top of page


We Were Liars Book Review

By Leah Ally

Volume 3 Issue 1

November 7, 2022

We Were Liars Book Review

Image provided by

Raised in a privileged upbringing with eminent wealth, seventeen-year-old Cadence Sinclair Eastman spends her summers at the privately`-owned Beechwood Island when a tragic accident turns her elegant life into a living nightmare. Desperately attempting to put the pieces of her shattered memories back together from the night of her haunting incident two years before, Cadence struggles to mentally deal with her issues concerning romance, friendship, and her complicated family life. Blinded by deception and lies, Cadence realizes that everything she has ever known is not exactly as it appears within the tall walls of the Sinclair mansions. Author E. Lockhart’s writing style that portrays Cadence, a disillusioned teenager, adds to the notion of the story, giving a realistic narration of her mental health and the challenges she faces. For instance, the apprehensive tone used in both dialogue and her thoughts convey her anxiety throughout the story. As a reader, I enjoyed how the novel was structured, as it was in the past when Cadence was fifteen years old, yet gradually works its way up to the present, two years later, with Cadence at seventeen years old by the end of the story. The steady description of Cadence growing up helps to retrace the steps of her life as if you are following her thought process in attempting to restore her memory. In addition, Lockhart also includes a wealth of details, including the in-depth development of the characters or settings, even though certain aspects can drag out the story instead of progressing the plot. In particular, the descriptions of minor characters such as Cadence’s cousins can be repetitive and insignificant. I would recommend We Were Liars to middle school and high school students who enjoy psychological, realistic fiction thrillers.  

There are numerous themes in the novel that might easily relate to readers, such as family issues and mental health struggles; for instance, thematic notions of anxiety, depression, and lack of self-esteem are presented throughout the novel. Additionally, current social issues are used to convey the plot, for example, the brief demonstration of racism or bigotry towards Cadence’s presumed love interest, Gat Patil. There are also significant lessons from the novel, including how making decisions on impulse or with bold emotion can bring many consequences and risks. Moreover, regardless of how wealthy or how much fame you may have, money does not buy genuine happiness, even though it may appear to be the ideal life. Overall, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart was a fascinating read as it explores many themes, has a compelling writing style, and a fast-paced, exciting plot.                           

bottom of page