We Were Liars is about the Sinclairs, an ideal WASPy family: the patriarch, his three daughters, and their families. In summers, the clan retreats to its private island off Martha’s Vineyard. We’re told that ‘no one is a criminal’, ‘addict’ or ‘failure’ in the family; that they’re all athletic, tall and handsome, with their wide smiles and square chins. The narrator, Cadence Sinclair, is the eldest grandchild; she’s sick of being forced to act ‘normal’ and composed, and feels – along with her contemporaries on the island – that the family focuses too much on money and competition.
We Were Liars is a readable, intriguing YA novel; it’s fairly well-written, and is based on an interesting story, which many readers will relate to. At times, I felt the plot was unrealistic; however, I don’t feel this took away from the quality of the book. The narrator’s wry, intelligent voice, characteristic to so many YA books is entertaining, although sometimes tedious. The only aspect of the book that made me cringe slightly was the sweet but annoying voice of Gat, always pondering morality in a naive and condescending way.
Overall, I would recommend this book if you are looking for a solid, good-quality YA book – but don’t expect much of it as an adult book. It’s funny, well-executed and has a clever ending that you won’t expect.
My Ratings (out of 10 As):