Saturday, December 26, 2015

We Were Liars -- E. Lockhart. (Book Review)

Reading and a snack! 

The book is about a young girl named Cadence Sinclair Easton who comes from an old-money family that owns their own private island off of Cape Cod.  The extended family gathers each summer staying at various houses on the island.  Cadence has been inseparable from her cousins Johnny and Mirren and friend of the family Gat for years.  They call themselves the four “Liars”.   During the fifteenth summer a mysterious injury happened to Cadence, which keeps her off the island for one year in Europe with her father.  The book takes you back and forth thru present day and the past of the four “Liars”.  Cadence is suffering from debilitating migraines and using a large amount of painkillers to help her, which leaves her in a haze to figure out what happened the fifteenth summer.   During the time back on the island the reader is left to believe that Cadence is hanging out with the “Liars” at one of the houses that seems to have been abounded by the family members.  

During the book Cadence works on piecing together what happened that summer by reflecting back on what lead to the incident.  The author builds up the suspense throughout the book by giving short side stories and leaving mystery into why the “Liars” in present day Cadence mind aren’t really doing much. 

The story also tells about Cadence falling in love with Gat.  The issues that arise from this love story is that she is not sure if he has a girlfriend or not in the beginning and he is also not of the same race as her.  Cadence grandfather who is the patriarch of the family does not believe in mixing races and tensions rise between them.   In my mind this also touches on the topic of race and generation issues, as Cadence doesn’t see the big deal while her grandfather does.   

The author takes the reader through a wild journey of the past and present that is easy to follow for the reader.  Cadence begins to remember bits and pieces of the fifteenth summer, which was the summer after her grandmother died and the aunts where fighting constantly.   The “Liars” only wanted to be together and have the same summer that they had in previous years.  The book touches on a hard topic of family member loss, especially of a grandmother.  In this day and age the topic no one talks about much is that you never know a person’s true colors until a larger sum of money is involved is 100% accurate in this book.  The aunts begin fighting over every little thing in the house worth any money, which is causing stress on several characters/family members. 

The book touches on the importance of family during a traumatic event as well.   Cadence parents who were divorced both stepped up to try and help her come to terms with what happened during that summer.  Cadence cannot accept reality so the additional family members also help by acting as if things are somewhat normal while she is back on the island trying to find out what happened. 

I didn’t see the ending coming while reading the book, you could feel it leading up to a big event happening, but with the moving back and forth between present and past it was hard to see exactly what was around the corner.  This is a very fast read and a book I couldn’t put down.  I needed to know what exactly happened that summer.  I would suggest reading this book if you need a complete brain shut down as once you start reading it will be very difficult to concentrate on anything else.

My rating 4/5
Author website
Publisher Delacorte Press
ISBN 9780385741262
Length 240
Format hardback

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