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We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart - Review by Kathleen, Teen Blogger


This is a story about a happy group of kids who go to a beach house every year for summer vacation. They laugh and tell ghost stories by the fire. Their parents look on fondly as they reflect on their own childhoods. The grandfather plays chess with the kids, who form healthy bonds with one another. Then, they have a picnic at sunset, and everyone lives happily ever after. The end.

I’m lying. You probably guessed that, but here’s why: 

We Were Liars is indeed about a group of cousins, plus one outsider, who go to a beach house every summer. Jonny likes to tell jokes, Gat is full of passionate opinions, Mirren is self-absorbed, and Cadence tends to not think about the consequences.

Gat and Cadence fall in love. And, then they fall out of love, although Cadence doesn’t know why.

One night, Cadence, having nearly drowned, finds herself with no memories of anything leading up to that point. She is sent away — at first to Europe, and then to live with her mom. Her cousins and Gat don’t respond to her letters. She doesn’t know what’s wrong with her, or why she feels so cut off from the rest of her life.

The secret lies in the ending, and that is why I lied.

This book starts off in the vein of many popular YA books: two characters fall in love, but due to personal conflicts, find it difficult to be together. Everything changes, though, with Cadence’s accident. 

This is the point where the reader stops knowing anything about the story. You’re only as knowledgeable as your narrator, and when said narrator knows nothing about the world they’re in, then the reader has no clue what might happen next.

Instead of this making the book confusing, it makes it engrossing. I read the book in a few hours. The reason I stayed up late reading was because I had to know how it ended. The plot makes you lose your mind trying to guess what’s going on. It has an ending that really does make you want to deny that you ever read the book, or at least lie about what happened.

I think that if an author can make you feel so strongly about an ending, then they can pat themselves on the back. They’ve done what they were trying to do.

This is a thrilling read that will have you flipping pages for hours. There are a few points in the middle where I almost wanted to give up, because I had no clue what was going on. Doing so would be a huge regret, because even if you dislike everything else, it’s worth reading it to find out what happens. A trickle of clues are included throughout, but they’re subtle enough than even someone far smarter than myself would be apt to miss them.

We Were Liars is fascinating, suspenseful, and exciting. And...it ends with the characters eating gumdrops and singing love songs!

Who knows? Maybe I’m lying about that too.

Kathleen,

Teen Blogger

[Editor's Note: To learn more about this book and to try your hand at making your very own fan image, check out the official Tumblr account, http://wewereliarsbook.tumblr.com/.]

 

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