Bite Sized Book Review: We Were Liars by e. lockhart

January 21, 2020

Welcome to my second Bite-Sized Book Review, where I give you my quick takes on all of my newest reads! 


The Book: We Were Liars (Delacorte Press, 2014)

The Author: The writer - E. Lockhart - deliberately spells her name with lower-case letters, but this blog hosting server doesn't let me write it that way. Her resume includes a slew of awards, nominations, and weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. 

The Genre: Young Adult contemporary suspense that peppers in elements of poetry and the supernatural.  

The Plot: During the summer of her fifteenth year, Cadence Sinclair was in an accident that leaves her with minor cases of amnesia and drug addiction. Two years later, Cadence returns to the location where the accident occurred, her family's private island. She spent every summer there growing up, playing with her cousins and their friend, Gat. Upon her return, she tries to piece together the events surrounding her accident, and this leads to her explore her entire past on the island, including laughter, love, rebellion, and the pitfalls of being young in the summer. 

The Verdict: I knew nothing about this story, and I am being deliberately vague in the summary here to give any potential readers the same experience. Reading this book was like opening a gift to myself - one I never knew I wanted. I shy away from books that threaten to be melodramatic or idealize white privilege (I hate The Great Gatsby, for instance), but while this book's plot might sound like a wealthy suburb's after-school special, it reads like a heartfelt experience that sticks with you long after you close the book. 

For Fans Of: Young Adult readers who like their work to read a little more literary and prefer to spend more time with character than plot. 

What You Need To Know: The ending has a twist that I figured out early on, but a friend who also read the book didn't see coming. Even though I knew what would happen, I straight-up ugly cried when I got there. 

Best Aspect Of The Book: The writer's voice is a master class on how to blend prose and poetry. It is engaging while simultaneously giving us a feeling for the privileged background of the protagonist in a way that is both truthful yet doesn't turn us off to the young leading lady. 

Do I Recommend It: Overall, yes, but this definitely isn't a book for everyone. If it is for you, be ready to give up a night of sleep while you breeze through this amazing and engaging read. Once you pick it up, the mix of prose and poetry will spellbind you, and you won't want to put it down. 


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Jennie Jarvis

Currently seeking representation

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