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We Were Liars
Cover of We Were Liars
We Were Liars
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A New York Times Bestseller
One of James Patterson's "Favorite Thrillers for the Beach" (New York Times)
"Haunting, sophisticated . . . a novel so twisty and well-told that it will appeal to older readers as well as to adolescents
." —Wall Street Journal

"A rich, stunning summer mystery with a sharp twist that will leave you dying to talk about the book with a pal or ten." —Parade.com
"Thrilling, beautiful, and blisteringly smart, We Were Liars is utterly unforgettable." —John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars
"You're going to want to remember the title. Liars details the summers of a girl who harbors a dark secret, and delivers a satisfying, but shocking twist ending." —Breia Brissey, Entertainment Weekly
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 novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
"An ambitious novel with an engaging voice, a clever plot and some terrific writing." —New York Times Book Review

"No one should be talking about the shocking twist ending. What we can talk about is...[Lockhart's] razor-sharp portrayal of a family for whom keeping up appearances is paramount and, ultimately, tragic." —The Chicago Tribune

A New York Times Bestseller
One of James Patterson's "Favorite Thrillers for the Beach" (New York Times)
"Haunting, sophisticated . . . a novel so twisty and well-told that it will appeal to older readers as well as to adolescents
." —Wall Street Journal

"A rich, stunning summer mystery with a sharp twist that will leave you dying to talk about the book with a pal or ten." —Parade.com
"Thrilling, beautiful, and blisteringly smart, We Were Liars is utterly unforgettable." —John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars
"You're going to want to remember the title. Liars details the summers of a girl who harbors a dark secret, and delivers a satisfying, but shocking twist ending." —Breia Brissey, Entertainment Weekly
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 novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
"An ambitious novel with an engaging voice, a clever plot and some terrific writing." —New York Times Book Review

"No one should be talking about the shocking twist ending. What we can talk about is...[Lockhart's] razor-sharp portrayal of a family for whom keeping up appearances is paramount and, ultimately, tragic." —The Chicago Tribune

Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    2
  • Library copies:
    3
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.4
  • Lexile:
    600
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

Recommended for you

 
Awards-
Excerpts-
  • From the book 1

    Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family.

    No one is a criminal.

    No one is an addict.

    No one is a failure.

    The Sinclairs are athletic, tall, and handsome. We are old-money Democrats. Our smiles are wide, our chins square, and our tennis serves aggressive.

    It doesn't matter if divorce shreds the muscles of our hearts so that they will hardly beat without a struggle. It doesn't matter if trust-fund money is running out; if credit card bills go unpaid on the kitchen counter. It doesn't matter if there's a cluster of pill bottles on the bedside table.

    It doesn't matter if one of us is desperately, desperately in love.

    So much

    in love

    that equally desperate measures

    must be taken.

    We are Sinclairs.

    No one is needy.

    No one is wrong.

    We live, at least in the summertime, on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts.

    Perhaps that is all you need to know.



    2

    My full name is Cadence Sinclair Eastman.

    I live in Burlington, Vermont, with Mummy and three dogs.

    I am nearly eighteen.

    I own a well-used library card and not much else, though it is true I live in a grand house full of expensive, useless objects.

    I used to be blond, but now my hair is black.

    I used to be strong, but now I am weak.

    I used to be pretty, but now I look sick.

    It is true I suffer migraines since my accident.

    It is true I do not suffer fools.

    I like a twist of meaning. You see? Suffer migraines. Do not suffer fools. The word means almost the same as it did in the previous sentence, but not quite.

    Suffer.

    You could say it means endure, but that's not exactly right.



    My story starts before the accident. June of the summer I was fifteen, my father ran off with some woman he loved more than us.

    Dad was a middling-successful professor of military history. Back then I adored him. He wore tweed jackets. He was gaunt. He drank milky tea. He was fond of board games and let me win, fond of boats and taught me to kayak, fond of bicycles, books, and art museums.

    He was never fond of dogs, and it was a sign of how much he loved my mother that he let our golden retrievers sleep on the sofas and walked them three miles every morning. He was never fond of my grandparents, either, and it was a sign of how much he loved both me and Mummy that he spent every summer in Windemere House on Beechwood Island, writing articles on wars fought long ago and putting on a smile for the relatives at every meal.

    That June, summer fifteen, Dad announced he was leaving and departed two days later. He told my mother he wasn't a Sinclair, and couldn't try to be one, any longer. He couldn't smile, couldn't lie, couldn't be part of that beautiful family in those beautiful houses.

    Couldn't. Couldn't. Wouldn't.

    He had hired moving vans already. He'd rented a house, too. My father put a last suitcase into the backseat of the Mercedes (he was leaving Mummy with only the Saab), and started the engine.

    Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound,

    then from my eyes,

    my ears,

    my mouth.

    It tasted like salt and failure. The bright red shame of being unloved soaked the grass in front of our house, the bricks of the path, the steps to the porch. My heart spasmed among the peonies like a trout.

    Mummy snapped. She said to get hold of myself.

    Be normal, now, she said....
About the Author-
  • E. Lockhart is the author of the highly acclaimed, New York Times bestseller We Were Liars and the Ruby Oliver quartet (The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Boys, and Real Live Boyfriends), as well as Fly on the Wall, Dramarama, and How to Be Bad (the last with Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle). Her novel The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks was a Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book, a finalist for the National Book Award, and winner of a Cybils Award for Best Young Adult Novel. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.



Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 28, 2014
    In this noir YA drama, three privileged cousins and a friend meet each summer on a private island, where they confront first love and staggering losses. Reader Meyers does an excellent job with the main character, Cadence, whose dialogue requires the full range of emotions. At the beginning of the story, Cadence seems like a typical sullen teenager trying to find her place in the world and wondering why her boyfriend doesn’t write back to her. As the story continues and grows darker, however, she pieces together her spotty memories of an on-island accident that wrecked her health and distanced her from the family, a whole cast of characters that Meyers also voices. These characters include Cadence’s snobby mother and her two shrill, money-grubbing sisters, who spend the bulk of their summers trying to wheedle themselves into their father’s good graces and substantial inheritance. Where the narration falls short is with the grandfather, who gets a voice that is stereotypically gruff and shaggy, even in his rare tender moments. Ages 12–up. A Delacorte hardcover.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 17, 2014
    Cadence Sinclair Eastman, heiress to a fortune her grandfather amassed “doing business I never bothered to understand,” is the highly unreliable narrator of this searing story from National Book Award finalist Lockhart (The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks), which begins during her 15th summer when she suffers a head injury on the private island Granddad owns off Cape Cod. Cady vacations on Beechwood every year with her mother, two aunts, and—most importantly—the other liars of the title: cousins Mirren and Johnny, and Gat Patil, the nephew of Aunt Carrie’s longtime boyfriend. The book unfolds two summers later, with Cadence trying to piece together the memories she lost after the accident while up against crippling headaches, a brain that feels “broken in countless medically diagnosed ways,” and family members who refuse to speak on the subject (or have been cautioned not to). , Lockhart’s gimlet-eyed depiction of Yankee privilege is astute; the Sinclairs are bigoted “old-money Democrats” who prize height, blonde hair, athleticism, and possessions above all else. There’s enough of a King Lear dynamic going on between Granddad and his three avaricious daughters to distract readers from Lockhart’s deft foreshadowing of the novel’s principal tragedy, and even that may be saying too much. Lockhart has created a mystery with an ending most readers won’t see coming, one so horrific it will prompt some to return immediately to page one to figure out how they missed it. At the center of it is a girl who learns the hardest way of all what family means, and what it means to lose the one that really mattered to you. Ages 12–up. Agent: Elizabeth Kaplan, Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from April 1, 2014
    A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady's life apart. Cady Sinclair's family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady's reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters' slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady's fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle's closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family's foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible--if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naivete make the teens' desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic. Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from April 1, 2014

    Gr 9 Up-Cadence Sinclair Easton comes from an old-money family, headed by a patriarch who owns a private island off of Cape Cod. Each summer, the extended family gathers at the various houses on the island, and Cadence, her cousins Johnny and Mirren, and friend Gat (the four "Liars"), have been inseparable since age eight. During their fifteenth summer however, Cadence suffers a mysterious accident. She spends the next two years-and the course of the book-in a haze of amnesia, debilitating migraines, and painkillers, trying to piece together just what happened. Lockhart writes in a somewhat sparse style filled with metaphor and jumps from past to present and back again-rather fitting for a main character struggling with a sudden and unexplainable life change. The story, while lightly touching on issues of class and race, more fully focuses on dysfunctional family drama, a heart-wrenching romance between Cadence and Gat, and, ultimately, the suspense of what happened during that fateful summer. The ending is a stunner that will haunt readers for a long time to come.-Jenny Berggren, formerly at New York Public Library

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Breia Brissey, Entertainment Weekly "You're going to want to remember the title. Liars details the summers of a girl who harbors a dark secret, and delivers a satisfying, but shocking twist ending."
  • John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars "Thrilling, beautiful, and blisteringly smart, We Were Liars is utterly unforgettable."
  • Booklist, starred review "Surprising, thrilling, and beautifully executed in spare, precise, and lyrical prose, Lockhart spins a tragic family drama, the roots of which go back generations. And the ending? Shhhh. Not telling. (But it's a doozy)...This is poised to be big."
  • Publishers Weekly, starred review "Lockhart has created a mystery with an ending most readers won't see coming, one so horrific it will prompt some to return immediately to page one to figure out how they missed it. At the center of it is a girl who learns the hardest way of all what family means, and what it means to lose the one that really mattered to you."
  • Kirkus, starred review "Riveting, brutal and beautifully told."
  • School Library Journal, starred review "The ending is a stunner that will haunt readers for a long time to come."
  • The Horn Book, starred review "A taut psychological mystery marked by an air of uneasy disorientation...The ultimate reveal is shocking both for its tragedy and for the how-could-I-have-not-suspected-that? feeling it leaves us with. But we didn't, which is Lockhart's commendable triumph."
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    Random House Children's Books
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