Going into this book I didn’t know what to expect. The beginning was too foreign for me to understand but after the first few pages things started to change. We Were Liars is gripping, unique, mysterious and most definitely a page-turner.
Cadence Sinclair is the eldest daughter of a filthy rich family that tucks away all their issues under carpets and behind their strong chins. However her perky school girl narrative soon changes embracing a dark adolescent tone: “I lie in my darkened room. Scavenger birds peck at the oozing matter that leaks from my cracked skull.”
She has amnesia and has little recollection of her accident where she was found on the shore of her families private island in only her underwear. It has been two years now, Cadence suffers from terrible migraines, memory blanks because of the pills she’s taking.
This isn’t a narration by a girl who is in puppy love, it isn’t a teen who is suffering – because other than the obvious Cadence doesn’t remember the terrible events that led to her being washed up on shore. She ponders with the reader about being raped or attacked or going through a trauma that would cause her to lose her memories. This narrative is by a girl who is fractured; messily piecing parts of her life back together.
I also liked that this book addresses the unfairness of ‘white privilege’ and ‘the othering’ of foreigners with the arrival of Gat and his Uncle. Although Gat soon becomes apart of the Sinclair gang, he isn’t a rich white kid and constantly feels the presence and burden of this fact.
The final revelations in this novel are chilling and so shocking they are almost unacceptable. By the end the beginning makes sense. You’ll be flipping back to the first page all over again. How could you possibly have missed it?