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  • Sofia LoPresti

Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

The Sinclair family is an image of perfection. They have wealth, looks, pride, and confidence. They are healthy and athletic, well-known by everyone, the American dream family. As perfect as they are, though, they shatter under pressure because pressure stimulates emotions, and the Sinclairs do not show their emotions. As wealthy as they are, they still envy those richer than them, even their aunts and uncles and grandparents. As beautiful as they are, they set their square chins and their upper lips firm, cruel in manner. The Sinclairs are a family, but they are rivals to each other. They never show their weaknesses, but perhaps their fear of showing their flaws is exactly what they’re trying to hide.

The Liars are a group of four: “Cadence, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat,” three cousins and one outsider (Lockhart 4). They’re the only ones that truly have fun and enjoy themselves without being rivals to each other. The Liars are playful and fun, but as idealistic Sinclairs would, they, too, conceal their emotions, allowing them to show only a bit. Except for Cadence. Cadence Sinclair is the oldest of the Sinclairs, and she tries to outwardly express how she’s feeling, but no one, not even her mother or her cousins, are open to discuss that. She can only speak to Gat, the Indian boy who has been joining the Sinclairs since the summer when Cady and her cousins were eight, about how she feels. Cadence finds solace in him, and maybe even a bit of love. Sadly, however, a bit too much emotion can be bad. A tragic accident occurs the summer when they are fifteen, and it leaves Cadence to discover the Sinclairs’ dark, long-kept secrets and the harsh truth of what had happened.

With each page turned, the reader encounters a new plot twist. Every sentence, every word, reveals something unexpected, a new revelation the reader discovers along with Cadence. The plotline is captivating and heart-breaking. Imagine waking up one day and having millions of bombs dropped on you. BOOM. Your cousins are gone. BOOM. Those graph pictures you drew? Yeah, here they are, reminders of the painful past. BOOM. You’re still a perfect Sinclair; maintain your reputation. Do NOT let your weaknesses show. The tragedy that had happened is enough as is, and along with these reminders, the truth is hard for Cadence to ignore.

Upon finishing We Were Liars, one will wish there was a continuation to it. If one picks up the book, they will not move until finishing it. It’s not the plot twists that’ll captivate the reader, though. It’s Cadence’s situation and how she copes with it; it’s the struggle she experiences on her journey back to being the Cadence she previously was. Many people can relate to her because everyone has their own struggles and finds ways to get out of their own tough situations in life. Perhaps not like Cadence’s, but hardships endure nonetheless. Everyone has their own coping mechanisms, and while Cadence’s situation is far from ideal, there is some beauty in it. Her journey to becoming Cadence Sinclair again, the bubbly, smart, beautiful girl she always was, only with more wisdom and experience, is a long but rewarding one.

To anyone who likes a few good curveballs, this book is for you. Of course, there were moments in the book that were quite silly, and maybe even unnecessary, but not everyone might not think so. I would rate this book 4.5/5 just because of the silly bits. It’s an overall amazing read, and anyone who reads it will be glad they did. For those interested, similar books to We Were Liars include Family of Liars, which is the prequel to We Were Liars, They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera, and Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. Happy reading!

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