Review: ‘We Were Liars’ by E. Lockhart

When I began reading ‘We Were Liars’ by E. Lockhart, I was full of hope, looking forward to a story of mystery, intrigue and secrets. This hope quickly vanished, and I’ve been thinking about this book for a while, because of how disappointed I was.

‘We Were Liars’ tells the story of Cadence Sinclair, of the wealthy and seemingly perfect Sinclair family. She belongs to a group of friends called The Liars, alongside Mirren, Johnny, and her love interest, Gat. They spend their summers on a private island. Then Cadence has an accident, she loses her memory and must uncover the secrets of that fateful summer.

This book had promise, but it loses its way in boring characters, a lacklustre plot and a mediocre twist that is crammed into the last few pages.

The Liars are supposedly trouble makers, but they aren’t. They do pretty much nothing throughout the entire book, except have strange, abstract conversations that no teenagers would actually have. Gat is the only interesting character – self-aware, intelligent, thoughtful and someone you can sympathise with; maybe this is because he is never fully accepted by the Sinclair family, and you can understand why he feels left out. Cadence herself is pretentious, whiny and annoying, Mirren and Johnny are forgettable, and the rest of the supporting characters become such an undifferentiated mess that I couldn’t even remember who was who.

Also a lot

Of the book is


Like this

And it is so


And then suddenly it changes into long paragraphs of overdramatic, run-on metaphors that the narrator uses to describe her headaches. I know writing style is a matter of taste, but I found it so haphazard and inconsistent that it’s all I could focus on.

The book had ambition, and I applaud it for that. The plot had all the elements for an amazing mystery, but sadly, it fell completely flat, and so much potential was just wasted.

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About Author

Nerisse Appleby

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May 2022
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