July 30, 2015

Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

July 30, 2015

We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart
Series: Standalone
Publication: Delacorte Press on May 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover, 225 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Family, Romance
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.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

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

We Were Liars.  I've been meaning to read this book ever since its 2014 release.  Yet, the book never quite made its way into my hands - until now.

This book is short and . . . not so sweet.  It's a beautifully-written, haunting read.  You'll either love it or hate it once you contemplate it.  The more you think, the more you'll realize.  Not all truths are good ones.

I don't even know where to start.  The first few chapters going through the book, it felt like a yawn-fest.  It was bo-ring.  Too many characters, too many names to place without faces - I just couldn't keep track of the Sinclair family members.  Some passages certainly stood out among others, however, and I began to gain interest in the text.

There has been quite a load of commentary on E. Lockhart's writing style in this book.  At first, the writing seems very disjointed and redundant - not impressive at all.  But to fully appreciate the masterpiece E. Lockhart has created, you must take a full step back to examine the whole picture.  E. Lockhart?  She's a genius.  She warps words around her finger, bending and twisting the text as she pleases - along with our emotions.  She is not an author to be taken lightly.  There is a distinctive yet hazy feel to the entire narrative she weaved . . . and personally, I loved it.

Lockhart is also an expert at dropping hints.  If you keep a careful eye while reading, you may piece together the mystery well before the final page is turned.  And even though I did guess the twist, somehow it still came as a shock.  It's not anything new, but E. Lockhart makes it feel that way.

My first impression upon finishing?  The book was okay.  It wasn't a favorite or a least favorite: It was right in the sweet center of the rating scale.  But the more I thought about the text, about how it all came together, the many subtle clues, the more my rating improved.  I didn't think the book was impactful or memorable until I finished and realized that I loved the book all along.

I hold a sense of deep appreciation for books as this one: Books that make you rethink the pages.  Books that are able to reach you well beyond its pages.

And this book certainly does.  It certainly will.

We Were Liars will haunt readers well after the final page is turned.

author image

Julia Anne

I'm a teen with a refined taste for good books and great writing, currently living in Honolulu, HI. I'm a reader. A dreamer. And an aspirant writer. One day I have hopes to travel the world, but for now, I'll settle with venturing through the written works I read.


  1. I loved this book so much and has become one of my favorites. I found every chapter captivating, but I understand how some of it didn't work well with you! It was so hard for me to keep track of the characters because they were a lot! And I had to look at the map of the island (at the beginning of the book) just so I know who and where the characters were :P Still glad you loved this book though! It was so haunting yet beautiful!

    Jillian @ Jillian's Books

    1. At first the book just wasn't working for me, but it continually improved as I read on. And although We Were Liars isn't an absolute favorite of mine, I think it'll be forever etched into my memory. As you said, E. Lockhart has such a beautiful yet haunting way with words. Glad to hear you enjoyed the book, Jillian!

      Julia Anne

  2. I haven't read this one and that's mainly because of all the mixed reviews that there are on Goodreads. After reading this review, however, I definitely have to pick this one up! This looks great :D

    Found your blog mentioned by Rachel at APCB. Can't wait to see u co blogging over there!

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

    1. Hi Alex!! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog.

      Yeah - there were a TON of mixed reviews/feedback on this one. At first, I actually didn't like it, but when I thought about it . . . WOW. Definitely give We Were Liars a try! I look forward to hearing your thoughts when you do. :)

      Julia Anne

  3. This book was one of my absolute favorites of 2015. Unlike you I loved it from the first pages and through the whole because the writing style was unlike anything I'd read before. I also really liked Cadence, I'm not sure how I'd feel about her IRL but as a character I cared about her and most of the others. My favorite thing in We Were Liars was how the ending left me heartbroken but with a hopeful feeling at the same time - that is not something many authors can pull off.
    Lovely review. :)

    PS: Your blog is so so SO pretty. :)

  4. I've been seeing this book around so much - there's so much hype... so much, that it kind of put me off. Everyone who has read it has recommended it, but I'm not really sure if it's my thing. My sister owns the book, so maybe I'll read it now (because of your review!), as it's only really short. Nice review :)

    - Denise @ Confessions of a Book Addict

  5. I really struggled with this book, like you said the beginning was so slow and I just got bored so never got much further then the first few chapters. But one of my friends kept telling me that I had to read it because it was just SO AMAZING. So instead I read a spoiler review just so I could know what all the hype was about. And yeah ok, the ending seemed like a clever thing, but then at the same time I felt like the only reason my friend liked it was because of the ending, and in my opinon, who wants to struggle through an entire book just for the ending?

  6. I loved this book, but I really hated the ending.


peach print | BLOG DESIGN BY Labinastudio | Header Illustration by Freepik.