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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

We Were Liars


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.

Ever so often a book comes along that sets the Internet ablaze. We Were Liars by E Lockhart is one of them. The novel has already been named one of Time magazine’s best books of 2014 so far.

That’s pretty incredible for a young adult novel, but it’s easy to see why. The book challenges the idea of privilege and proves that “money can’t buy you love.”

In We Were Liars we meet the Sinclairs, an elite American family who holiday on their private island off the coast of Massachusetts ever summer. Cady Sinclair loves these long summers as it means she can spend time with her favorite cousins, Merris and Johnny, and also Gat, whose father is seeing one of Cady’s aunts.

Even though he is viewed as an outsider by the family, Cady and Gat fall hopelessly in love. Her grandfather, Harris Sinclair, disapproves of the relationship, but the pair continue to steal moments to be together. Meanwhile, the older Sinclairs scramble to win Harris’s favor to try and secure their inheritance. Cady’s mother goes as far as to threaten the couple with separation if Cady doesn’t plead with the old man on her behalf.

We Were Liars

It is a hopeless situation for the star-crossed lovers. The four friends start resenting their family’s greed and the unfairness of their situation and hatch a plan to show their dissent. But then a terrible accident takes place and Cady finds herself removed from everyone she knows and loves until she has fully recovered. It is only after a few summers have passed that Cady returns to the island.

I’ll leave my synopsis there as I don’t want to give anything away. Just know that the book promises an explosive ending that will leave you reeling.

We Were Liars is highly readable, and like all good love stories, will leave your heartstrings twanging. It’s beautifully written, fast-paced, and reveals just enough at the right moments to keep you guessing.

Plus the teenage cast are just the right mix of innocent and political to make them believable (and highly likeable too!)


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