Saturday, May 31, 2014

Kid Konnection: We Were Liars

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week, I'm going to share with you a young adult book with a shocking twist!

Summary: 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.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE. -- Delacorte Press

I don't read many YA books; however, the new novel WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart really appealed to me. It didn't hurt that Ms. Lockhart is an award-winning author; however, it was the note in the front of my ARC that made me have to read it. Vice President and Publisher of Delacorte Press Beverly Horowitz raved about this novel... so much so that she knew I'd want to discuss it with someone! And then she ended the note with these words, "And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE." Seriously? How could I not read this novel.

WE WERE LIARS is about Cadence Sinclair Eastman, a member of the very beautiful and very wealthy Sinclair family and also an heiress to her grandfather's fortune. The story begins when Cadence is fifteen and spending the summer on her family's private island off the coast of Cape Cod. She loves spending time with her two cousins, Mirren and Johnny, as well as her love interest Gil; and together, these four have termed themselves "the liars."

Cadence has some sort of accident that summer which leaves her with migraines and memory loss,  and she has virtually no idea what happened to her. It's not until two years later, when she's seventeen, that she returns to the island and tries to piece things her memories and discover the truth behind that summer.

I adored WE WERE LIARS, and I definitely see what all of the fuss is about! (Honestly, if all YA books were like this one, I'd read this genre a lot more!) I couldn't put this book down and finished it in just a few hours... despite not having the time to read it. I loved the mystery surrounding Cadence and I couldn't stop reading until I got to the surprise ending. And then I wanted to start over and read it again to see what I missed!

I hesitate to say too much about the story or the ending because it is best experienced first-hand. Trust me when I say that this book is a worthwhile read, and I intend to hand it right over to my daughter as soon as she walks in the door.

While there is no doubt that I loved the ending as well as the way Cadence was portrayed (Note: I'm keeping thing vague on purpose!), I also thought the story was very well-written -- most definitely classified as literary. I appreciated Cadence's voice and I enjoyed how well the author described the setting and the dynamics of this special family. I also liked that there was a little romance mixed in with the suspense and intrigue. Furthermore, I loved how the author mixed some of Cadence's fairy tales into the story -- I found these to be especially insightful into Cadence, the Liars, and the family unit as a whole.

WE WERE LIARS would make an excellent discussion book for ages 12 and up. It has a little bit of everything, and there is no doubt that the characters are fascinating. Some of the themes you might want to explore include families, first love, truth, memory, grief, resentment, jealousy, and forgiveness.

Overall, I was blown away by WE WERE LIARS. Highly recommended!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


bermudaonion said...

I really want to read this book after hearing you talk about it.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I really enjoyed this one on audio! So glad you loved it too!

Unknown said...

This book is intelligent and plot driven. The one criticism of the book I have is that the supporting characters are not really complete. If you think much about "the liars" you will wonder what actually motivates them. I doubt you will think too much about them though. The plot will have ALL your attention. If I had a teenager in the house, this is the kind of book that I would give them. It will hook them in the first few chapters! E. Lockhart obviously has some skills as a writer. I really loved this one!