March’s Library Book of the Month: We Were Liars

Marchs Library Book of the Month: We Were Liars

Stevie D. Rosenfeld, Author

Author E. Lockhart

    When people think of school libraries, they often think of soft novels with simple plots and clear morals. And that’s what I expected when opening March’s “Best Book in The Library,” We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. But like every reader of this mystery novel, I was in for a surprise. 

     We Were Liars follows 17-year-old Cadence Eastman, the oldest grandchild of millionaire Harris Sinclair. Cadence spends every summer with her grandfather, mother, aunts, and cousins on Beechwood Island, privately owned by Harris. Though she didn’t always approve of her family’s actions, Cady always loved and trusted them. That is, until her Summer 15; the year Cady and her favorite cousins were turned 15, and Cady got in a mysterious swimming accident. After waking up on the shore in only her underwear, with flooded lungs and a head injury, Cady finds she has little to no memory of the entire summer. All she can recall are brief flashes; her mother asking about pearls, her grandfather telling old stories, and most importantly, falling in love with her cousin’s friends Gat, even after seeing him send a rose to another girl. 

     We Were Liars is a captivating story. Every page brings a new twist and turn, no line ends as expected. The truly masterful piece of this book is the poetic nature of the text; Lockhart seamlessly transitions from chronological storytelling, vivid flashbacks, detailed metaphors, and symbolic parables. The frequently changing nature of the format helps the audience understand Cady’s fluctuating state of mind. Lockhart perfectly encompasses the feelings of illness, betrayal, and confusion that follow an inured teenager in an injured family.

     Family is hard to manage, especially for young people. It’s hard to feel like your say matters when everyone else has the power to disregard your opinion. We Were Liars is an intense kind of catharsis. In a very “Knives Out” fashion, observing the flaws in Cady’s family helps the reader recognize flaws in their own, but also makes them grateful for the good times. So to get a little thrill from an adventurous story, or to learn a little bit about yourself, check out We Were Liars on your next trip to the library.