We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Welcome to the world of the Sinclairs, where everybody is rich, golden, beautiful and dignified. Where life is rosy and easy, the wealth never runs out, the fun never stops, and the need to make a mark is a necessity.

Meet the Sinclair family patriarch Harris and his wife Tipper. They are the epitome of power, privilege, wealth and elegance, but sadly, the three daughters that they raised failed to live up to the Sinclair name.

Hope lies in their first borns.

Cousins Cadence, Johnny and Mirren are headstrong, passionate and intelligent. They are Sinclair children through and through. They open their hearts and their homes to an outsider, Gatwick, Johnny’s best friend, and the four of them call themselves the Liars, owing to their adventures and misadventures every summer at Beechwood, the family’s private island.

The summers roll by and the Liars grow up. And each summer, Cadence and Gatwick fall deeply in love, much to Granddad Harris’ displeasure.

The summer they turn fifteen, everything changes. Truths about the Sinclair daughters and their greedy pursuits of inheritance threaten to tear the family apart. The Liars are caught in the middle as their mothers force them to say and do things just to please Granddad Harris, and to make sure they are not forgotten in his will.

The summer they turn fifteen, everything changes. It is a secret, and no one is ever, ever supposed to know.

First off, no spoilers in this review. It’s a short read, a bit sophisticated for a young adult book, with a lot of symbolism and a lot of short chapters. It is sometimes poetic, often times dull. It jumps back and forth to the summer the Liars were fifteen and seventeen. Half the time I caught myself thinking “What the hell is going on with this family?”, but then I reached the great reveal, and then I had to grudgingly applaud the author for writing it the way she wrote it. Very well played, Ms Lockhart, very well played.

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