“A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
Author: E.Lockhart Published: 2014 Pages: 227
The blurb for this book (written above) sounded extremely interesting and made me immediately want to read it. The protagonist in the novel is Cadence Sinclair, a teenager who appears to have a wealthy family, although her mother and father had a messy divorce and as a result, she does not feel completely satisfied with her life. In terms of a synopsis, I’m still not entirely sure what happened myself, so it’s best if I don’t attempt to give you one. Lockhart provided an interesting insight from the perspective of a complicated, strange and slightly confused character, with an underlying element of insanity that I could not pinpoint until the end.
Although the story was at first intriguing, I found that I quickly became bored of the storyline and uninterested in what was happening due to the repetitiveness of the plot. The actual storyline in We Were Liars didn’t make a lot of sense and I found that overall it was missing the progression of a grounded and coherent plot line. While Lockhart’s writing was emotive and colourful, the story was overall underwhelming, monotonous and dull. While I did enjoy the little ‘fairytales’ about the King and Princesses that Lockhart threw in randomly throughout the book, and found that the symmetry between them and the actual story made for an interesting deduction for the audience to ‘read between the lines,’ which was where my enthusiasm for this book ended.
On a more positive note, the twist at the end of this novel was shocking, heart-breaking and absolutely unpredictable. I had no idea that Lockhart would choose to do what she did, and thought that this choice did allow for some sense of normality and understanding in the book. There were a lot of intricate character relationships portrayed, involving love, trust (or a lack of it) and a strong and resilient family bond, that would not be broken no matter how much they seemed to be falling apart. Cadence’s ‘madness’ was a point of interest in the book; Lockhart managed to subtly use moments such as the endless pills she was taking and her desire to own nothing material to successfully portray this. However I think if she wanted to make this emotive or profound she would need to emphasise the ‘madness’ even more.
One character who I found intriguing was Gat. He was the obvious choice for Cadence, but I never felt satisfied with the relationship between Cadence and Gat. I enjoyed their love for each other, and thought that Cadence’s lust for someone she could not have would be very relatable for a lot of readers. However I found that Gat’s hostility towards her was frustrating and would have preferred if Lockhart kept to a more ‘Romeo and Juliet’ storyline, keeping their forbidden love alive. In the end I think if I were to describe the book in one word it would be messy.