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We Were Liars Hardcover – May 13, 2014

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 600L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; First Edition edition (May 13, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038574126X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385741262
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (642 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Young Adult Book of the Month, May 2014: E. Lockhart’s novel, We Were Liars, is clever, alluring, and wildly addictive. Each summer the wealthy, seemingly perfect, members of the Sinclair family gather on their private island. We Were Liars is the story of those annual reunions; in particular what happened during a summer that protagonist Cadence is unable to remember. Prejudice, greed, and shifting patriarchal favoritism among the three adult sisters contrasts with the camaraderie and worldview of the teenage cousins and their dear friend Gat. Lazy days of sticky lemonades on the roof and marathon Scrabble games give way to twisty suspense, true love, and good intentions gone horribly wrong. We Were Liars is a story that begs to be read in one sitting. --Seira Wilson

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Cadence Sinclair Easton comes from an old-money family, headed by a patriarch who owns a private island off of Cape Cod. Each summer, the extended family gathers at the various houses on the island, and Cadence, her cousins Johnny and Mirren, and friend Gat (the four "Liars"), have been inseparable since age eight. During their fifteenth summer however, Cadence suffers a mysterious accident. She spends the next two years—and the course of the book—in a haze of amnesia, debilitating migraines, and painkillers, trying to piece together just what happened. Lockhart writes in a somewhat sparse style filled with metaphor and jumps from past to present and back again—rather fitting for a main character struggling with a sudden and unexplainable life change. The story, while lightly touching on issues of class and race, more fully focuses on dysfunctional family drama, a heart-wrenching romance between Cadence and Gat, and, ultimately, the suspense of what happened during that fateful summer. The ending is a stunner that will haunt readers for a long time to come.—Jenny Berggren, formerly at New York Public Library

More About the Author

I write novels.
My books: We Were Liars, Fly on the Wall, The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, Dramarama, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, How to Be Bad,The Treasure Map of Boys and Real Live Boyfriends.

Visit me at www.emilylockhart.com.
Or come read the blog at www.theboyfriendlist.com.
Twitter: elockhart
Pinterest: elockhartbooks

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

(What's this?)
#83 in Books > Teens
#83 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

The writing is beautiful; the story is beautiful; the character- building is beautiful.
Book 'Em! Blog
The book is a very fast read and I don't know if that is because the writing is very concise and terse or it's a fast read because you don't want to put it down.
Mary Ward
I like books with richly drawn characters but all of these characters were very superficial and lacked depth.
Hilary Martin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Sab H. VINE VOICE on April 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is not the type of book you are expecting. But don't judge or stop reading till the very end. I promise you, it will be far beyond worth it. Expect feelings. All the feelings. Every single one. And expect LIES. Be ready to be mind-blown and to have infinite emotions all bubbling up at once.

I will LIE too, as to not spoil your reading. This is a book about a girl, about friendship, about summer. It's a book about money and a wealthy family. It's a book about values and about pretending. It's a book about LIES, those that we tell others and the ones that we tell ourselves. The LIES that are exposed and also, the hidden lies.

Brilliantly poetic writing brings to life this amazing jaw-dropping suspense story that is nothing like anything I've read from E. Lockhart before or like anything I had ever read before, period. A perfectly plotted psychological tale that will leave you astonished. Twisty, so very twisty, and so unbelievably gut-wrenching and beautiful. The mystery of it, everything surrounding the mystery, was done stunningly.

It's a book you'll NEED to read again right after you finish it. And you'll enjoy it twice as much the second time around. You'll be awed that you did not see this coming. Sigh. I wish books like this one came around more often.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By OpheliasOwn VINE VOICE on April 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Always do what you are afraid to do."

The Have-Nots always assume a life of privilege is easy, happy, carefree. Money buys happiness, right? Or does it lead to more problems? In e. lockhart's We Were Liars, a girl born into privilege experiences the last summer of her innocence, however feigned it may be.

Cadence is coming back Beechwood, her family's private island off the coast of Massachusetts, but this summer will be different from the previous summers. This summer isn't carefree. This summer won't be the same even with The Liars. This summer she is recovering. After her accident where she was found washed up on shore with no memory of what happened and the same night her grandfather's house on the island burned down. Now it has been rebuilt, and her aunts and their families are in their respective houses, and Cadence and her mother have returned to their house, Windmere. The problem is the island is haunted by something deeper and darker than just the burning of a house and a lifetime of memories. Something darker happened, but Cadence can't remember anything from that fateful night.

While her mother obsesses about what Cadence eats and her sleeping habits, Cadence is only interested in the Liars. While she was gone, recovering, she emailed them. Her cousins Johnny and Mirren and Johnny's "stepfather's" nephew, Gat, are the only ones who truly understand the life of a Sinclair. While Gat is technically still (and always will be) an outsider, his summers on the island over the year have given him an insight into their lives that no one else could understand. For Cadence, Gat is the one who could both understand where she comes from and take her away from it all in one fell swoop. Gat is different.
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143 of 171 people found the following review helpful By Maria Beadnell on June 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I was warned.

Now, YOU are warned.

I'm a librarian and this book brings out everything I strive not to be. I'll have to hand this over, quietly, without judgment.

Dozens of people will be asking for this because of the cutesy marketing (LIE about the ending, wink wink!) and whiny, self-absorbed characters that tap into our martyr syndrome and the simultaneous escapism (they are as rich as the Kennedys but no paparazzi! perfect life) and "surprise" ending that didn't surprise me, except in that how could "bright" people not understand how fire works? My job will be to hand it over without saying, "Pick anything, Lurlene McDaniel, anything--I don't care, walk blindfolded down through the stacks and you'll find something better," or "If you are gullible enough to be surprised by this ending, do you invest a lot in Nigeria?"

The writing style, which changes
For no reason,
To novel-in-verse,

and the unreliable narrator's voice,
That of a moderately bright twelve year old
Rather than a smart eighteen year old.

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By K. Blaine VINE VOICE on May 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Count me among those who were immediately involved in E. Lockhart's "We Were Liars." Readers both young and old will be captivated by the characters and the superb writing, which combines everyday life with a hint of magical realism.

As other reviewers have noted, the plot revolves around the Sinclair family. When you imagine this family, think of a cross between the Kennedy clan and a Ralph Lauren print ad in an upscale magazine. This is an old money family, with more than its share of secrets, prejudices, rituals, and customs. The patriarch of the family owns an island off the coast of Massachusetts, to which his three daughters and their families come each summer for a golden idyll in a magical place. At least, this is the way it is supposed to be, but that is a lie, and it is just the beginning of lies.

Now think of King Lear, and you will have an idea of the sort of father this patriarch is. The daughters are not exact parallels to Lear's daughters, but there are enough resemblances to keep the reader interested. The focus of the book is on the next generation, the children of the three daughters (and their friend, a contrast both in culture and social status).

I hope no one reviewing this book has revealed the plot in too much detail. You will have to trust me when I say you will not see the final plot twist coming, though when you re-read the book (as you will feel compelled to do), you will see all manner of foreshadowing and hints. This book is an examination of the lies we tell ourselves and each other to live harmoniously on the surface of our world, and the price those lies exact. I am recommending this book to all my reader friends, and I will be sharing it with my nieces, who I am confident will love it.
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