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.
Sometimes, it’s best to let the hype die down before reading a book. When We Were Liars was published in 2014, everyone was talking about it. Unfortunately, spoilers were flying around so I lost interest. Now, five years later and not remembering much of that, I was able to read this with an almost clean slate. And what can I say: without that kind of baggage, I really enjoyed this book – much more than I would have, had I read it back then.
It’s a simple book, rather short and contained. A quiet book, a melancholic one, written beautifully. A perfect summer read. At least on the surface. It’s also an iceberg, going much much deeper than meets the eye. A well-wrought still life of a broken family that is entertaining, mysterious, and shocking.
I loved the writing and the narrative that was coaxed into existence: a protagonist trying to figure out what happened to her on the private summer island in the midst of her family and friends. I love stories that play with memory loss, that have you question everyone and everything, that make you spin theories, that have you fully immersed when slowly but steadily the loose threads are coming together. This one was no exception, though a certain something was still missing for me.
I also like the other topics that were addressed, namely issues such as racism, privilege, jealousy, greed, first love, and friendship. These were tightly and organically knitted into the very fabric of the story, making it a great multilayered read.