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We Were Liars

We Were Liars 11

by E. Lockhart
Publication Date: 23/07/2014
4/5 Rating 11 Reviews
RRP  $19.99 $17.25

The story of one family, one summer, and one act that may never be forgiven.

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 that will leave you reeling.

Read it.

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

'Thrilling, beautiful and blisteringly smart.utterly unforgettable.' John Green

'We Were Liars is heartbreaking, witty, beautiful and disturbing. E. Lockhart's best book to date.' Justine Larbalestier

'A haunting tale about how families live within their own mythologies. Sad, wonderful, and real.' Scott Westerfeld

General fiction (Children's / Teenage)
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What I’m reading right now…  Philip Pullman’s retellings of Grimm fairy tales. There are a lot of fairy tale references in We Were Liars, but I hadn’t read this collection until now.

My favourite book growing up (why?)… The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken. Orphans, an evil boarding school, a mysterious country mansion… there was nothing not to love.

My all time favourite book is (why?)…  Probably Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte. Orphans, an evil boarding school, a mysterious mansion…  my tastes haven’t changed much.

The book I would recommend everyone to read (why?)…  I am a feminist, and all my novels for teenagers itouch on equality and the social institutions that shape us. I recommend we all read The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women by Naomi Wolf. It’s an oldie, now, and controversial --  but Wolf’s articulation of the struggle between women, their bodies, and Western social institutions is still relevant. Plus, it is a fun read and great to argue about at dinner parties. We’d all have a good time. 

The book I wish I wrote…   Fight Club by Chuck Pahlanuik. It’s such a stylish thrill ride and at the same time it’s the inside of one guy’s crazy head. I definitely tried to do both those things with We Were Liars. 

My guilty reading pleasure is…  I am never guilty about reading. I read a lot of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher thrillers. No shame! Reacher is such a violent loony-pants. I love him. 

The book on my bookshelf that I have never read…  Shiver by Maggie Steifvater, which is a literary werewolf tale. I hear it’s wonderful but I am a little frightened to read it. 

The book that never should have been turned into a film…  John Irving’s wonderful novel A Prayer for Owen Meany became a film called Simon Birch. Yay, book! Glitter! Sparkles! Boo, movie. Heavily sentimental glop. 
My book is… the first suspense novel I have written. All the others were comedies.

I’ll never forget… your face, but I will need a reminder on your name. 

My favourite place is… the library.   

The most dangerous thing I have ever done is… heroin. Good thing I didn’t much enjoy it.

The first time I…  write a page of a new book is the hardest. Beginning is painful. 

I regret… acting the martyr. 

I remember… a lot of musical theater lyrics. 

I love… birthday cake.

I hate… passive aggressive behavior.

I wish… people were universally kind to animals.

I can’t say no to… Actually, I have very little trouble saying no.   

Yesterday, I… made roasted strawberry and buttermilk ice cream.
E. Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is the author of eight YA novels including the bestselling We Were Liars and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, a Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book, a finalist for the National Book Award, and recipient of the Cybils Award for best young adult novel.

She has a doctorate in English Literature from Columbia University and has taught composition, literature and creative writing. Her books have been translated into ten languages.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

4 / 5 (11 Ratings)
5 stars (3)
4 stars (7)
3 stars (2)
2 stars (1)
1 stars (0)
  • Just lie.

    by on

    This book really messes with you, it is so far from your standard YA novel. There is so much to talk about in terms of the themes, the characters, who you loved and who you hated. To me, it had a Gatsby-esque feel to it. But it's hard to talk about this book without giving it away, but it had me mesmerised and is highly, highly recommended!

  • Lockhart’s great writing style keeps it entertaining

    by on

    E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars offers a great insight into the lives of the Sinclairs. Following the story of Cadence we get a taste for what life is like living in a New England “old money” family on their summer getaway island. Their seemingly perfect lives are but a thin veneer for the troubles that boil under the surface. A short an enjoyable read, my only complain was that there was very little character development other than the broad generalisations placed upon the characters. While the ending was not surprising, it is a refreshing approach and Lockhart’s great writing style keeps it entertaining.

  • Not worth the hype

    by on

    The plot moves really quickly. Cadence is the main character, who isn't really very likeable. She's really a bit of a spoilt brat. She is part of a very rich All-American family who spent their summers on their private island near Martha's Vineyard.
    I don't really think saying more than that is wise, so I'll leave it there.

    I had issues with this book. If it was any longer I think I would have chucked this on my imaginary "Stuff to donate or give away" pile. I didn't like the weird writing style, for one.

    What is with the trend for weird, choppy, faux-literary writing style? It just pissed me off. I dislike authors not using capital letters at the best of times! It's like reading a toned down Tim Winton. I LOATHE Tim Winton's work with a burning passion, straight from the fires of Mordor, so of course anything that reminds me of Cloudstreet is going to get me a bit riled.

    Cady was really not likeable- none of them were, really, except Gat. The reasons why they weren't likeable weren't dealt with in any depth either. I don't think it matters that the book is short- it had room to deal with the underlying reasons for the conclusion. In fact, it didn't even deal with Cady's self styled personality trait- "I don't suffer fools". She states this three times in the novel but never shows that it even applies to her. In fact, she is a fool, so maybe she shouldn't suffer herself.

    Cady is a super unreliable narrator, not just for the amnesia thing. I found it hard to work out what parts were overwrought metaphor and what parts were real.

    I give the extra half star because this book did make me cry, which is a bit unusual. I'm a pretty hard reader to make cry! It was in relation to dogs, a surefire way to get me emotional!

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