Review – We Were Liars by E Lockhart



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.

Publisher – Hot Keys Books

Date Published – 15th May 2014

Pages – 240 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – YA

Source – Bought

** Please note Tales Of Yesterday Reviews are written as spoiler free as possible**

Ask me what I think of this book…you may not get an understandable answer from me.  You see when someone asks me what I thought of this book I tend to go all high pitched, misty eyed and lose all power of speech and say ohhh and ahhh a lot whilst raising my hands towards my heart.  This book broke my heart into a tiny million pieces and even though I read this book back in August I am still piecing that heart back together.  I cannot think or even talk about this book without my stomach flipping, my heart aching and even now as I am writing this shed tiny tears of love.

Its hard to give this book the full review it deserves without giving too much away (don’t worry I won’t).  I have so much love for this book I really don’t know where to begin.

We Were Liars tells the story of a rich family, the beautiful Sinclair family, who own an island that the family visit and live on during the summer time every year. Each Sinclair daughter owns and lives in separate houses built on the island especially for them by Mr Sinclair their father.  Over the years the sisters have families of their own and still continue to visit the island in the Summertime with their children.  Friendships form between the inseparable cousins, Cadence (Cady), Mirren, Johnny and Gat the nephew of a family friend who call themselves The Liars.  The book is told from the point of view of Cady, who had an accident in the summer of her 15th year.  Now 17, Cady is recovering from the accident. But she has no recollection of the incident. In fact, she has very few memories of an entire summer spent on the island. With her family keeping secrets, Cady returns to the island in an attempt to uncover the truth about what really happened. The book takes you on a tale through the past, present and future and by the end you have the full story (and if your like me cry….a lot and stare into space for hours after finishing the book asking for your heart back).  Cady is a fantastic character as are all of the cousins.  I love the family tree diagram and map of the island at the start of the book which really helps give a sense of the family history and locations on the island.


sinclair-family-tree The island imagery reminded me of when I was younger. I used to go to a bungalow that my parents owned on a site tucked away in a forest clearing.  It was beautiful.  We used to go down during holidays and on weekends. My brother, sister and I had friends all over the woods at the other bungalows around the site and often used to disappear into the thick forest or fields for hours on end.  The island and the friendships in this book reminded me of those times…memories that were special that are always remembered even as you get older.  A special time and feeling that only you know and hold deep in your heart.

My favourite part of the book has to be the messages that The Liars write on their hands.  Not only are they beautiful, heartfelt messages, they are so meaningful.

“Always do what you’re afraid to do”

“Be a little kinder than you have to”

I have to admit I did guess the end, but not until about three quarters of the way through the book, but this is down to the fantastic writing style as it almost feels like as Cady’s memory gradually returns your mind, as a reader, is opening up to the possibility of the ending.  Although I did try and talk myself out of what I was thinking towards the end and changed my mind on several occasions making the ending a revelation.

This book pulled me in right from the beginning.  The writing in this book is truly beautiful and magical.  I have never read any other E Lockhart books before but I fully intend to after reading this.  I have brought her new book, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and as E Lockhart is currently over here in the U.K I am over the moon and lucky enough to be going to an event on Friday!  I cannot wait!

To sum up We Were Liars it is beautiful, stunning and is a real heart stopping treasure that you will want to read again and again and tell everyone else to read it immediately.  I loved the tag line of the book –  if they ask you the end….just lie!

Also a big shout out to goes to the fabulous Hot Keys Books.  If you have never read a Hot Keys Books title before they do a wonderful Hot Keys Circle on the back of their books which give an indication of what the book contains ie horror, romance, pranks, boys etc.  The Hot Keys ring on the back of We Were Liars simply says Liar, Liar, Liar, Liar!

Also at the time of publication Hot Keys Books were asking readers on twitter to tweet what song reminds them or makes them think of We Were Liars – this is my choice- Bush – Glycerine!

Today We Were Liars won the Goodreads Choice 2014 for best YA book of 2014!

Also check out when I met E Lockhart at a book event here!

I award this book 5 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday Books


You can buy this book here

If you would like to know more about E Lockhart and her other books check her out on her website or follow her on twitter using @elockhart

Why not catch E Lockhart on her U.K book tour – for dates and venues please click here

Have you read this book?  What did you think?  Did you cry?  If you haven’t read this book has this review persuaded you to read?  I would love to hear from you!  Please feel free to leave a comment by clicking on the reply button at the top of the page or why not tweet me on twitter – @chelleytoy .  I would love to hear from you!

Happy Reading



Written by

I am often known to be a bit clumsy and a little loopy! Book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher film loving csi geek! Winner of UKYABA Champion Newcomer 2015 and nominated for Champion of Social Media 2016 and Blogger Of The Year 2016! © 2014 - 2021 Michelle Toy All Rights Reserved

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2 Responses

  1. December 9, 2014

    […] the book signing and hand stamping time!  If you haven’t read We Were Liars (see my review here) there are some motivational quotes in the book that are truly lovely and E Lockhart explained that […]

  2. December 31, 2014

    […] favourite review I wrote was maybe the We Were Liars by E Lockhart book review simply because I have so much love for this book!  I also had the pleasure in meeting her in 2014 […]