I remember when We Were Liars came out hearing a lot of good things about and always planned on reading it. Now that I have, I can’t believe it took so long (or that it took it being free on iBooks) to get round to because I loved it; the story, the style, and the ending – which I kind of saw coming but prayed wasn’t the case.
Cadence (Cady) is fifteen and a Sinclair, a wealthy New England family (can you say Kennedy?) with square jaws and blonde hair. Every summer the family head to their own private island, including Cady’s cousins Johnny and Mirren – who are the same age – along with Gat, the nephew of Cady’s aunt. Collectively they are known as the Liars (I seem to have missed why).
Over the course of each summer, the Liars are inseparable. Their lives sound idyllic, lounging by the beach, going out on the boats. But of course they aren’t. Beneath the surface their lives are those of typical teenagers with all the confusions about love and life in general. Add to this the fact that the recent death of their grandmother is slowly imploding their family and what they call Summer Fifteen isn’t all it as perfect as it seems. Eventually it all comes to a head and Cady ends up being dragged from the ocean half-drowned.
How this drama plays out is told from Cady’s point of view in snatches as she recovers from her accident, which caused amensia, and slowly remembers what happened. The truth is more complicated than it first seems and this helps keep you guessing as a reader and draws you in, as does the way the book is written. The sentences are short and, at times, broken across lines. It’s a style I’ve come across before but not often and it was a nice change from what I’ve been reading recently, as was the book (I rarely read young adult, though this didn’t feel like that). Which brings me full circle to my recommendation – which is definitely worth a read. Loved it!