Wednesday, July 9, 2014

We Were Liars

We Were Liars
By E. Lockhart
Delacorte Press, 2014. 240 pages. Young Adult

Cadence "Cady" Sinclair Easton is the eldest grandchild of an old-money family, one headed by a patriarch who owns a private island off Cape Cod. Every summer, the family gathers on the island, and Cadence, her cousins Johnny and Mirren, and their friend Gat (the eponymous "Liars"), have been inseparable during those summers since age eight. But during their fifteenth summer, Cadence suffers a horrible accident, one that leaves her with amnesia, prone to debilitating migraines, and addicted to pain pills.

Two summers later, Cadence returns to the island to pierce together just what happened on the night everything changed, the night her family won't talk about, and the night she can't remember.

I've come to expect a lot out of E. Lockhart's novels, and I'm happy to report that We Were Liars did not disappoint! Cady's voice is sparse, yet authentic, and her descriptions of pain both emotional and physical were so deft, they made me cringe. The family drama that unfolds on the page is heart-rending, but Lockhart manages not to demonize the "beautiful Sinclair family," which only makes the tension more taut and their drama cut deeper. (And I'll bet you five bucks you don't see the ending coming!) A well-wrought novel that deserves to be on everyone's to-read list this year.


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