Thursday, July 10, 2014

Teen/YA Review: We Were Liars

I rarely have a chance to read books soon after they are released, but I heard so many good things about We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, released in May, that I eagerly listened to the YA audio book as soon as I got it. I wasn’t disappointed. We Were Liars is a suspenseful, intriguing, wholly unique story about family, secrets, and lies.

Seventeen-year old Cadence Sinclair Easton is spending the summer on her family’s private island, as she has almost every year of her life, except the past one. She spends every summer with her cousins on the island, swimming, boating, playing Scrabble, and hanging out with their families. She is particularly close to her other two teen cousins and their friend, Gat. During her 15th summer, something horrible happened to Cadence, and she still suffers from amnesia about that summer, plus debilitating migraines, pain, and other symptoms. This summer, she is focused on trying to remember what happened, but no one seems to want to talk about it.

The four teens call themselves The Liars. That, plus Cadence’s amnesia, makes her a classic unreliable narrator. The reader can tell something isn’t quite right but doesn’t know what – ad neither does Cadence. Suspense builds as Cadence tries to piece together what happened two summers ago that culminated in her injuries. The story moves back and forth between that summer (and previous ones, too) and the current one. Along the way, the reader learns more about the inner workings of the great Sinclair family and the characteristics and flaws of each of the family members. A budding romance between Cadence and Gat adds another piece of the puzzle.

The story uncoils bit by bit, as Cadence works to unravel her shattered memory and the reader gets to know her family. The result is a completely compelling, gripping novel that grabs you right from the start and never lets go. I listened to the audio book in less than a week, which is a record for me, as I wore my iPod around the house and ignored my family. It’s a haunting, engaging story that has stayed with me in the weeks since I finished it. Don’t miss this one!

Listening Library

Listen to an excerpt:


  1. Thanks for your wonderful review Sue. I'm going to add this to my To Read list and recommend to my book club.

  2. I listened to the first hour or so of this book while walking. Surprisingly, my library hold came in the same day. I went home and finished the entire book in print. The audio production was so well done, but once I started reading I just couldn't stop! Great book.