We Were Liars

LiarsThe newest YA novel by E. Lockhart, We Were Liars, follows the narrative of a young girl, Cadence Sinclair Eastman, from a privileged family who spends every summer on a private island off of Massachusetts with her cousins and one very special boy.  The summer of her fifteenth year something terrible happens which leaves her with memory loss, debilitating headaches, and the urge to give away all her possessions.  Returning to the island for a brief stay two years later, she tries to uncover what happened. (None of the family members will talk about it.)  Through her scattered and unreliable recollections, we piece together the image of a highly dysfunctional family torn apart by greed, prejudice, jealousy. The perfect veneer of the powerful Sinclair family is ripped away to reveal their true poverty of spirit, Cadence included.  The horrible accident which occurred the fifteenth year is the culmination of Cadence’s attempt to right her perception of the wrongs.  The author, Lockhart, does an interesting job using the voice of her main character in an almost poetic narrative prose to describe the people and events.  She does an outstanding job giving us glimpses and hints as to the character of the adults in the book, whereas the portrayal of the teenaged friends/cousins is less subtle.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it feels too forced and precocious for the voice of the young teen.  Overall, the book was very readable, the story engaging (although I did figure out the twist miles before the big reveal), but I would say the ending is unsatisfactory.  It goes out with a little puff after such emotional fireworks that precedes it.

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