a novel about an uber privileged family -- couldn't really care that much about many of the problems going on, but Lockhart does a great job pulling the rug out from under the reader and making you look at everything differently.

Dec 20, 2014
  • artemishi rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

We Were Liars is a contemporary YA with a lot of drama and tension. The narrator is flawed, prone to exaggeration and pretty much tells you not to believe her from the start. So most of the story is trying to figure out what's really going on beneath the Kennedy-esque privileged life of this extended family.

Predictably, they are snobbish, cold, controlling, and prejudiced.
Predictably, the younger generation bucks against this.
Unpredictably, the ending.

Yeah, I know. Everybody says they can't tell you much or risk ruining the meat of the story. Because of this (heck, it's in the synopsis for the book!) I suspected things. But then reactions within the book made me doubt my suspicion. And then it turned out I was right to suspect BUT it was more dramatic than I expected. And pretty horrible.

I listened to this on audiobook, and the narrator did a great job of nearly-but-not-quite weeping in all the right places. Which, of course, made me tear up. So while I didn't relate to the characters (except for the migraines), I was pulled in by the suspense and mystery, and had visceral reactions to the drama.

I recommend it for fans of contemporary YA, family drama stories, suspense, and quick reads. At least, it felt like a quick read.

Dec 13, 2014

This book has been at the top of every YA book list this year - and for good reason. It is extremely well written, with information being parsed out in such a way as to grip readers until the very end. I highly recommend this book for readers of all ages.

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Jul 07, 2014
  • aliciamarie rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

" We are Sinclairs. Beautiful. Privileged. Damaged. LIARS. "

Jun 30, 2014
  • Anna WMC-STAFF Kim rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

".... And if anyone asks.... just. LIE.

Jun 18, 2014
  • JAC_E rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound,
then from my eyes,
my ears,
my mouth.
It tasted like salt and failure. The bright red shame of being unloved soaked the grass in front of our house, the bricks of the path, the steps of the porch. My heart spasmed among the peonies like a trout.

Jun 18, 2014
  • JAC_E rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Here is something I love about Gat: he is so enthusiastic, so relentlessly interested in the world, that he has trouble imagining the possibility that other people will be bored by what he’s saying. Even when they tell him outright. But also, he doesn’t like to let us off easy. He wants to make us think—even when we don’t feel like thinking.

Jun 18, 2014
  • JAC_E rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

She confused being spartan with being charitable, and gave away her possessions without truly doing good with them.
She confused being sick with being brave, and suffered agonies while imagining she merited praise for it.
She confused wit with intelligence, and made people laugh rather than lightening their hearts or making them think.

Jun 18, 2014
  • JAC_E rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken.

Jun 18, 2014
  • JAC_E rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Better than chocolate, being with you last night. Silly me, I thought that nothing was better than chocolate.

Jun 18, 2014
  • JAC_E rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I could have looked at him forever.

Jun 18, 2014
  • JAC_E rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Do not accept an evil you can change.

May 13, 2014
  • stephaniedchase rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Mirren pauses. Then she says: "Be a little kinder than you have to."

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Add Age Suitability

Feb 16, 2015
  • claralex800 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

claralex800 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Nov 03, 2014
  • roropan rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

roropan thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Aug 25, 2014

Orange_Elephant_51 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jun 30, 2014
  • Anna WMC-STAFF Kim rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Anna WMC-STAFF Kim thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

May 03, 2014
  • Laura_Jenkins rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Laura_Jenkins thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary

Oct 22, 2014
  • lila5 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Super Good but super sad.

Sep 03, 2014
  • LibraryK8 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The Sinclairs spend every summer on their private island, Beechwood. Born within a few short months of each other, 3 of the Sinclair grandchildren and one friend of the family spend the summers thick as thieves, calling themselves The Liars. Cadence, Johnny, Mirren and Gat are inseparable every year, but the summer of their fifteenth year, things start to change. Cadence begins to fall in love with Gat (a friend of the family who is invited to Beechwood every summer) while the Sinclair family falls apart around them.
The summer ends in a tragic accident when Cadence is found in the shallow water of the beach, unconscious and on the verge of hypothermia. Unable to remember what brought her to the beach Cadence spends most of the school year recovering from her injuries and suffering severe migraines brought on by head trauma (the doctors tell her she must have hit her head on the shallow rocks along the beach).
Cadence’s sixteenth summer she does not join the liars at Beechwood but is instead sent on a European tour with her father, spending much of the time bedridden from migraines. It isn’t until two years after the accident that Cadence returns to Beechwood and The Liars. Meanwhile her grandfather has built a new house, and family relations seem at an all-time high, Cadence’s accident ending her families constant bickering.
But things have changed between Cadence and The Liars since the fifteenth summer. Gat is despondent, Johnny is hiding something and Mirren fights bouts of nausea. Something isn’t right, and it has to do with her accident. Cadence is determined to find out the truth about The Liars, Beechwood and their fifteenth summer.

Jul 11, 2014
  • Dimmu16 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

THERE ARE SPOILERS! Cadence (Cady) is the heir to the very rich Sinclair family fortune. Her grandfather has a island where they spend every single summer at. When Cady is eight years old her anut Carrie meets a new guy (whom she is in love with) and he brings his nephew Gat to the island as company for Carrie's son Johnny. Johnny, Cady, Gat, and Mirren (whom is another cousin) create this group called The Liars (that only ever gets together at the island). When Cady is 15 something happens to the liars that causes her to almost kill herself. She then spends the next 2 years in Vermont or in Europe. When Cady is 17 years old she finally convinces her Mother to let her go back to the island so she can discover what happened 2 years ago. Also during those 2 years the other liars NEVER ONCE contacted her while she tried to contact them. So when Cady returns they are there acting like its normal and they haven't been seperated for 2 years without any contact what so ever. Basically after a lot of talking and some love. Cady discovers that Johnny, Gat, and Mirren died in a house fire.


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