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We Were Liars Hardcover – 13 May 2014
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- Hardcover : 227 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780385741262
- ISBN-13 : 978-0385741262
- Product Dimensions : 14.76 x 2.36 x 21.74 cm
- Publisher : Delacorte Press (13 May 2014)
- Reading level : 12 - 17 years
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 038574126X
- Best Sellers Rank: 37,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
--Kat Rosenfield, MTV News Surprising, thrilling, and beautifully executed in spare, precise, and lyrical prose, Lockhart spins a tragic family drama, the roots of which go back generations. And the ending? Shhhh. Not telling. (But it's a doozy)...This is poised to be big. --Booklist, starred review Lockhart has created a mystery with an ending most readers won't see coming, one so horrific it will prompt some to return immediately to page one to figure out how they missed it. At the center of it is a girl who learns the hardest way of all what family means, and what it means to lose the one that really mattered to you. --Publishers Weekly, starred review Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. --Kirkus, starred review The ending is a stunner that will haunt readers for a long time to come. --School Library Journal, starred review A taut psychological mystery marked by an air of uneasy disorientation...The ultimate reveal is shocking both for its tragedy and for the how-could-I-have-not-suspected-that? feeling it leaves us with. But we didn't, which is Lockhart's commendable triumph. --The Horn Book, starred review "This is a love story as much as it is a psychological mystery...Astonishing. --Shelf Awareness, starred review
"[a] haunting, sophisticated mystery...a novel so twisty and well-told that it will appeal to older readers as well as to adolescents." --The Wall Street Journal
"Irresistible premise for this ticking time bomb of a novel." --The New York Times Book Review A Lockhart YA is always a treat and this is no exception...The glimpse we get into a life of privilege, a lifestyle most of us can only imagine, is insightful and thrilling. The ending will shock the mose jaded of readers, we promise! --RT Book Reviews There's trouble in paradise at the opening of National Book Award finalist and Printz honoree E. Lockhart's shattering yet ultimately hopeful YA novel . . . and neither family nor reader will ever be the same. --Library Journal
It's a nearly perfect story, and it's utterly absorbing. --Bustle.com, 2014's Best YA Books
No book on this summer's reading list will have readers immobilized in their hammocks more than E. Lockhart's We Were Liars..... This book has that surprise quality--like Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity--that makes readers scramble back through hungrily devoured chapters and wonder in admiration: Could I have seen this coming? Did I miss any clues? --Newsday
Like a shard of glass, WE WERE LIARS glitters and shines, then cuts deep. E. Lockhart has truly outdone herself with this masterful, darkly mesmerizing portrait of a fractured family ruined by the excess of wealth. Humming with rich descriptions and razor-sharp intelligence, the story of Cadence Sinclair Eastman will both inspire and haunt readers for years to come. --Sarah Pitre, Forever Young Adult Perception often is not reality -- and it certainly is not in WE WERE LIARS. This is a look at what "a perfect world" looks like on the inside and how it unravels once one of the players sees it for what it is. Pitch perfect in both plotting and character development.
--Carol Fitzgerald, Book Reporter The must-read contemporary novel so far this year is definitely E. Lockhart's stellar We Were Liars, a rich, stunning summer mystery with a sharp twist that will leaving you dying to talk about the book with a pal or ten. --Sonia Charaipotra, Parade A haunting tale about how families live within their own mythologies. Sad, wonderful, and real. --Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies and Leviathan I've fallen in love with every E. Lockhart book I've ever read (and I've read them all), but We Were Liars blows them all out of the water. Dark, gripping, heartrending, and terrifyingly smart, this book grabs you from the first page--and will never let go. -- Robin Wasserman, author of The Waking Dark Spectacular. --Lauren Myracle, author of Shine, The Infinite Moment of Us, and TTYL A haunting, brilliant, beautiful book. This is E. Lockhart at her mind-blowing best. -- Sarah Mlynowski, author of Don't Even Think About It and Gimme a Call Beautiful and disturbing. --Justine Larbalestier
Stunningly sharp. . . . will sear itself into your memory. --Christian Science Monitor A haunting psychological thriller. --The Guardian This is a brilliant new novel by E. Lockhart. I've always adored a good generational drama and this is deeply fascinating reading and soaked in suspense. And the ending is utterly spooky. --Martin Short, including WE WERE LIARS in his top 3 books of 2014 "We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is a book as tragic as it is interesting." --USAToday.com, Must-Read Romances "Utterly immersive story of family privilege, young love and insurmountable tragedy." --Salisbury Post The mystery driving the plot is a shocking punch in the face that will stay with you long after you finish. --Hypable.com. Hypable-Weekend Reading
"There's no preparing for the shocker of an ending."
--SLJ.com "This month marks the publication of another fine YA novel destined to extend beyond the teen set. 'We Were Liars, ' by E. Lockhart is quite simply amazing." --The Missourian
This book has everything I want from a summer read: a gorgeous setting that I can imagine I'm vacationing in; flawed, unreliable, sometimes infuriating characters; and a twity-turny psychological mystery that is impossible to put down. --RookieMag.com We Were Liars is amazing. I felt run over by it . . . .Emily has done something incredible here. --Paul O. Zelinsky
"Goose bump-inducing." --BuzzFeed.com, YA Novels to Watch Out for Spring 2014
About the Author
e. lockhart wrote the New York Times bestsellers We Were Liars and Genuine Fraud. Her other books include Fly on the Wall, Dramarama, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks, and the Ruby Oliver Quartet: The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Boys, and Real Live Boyfriends. Visit her online at emilylockhart.com, and follow @elockhart on Twitter.
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Top reviews from Australia
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Initially I called a drama until the last part when all was revealed.
Then it became a thriller as the tale built rapidly to a conclusion that I did not see coming until I couldn't avoid seeing it.
At times I was a little annoyed with some of the characters, the sense of entitlement that seems to accompany those with money.
I would recommend this book to any one
looking for something different from their usual genres. It's a relatively short read but is written well enough to keep you connected to it.
The writing bugged me- it had all those signs of faux literary pretentiousness. Maybe introducing younger readers into such a writing style is a good idea, but it just isn't to my liking.
Cady was annoying.... beyond annoying. I kept reading because I liked Gat, not for Cady.
The twist was a little too obvious but it still hit hard.
Not bad for a quick YA read, but don't let the hype fool you.
I laughed and I cried (bawling in fact!) if you're struggling to read this book, don't give up - it gets so much better! This story was heartbreakingly beautiful and had me guessing right until the end when it all made sense! I came to love the unique writing style and finished the book with a sad smile on my face.
It had been years since I read a book cover to cover, but while visiting family I thought I might pass some time reading samples. I found myself captivated by the beautiful simplicity of this book and read it through.
It made me feel, made me wonder. Reminded me of how once upon a time I would read for hours and hours, entranced by the magic of words. It managed to capture a nostalgic feeling of excitement to explore a universe of words, with the vibrance and youthfulness to draw me back but with the maturity and complexity to still satisfy me.
This has got me reading again, and has earned a place in my memories for doing so.
I loved this book
It was beautiful, it taught a lesson, it makes you think
It makes you cry
I recomend this book to anyone who loved small spaces or how it feels to float.
Top reviews from other countries
What works : Great, unusual wrtiing techniques and a genuine twist that sheds light on what you’ve already read.
What doesn’t : As narrator, Cadence is passive to a frustrating extent. The build-up to the big reveal has a few too many dull periods, forcing the narrator’s penchant for the dramatic to compensate.
Cadence Sinclair (Cady) comes from a rich, well-to-do family. So well-to-do, in fact, that they have the luxury of vacationing on their own priavte island every summer. It is this island, Beechwood, that is the heart of Cady’s narrative; the summers she spent there with her childhood companions. The inseperable foursome; Cady, Johnny, Mirren and Gat – affectionately termed ‘the Liars’ – treasure their Beechwood idyll, but when Cady has a mysterious accident during ‘summer fifteen’, the four become divided as Cady searches for the truth.
Lockhart’s clever techniques (as Cady herself declares, ‘I like a twist of meaning’) give vivid representation to ‘the Liars’ as Cady simultaneously struggles with discovering the reality of what has happened to her, the conflicts within her family and the conflicts within herself. ‘The Liars’ – freespirited dreamers – are a contrast with the rest of the Sinclair family -ignorant and repressed. Through these relationships, Lockhart explores social commentary on class, family hierarchy and expectations, while (very) slowly building suspense, and the narrative is as much about the trials of the Sinclairs as it is about Cady’s quest.
Lockhart’s aim to enhance the narrative by making Cady herself a writer, describing her feelings in overly dramatic imagery, often feels like filler while the story takes significant time to develop. However, Cady`s creative reimaginings of fairytales reflect the narrative while dealing with her inner turmoil – the matters she (frustratingly) won’t confront in reality. Cady passivity, given the gravity of the situation, is neither believable, nor likeable.
Though Cady’s shortcomings make her hard to relate to and detract from the reality of the narrative, Lockhart’s various writing styles are strong and endearing, making the novel an overall enjoyable read. The big reveal evoked an audible response while reading – a sure sign of a shocking twist – and retrospectively strengthens the narrative as a whole. Lockart has impressively painted an evocative picture of a family portrait being ripped to pieces alongside a tale of suspense.
Not your typical straightforward YA novel, though it has all the necessary ingredients like a teenage crush on a dark handsome outsider in the family, her volatile relationships with her single mother, her estranged father, and her aunts, and her hoary and extremely patriarchal grandfather, who’s a little of a tyrant like King Lear with her 3 fawning daughters dependent on his goodwill.
Lockhart’s writing is crisp and sharp, and the characterisation refreshingly rich and layered, where even the minor characters like each of Cady’s younger cousins, whom the older kids call the Littles, are distinct and unique. The dialogue is also authentic, and there are quite a few quotable lines that bear committing to memory, like “Silence is a protective coating over pain”, a warning Cady’s mom gives her not to bring up distressing memories when Grandma Tipper dies and leaves Grandpa Harris a broken shell of a man, and Mirren, Cady’s cousin’s mantra, “Be a little kinder than you have to”, that proves to be a life source of sorts for Cady.
The novel is filled with secrets and lies, and unspoken griefs, and the shock of the twist when it comes, does take one’s breath away. Definitely a credible author, whose work I would want to check out in the near future.
Although the story was at first intriguing, I found that I quickly became bored of the storyline and uninterested in what was happening due to the repetitiveness of the plot. The actual storyline in We Were Liars didn’t make a lot of sense and I found that overall it was missing the progression of a grounded and coherent plot line. While Lockhart’s writing was emotive and colourful, the story was overall underwhelming, monotonous and dull. While I did enjoy the little ‘fairytales’ about the King and Princesses that Lockhart threw in randomly throughout the book, and found that the symmetry between them and the actual story made for an interesting deduction for the audience to ‘read between the lines,’ which was where my enthusiasm for this book ended.
On a more positive note, the twist at the end of this novel was shocking, heart-breaking and absolutely unpredictable. I had no idea that Lockhart would choose to do what she did, and thought that this choice did allow for some sense of normality and understanding in the book. There were a lot of intricate character relationships portrayed, involving love, trust (or a lack of it) and a strong and resilient family bond, that would not be broken no matter how much they seemed to be falling apart. Cadence’s ‘madness’ was a point of interest in the book; Lockhart managed to subtly use moments such as the endless pills she was taking and her desire to own nothing material to successfully portray this. However I think if she wanted to make this emotive or profound she would need to emphasise the ‘madness’ even more.
One character who I found intriguing was Gat. He was the obvious choice for Cadence, but I never felt satisfied with the relationship between Cadence and Gat. I enjoyed their love for each other, and thought that Cadence’s lust for someone she could not have would be very relatable for a lot of readers. However I found that Gat’s hostility towards her was frustrating and would have preferred if Lockhart kept to a more ‘Romeo and Juliet’ storyline, keeping their forbidden love alive. In the end I think if I were to describe the book in one word it would be messy.
The Sinclair’s go to their private island every summer but when an accident happens, Cadence is deeply affected by it. She can’t think about it, and others refuse to talk to her about it. She has been told by the doctors that it is best to let the memories come back slowly. After a trauma of this magnitude she needs to figure it out herself. Cadence is medicated and struggles day to day but being on the island makes her more determined to figure out the truth and slowly but surely the events of the past come stumbling back to her.
We Were Liars is a brilliantly written novel. It is intriguing and can genuinely be described as a real page turner. Lockhart has created an eery atmosphere which is perfect for the unraveling of this mystery. The isolation of the island reflects the isolation of Cadence Sinclair and you are desperate for her to figure this mystery out. As a reader, you are filled with the feeling of mystery and intrigue and this book will keep you on edge until the very end.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is available now.