Saturday, 26 April 2014

We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart

Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family. A family of privilege and pride, of wealth and beauty. Cadence has grown up in a sort of idyll, a grand house in Vermont during the school year and then a summer of freedom on the family’s private island, running with her band of cousins, swimming and sunbathing and eating ice-cream. Pretty perfect. Pretty much the kind of lifestyle every girl dreams of.

But since two summers ago, Summer Fifteen, Cadence has suffered from crippling migraines, her family seems to have drawn away from her, and she has trouble concentrating. She remembers Summer Fifteen with the same idyll as all the rest, except perhaps even more so, because Summer Fifteen was the summer she fell in love with Gat, her cousin Johnny’s friend who’d been coming with them to the island since they were eight. It was a summer of stolen kisses and secrets.

The biggest secret of all, though, is the accident. Cadence doesn’t remember anything at all about the accident. She only knows what she’s been told by her mother. She only knows that something terrible must have been done to her, something terrible enough to leave her with these terrible headaches and stifling memory loss. Now, two years on, she’s desperate to return to the island for Summer Seventeen, to see her cousins and Gat, to reclaim the sunshine and hopefully reclaim her memory.

Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family. Privileged? Proud? Beautiful? Perhaps all is not as it seems. Perhaps this is a family of secrets and denial. Why has Granddad completely remodeled the family home, tossing out the years of memories? Why does Aunt Carrie wander the island at night and little Will have such nightmares that Cadence can hear him crying half way across the island? Why do her cousins lie about what they’ve been doing? And why won’t anyone tell her what happened that summer?

Gradually, piece by tiny piece, things start to come back to Cadence…

Read E. Lockhart's We Were Liars if you want to be shocked, if you want a story that’ll take your breath away, a story that will draw you in and reassure you then rip the carpet away from under your feet. It’s completely brilliant and wonderfully told, Cadence’s voice is truthful and intriguing, making you turn the page and then the next page, and then the next page. With rave reviews from the likes of John Green and Maureen Johnson, We Were Liars is surely going to be ‘the’ book of the summer. Read it! And then turn back to page one and read it again…

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