By Lisha Gomes | Opening Doorz Editorial | October 19, 2020
Book Review: We Were Liars
Author: E Lockhart
Rating: 4.5 / 5
The Essence: We Were Liars is a tale of love, romance and tragedy. It is also one of secrets and lots of lies. If you have read the book and anyone asks you about the ending, lie! However, that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to be mesmerized if you happen to get a spoiler of the end, and still decide to read the book. Go, grab it!
We Were Liars, the plot…
We Were Liars (2014) by E. Lockhart is a gripping, thrilling and beautifully executed novel that will keep you hooked, turning pages, eager to know what the end holds in store. Cadence Sinclair Eastman, the protagonist and the oldest grandchild of the Sinclair clan narrates this intense novel about the Sinclairs.
The Sinclairs are ‘athletic, tall and handsome’ with wide smiles and broad shoulders. ‘No one is a criminal, No one is an addict, No one is a failure’. They are rarely ones to exhibit weak emotions and stand strong and bold in the face of adversity. The rich Sinclairs are glamorous faces to the outside world but as the novel progresses, secrets begin to unfold.
Harris and Tipper (the grandparents) along with their three beautiful daughters and grandchildren spend every summer on Beachwood Island, the private Sinclair Island. The island has four houses, one for each of the daughters and the grandparents. Here, the three older cousins, Cadence, Mirren and Johnny, along with Gat who is not part of the family form a small clan of their own, in spite of not being very alike and call themselves ‘The Liars’. This perfect, beautiful family meets year after year and though ‘The Liars’ don’t are not closely-knitted when away, they still manage to rekindle the spark every summer, when they meet.
Cadence is just another teenager you can relate to with her sarcasm, wit, rebellious attitude and family problems. However, unlike other teenagers, she is not allowed to break down and cry. She has to be strong, because she can, because she is told to. As the years pass, Candence and Gat grow and fall for each other. Don’t be mistaken, this is not your usual love story. Their love story is much more complicated than you think.
The secrets come tumbling out…
Cadence and her family is everything that Gat stands against. This particular summer meet brings about changes in Cadence’s ideas and decisions: she begins telling us secrets about the Sinclairs, secrets that are not as glamorous as they appear to be. Over the course of time, ‘The Liars’ make a decision that they later regret, one that cause an accident that changed almost everything.
E. Lockhart has a distinct way of keeping you drawn to this book. Even though is it just another Young Adult fiction, it is very different from the other books. The obvious difference is the manner in which Lockhart describes his characters. He doesn’t use sentences, only adjectives. Nowhere in the book does he describe the actual appearance of a character.
Mirren is described as sugar, curiosity and rain. Similarly, Johnny and Gat are described with a different set of adjectives that are apt for them. Apart from this, Lockhart’s use of Candence to narrate short stories is what holds the narrative together and keeps the mystery alive.
The end of the beginning…
There is no way you will fathom the ending of the book, but once you reach the end you will go right back to the start to figure out what you missed. This is a book you can’t keep down once you pick it because each page only gets you more engrossed and eager to know ‘what happens next’.
We Were Liars is a tale of love, romance and tragedy. It is also one of secrets and lots of lies. If you have read the book and anyone asks you about the ending, lie! However, that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to be mesmerized if you happen to get a spoiler of the end, and still decide to read the book. Lockhart has you hooked.
Go, grab it!
(Lisha Gomes is a third year BMM (Bachelor of Mass Media) student at St. Andrews College, Bandra, Mumbai. She is passionate about reading, enjoys singing and has also participated in a few dance shows. A regular in the college soccer team, she was a star performer for her school, Mary Immaculate Girls High School, Borivali).