Review: “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart provides complex read


“Be a little kinder than you have to,” reads “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart. According to reviewer Brooke Murphree, this novel produces quite the read to start off 2023. “This book was very mysterious as I started reading it,” Murphree said. “For the most part, I really enjoyed the messages in the book as Cadence tries to work through her own issues. I did grow attached to most of the characters, and the end was shocking for sure.”

“We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart was the first novel I finished in 2023. I received it for Christmas, and I admit I had felt a little iffy about it at first. At the center of E. Lockhart’s novel lives the prestigious Sinclair family, the family of Miss Cadence Sinclair. To the people of the outside world, the Sinclairs appear perfect to no fault. Although, those on the inside know it’s nothing but a mess of twisted wires.

Always do what you’re afraid to do.

— main character, Cadence Sinclair Eastman

Two years before the present time of the novel’s original setting, during “the summer of  (age) 15,” Cady Sinclair had an unfortunate accident. For two years she lived in isolation from her family and the rest of the outside world. At the start of “the summer of 17,” her mom finally allowed her to join the fun on the Sinclair private island. This summer her goals focus around finding out the truth of what happened during the summer of ’15 – and reconnecting with her partners in crime, “the liars,” aka her cousins Johnny, Marren and her first love Gat.

E. Lockhart’s novel does remarkably well at covering the oppression of teenagers in high-stress situations. The plot line and character relations stand magnificently written. As a reader, I knew the characters better than the other characters knew them. It did get slightly confusing around certain chapter switches, due to the book’s plot layout being tricky. For example, the story suddenly sunk into a flashback that I didn’t see coming – and had a hard time recognizing.

Over all the book deserves a 9/10. This story takes twisty, mysterious turns, and it gripped my heart through the climax of it all. I certainly recommend this book to young adult readers and mystery solvers.