We Were Liars - E. Lockhart

We Were Liars has been making the rounds of the review sites and Twitter, Facebook and blogs, and I was incredibly excited to get my hands on an e-galley for review. And in my opinion, it lives up to, if not exceeds, all the hype. So without further adieu, here is my review:

This is a tale of ... well, it's hard to describe. If you need a little synopsis, the write-up from the publisher is probably the best:
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.
Cadence Sinclair has a secret. But she doesn't know exactly what it is. Everything starts falling apart after summer fifteen on the private family island. Cadence suffers an accident, but nobody seems to want to tell her what happened. I can't say any more than that, and once you read it, you'll understand why. The suspense and mystery will keep you guessing until the very end.

Lockhart writes in gorgeously spare, staccato sentences, describing only what needs to be known—no more no less. And the effect is breathtaking.
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.
The use of hyperbole by our unreliable narrator keeps readers on their toes and never allows us to get too comfortable with the narrative stylings. But at the same time, our narrator is honest about her tendencies.
Me, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat. Gat, Mirren, Johnny, and me.
The family calls us four the Liars, and probably we deserve it.
And each character's personality description is delightfully concise, and even though they are exceptionally brief, I feel as though I can see them in my mind:
Gat seemed spring-loaded. Like he was searching for something. He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I could have looked at him forever.
Mirren. She is sugar. She is curiosity and rain.
Johnny. He is bounce. He is effort and snark. 
It's hard to talk about too much without giving away the ending of this spectacular and lyrical novel from such a distinct voice in young people's fiction. You simply must get your pre-orders in for this stunning new tale for young adults.

Highly Recommended

(Note: This review is from an Advanced Reading Copy - Out May 13, 2014)


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