Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

After hearing so much about this book, I was more than excited to finally pick this up. Alas, this was not the amazing contemporary I thought it’d be. If somebody asked me to recommend contemporaries, this probably would’t come up in that conversation.


Our main character’s name in this story is Cadence Sinclair. She comes from a privileged family, a family who puts on their best face forward no matter what the situation may be.

Then we have the rest of the Liars: Gat, Mirren, and Johnny. They are cousins. Each of the liars are distinctly unique, which made their interactions and relationships fascinating to read.

Gat was an especially intriguing character. Unlike the rest of the Liars and their families, Gat did not have the same beliefs and values of the traditional Sinclair. He’s of Indian heritage, his father having married into the family.

The two catastrophic events that Cadence has ever experienced are the parting of her father, and loving Gat. Both of these characters (her father and Gat) are represent the faults, for lack of a better word, in a Sinclair. This revelation makes Cadence more aware of her own character.


At the beginning of the story, we find that Cadence’s father has left her and her mother. The reason being he didn’t have it in him to be a Sinclair. Cadence and her mother carry on with their lives as proper Sinclairs should; spending their summer vacation on their family’s private island as per usual.

Cadence tells this story in a series of flashbacks with a few moments referencing to her current situation and state. We learn of her love for Gat and the family’s disapproval of their relationship. We learn of the arguments between Cadence’s mother and her aunts, pertaining to the future if the island’s properties.

The majority of the plot covered Cadence’s self discovery, her off-limits relationship with Gat, and family arguments. It wasn’t really a page-turner for me.

The twist at the end though, raised my rating. The ending was very emotional and after a bland (I use that word loosely) lead-up, I enjoyed the momentous closure.


The story takes place mainly on the Sinclair family island. Each of Cadence’s aunts and her mother, own their own estate. The Liars spend their time all over the island.


The author’s writing is very poetic. A lot of the book is written in broken sentences. I don’t usually like to read this way, but I understand the atmosphere she was trying to set. The imagery was beautiful though, with strong figurative language.


– The map. I love it when books have maps of the world the story is set in!
– Gat’s character.
– Cadence’s short stories. They were interesting to read, and added more insight to her circumstances.
– The ending.


– The writing style, specifically the structure. It’s really not my preferred way of reading.
– The plot line. It didn’t keep me as interested.


This was a nice short read. It’s not my favourite contemporary, but it still may appeal to some.


Did you guys enjoy this book? Tell me in the comments! As always, read on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s