We Were Liars Review

wewereliars.jpgWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart


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.

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

About the Author: E. Lockhart is the author of the highly acclaimed New York Times bestseller We Were Liars and the Ruby Oliver quartet (The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Boys, and Real Live Boyfriends), as well as Fly on the Wall, Dramarama, and How to Be Bad (the last with Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle). Her novel The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks was a Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book, a finalist for the National Book Award, and winner of a Cybils Award for Best Young Adult Novel. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Genre: young adult, mystery & thriller, contemporary, fiction

More Info: hardcover, 225 pages, published by Random House Children’s Books on May 13, 2014



I read We Were Liars for Aentee’s (Read at Midnight and @readatmidnight) #ReadThemAllThon. Here is my TBR pile for this reading challenge. I was reading this to achieve the Cerulean City: Cascade Badge – read a book that might make you cry. While the book was sad, due to a horrible accident and heart wrenching twist, I didn’t cry. Here is my current trainer’s card, updated to the point that this review is published (8/17/16 at 10:00):


{Trainer’s Card graphic: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Pokemon-Trainer-Card-Templates-54644955

Pixel Charmeleon graphic: http://fandomgirl2014.deviantart.com/art/Charmander-Pixel-505951411}


Partial Spoilers

First, I want to know who dubbed the group, the Liars. Was it Cadance, Johnny, Mirren, Gat, or someone else in the family?

Second, how did I not see it? By chapter 11, my guess was that Cadence had attempted (or succeeded) to kill herself. BTW, I was wrong. I won’t spoil the ending, because that would just be cruel. The finale is the masterpiece of the novel. You honestly just have to read it for yourself. Knowing the truth, the mystery, I want to go back and read the book again to determine what events are separate from the others.

Looking back, all of the pieces fit together. E. Lockhart skillfully placed hints across the book. I totally didn’t see it until the final part, where the truth was stated explicitly. I know The Night is Dark and Full of Books felt detached from the characters and picked up on the hints which spoiled the mystery. See her review: Spoiler Free Review: We Were Liars.

The writing style was so different. When seemingly in Cadance’s head, the sentences are short and choppy. It was kind of hard for me to read. However, I do believe that the short sentences are representative of the human thought. The brain works in crazy ways, add to that that Cadence has amnesia after a bad accident. Her brain is a place of infinite tangles, emotion, ideas. When there is dialogue, the only sentences represented are solely speech. There is seldom extra explanation or description. Then there are the other sections with more graceful prose, more like a “regular” book. Also, there are countless metaphors and similes. They flow into the writing and you have to do a double take to figure out if it is literal or figurative.

With each of these types of writing within the book, the reader can feel more or less connected to the characters. The perspective and emotion ranges significantly from different sections of the style.

How selfish are the adults to put their children through their fight for attention and money. The parents put their kids in the middle of a war they were not a part of, and so drove them to the ultimate breaking point. The grandpa was just as bad; he was so manipulative.

“Sometimes I wonder if reality splits. […] there are parallel universes in which different events have happened to the same people. An alternate choice has been made, or an accident had turned out differently. Everyone has duplicates of themselves in these other worlds. Different selves with different lives, different luck.


Variations. By the end, I wanted there to be a variation for Cadence. I was hoping the truth was one of her fairy tales or her alternate universes. No one should have to like with that horror and guilt.

Cadence endures, she is the survivor. Johnny is unserious. Gat is the activist. Mirren is the dreamer, she regrets.

I liked the ending and I didn’t. After the reveal, I felt like the conclusion was insignificant compared to everything else. Yet what I loved was that the beginning and ending come full circle. The finish connected to the start with a play on words, a “twist of meaning.” 

Overall great book. I didn’t feel as immersed in this world or as connected to the characters. If I were, I think I would have actually cried. There were a lot of names that could be confusing, but the book has a nifty map and family tree to guide you. Don’t be scared to read this book, it is surprisingly breathtaking.

“Always do what you’re afraid to do.”

Buy it here:







8 thoughts on “We Were Liars Review

  1. touchedbythepage says:

    I’ve read this book two years ago and I still remember how I never connected with the characters but how much I loved the poetic writing and style. I don’t think I’ve cried either. To me it was more about the mystery and how some situations turned out very weird but in hindsight, made perfect sense (which I loved). And omg yes! I had to do double takes all the time to figure out whether it was literal or figurative, got me confused so many times haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Bookworm Girls 123 says:

    I didn’t actually read your review, simply because I didn’t want to be spoiled. I feel like this book has always had so much hype, and it’s always turned me away, but I really feel like I need to read it! Did you like it?


    • Jessica @ Pore Over the Pages says:

      I did like it, actually, despite my favoritism of YA fantasy. It was a little…morbid. Though, the twist was insane. I didn’t cry as some people said I would, but I also didn’t guess the mystery until it was revealed. I was somewhat detached from the characters (probably the reason I didn’t cry/feel as shocked). When I went back and re-read it, with the background knowledge, I could see how seamlessly the author integrated the details. After the reveal, the conclusion wasn’t as satisfying in comparison. The writing is very different, but beautiful. Overall, it was a great book. For me, however, it’s one of those books where you don’t always want to go back to it, because you can’t unread what you already read, discovered…if that makes any sense.
      Hope this helps.

      Jessica @poreoverthepages

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Bookworm Girls 123 says:

        Really? I totally didn’t expect that! It still sounds quite interesting though. Alright, I’ll definitely have to read it! That makes perfect sense… In a very vague, semi confusing way. XD Thanks so much!


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