book review : we were liars by e. lockhart

This was quite an extraordinary book, but in an unexpected way. I bought this book for RM40, even though it was quite small and only had around 200 pages. Was it worth it? I didn't think it was at first, until i read the final few chapters.

When you follow many bookworm accounts on Instagram and YouTube, you tend to see a trend of the books being read nowadays. We Were Liars is one of those books nearly everyone in the bookworm community has read. As usual, i would search up some non-spoiler reviews about a book on Goodreads before i buy it. Many of the reviews for this book were positive, so i guess i was even more convinced to buy it.

I was spoiled by only one thing though; that the ending was going to be really good. Honestly, that was the only thing that kept me reading the book, but more of that later in this post.

We Were Liars is a book about Cadence, who is a Sinclair. The Sinclairs were considered high-class for their wealth, personality and even their physical looks. They owned a private island and had a committed tradition of spending the summer holidays there every year.

Ever since she was a kid, Cadence had been spending her summer on the island with the Liars. That's what they called themselves. Cadence, Johnny, Mirren and Gat. Johnny and Mirren were Cadence's cousins by blood, and Gat was an outsider who was welcome to join them every year. They did pretty much everything together, even though they only saw each other during the summer and hardly kept in touch for the rest of the year.

One day, there was an accident. The only problem was, Cadence couldn't remember what happened. And whatever had happened had changed something huge, only non of her family members would tell her about it. She goes back to the island on summer 17 to remember what had happened to her 2 years earlier.

Normally i would write more about the general synopsis, but i don't feel like telling too much about this one. I honestly kept wondering what was so good about the book throughout the first 150 pages. Although the writing style was quite interesting and wasn't exactly monotonous, there were too many loopholes that didn't quite make sense and made me eager to read the ending right away. I guess that was good.

It was also a good thing that i was indirectly told that the ending would make the read worth it, because otherwise it might have taken me longer to finish the book. But i'll tell you this; the ending really was worth it. It was shocking and unexpected, but unfortunately i wasn't completely focused on the book at the time to be able to get emotional about it and absorb the feels. It's still a great book though.

Admittedly, i'm quite selective when it comes to "deep" writing. I think the writing in this book really was superb and deep, only i wasn't able to reach that depth. It's the same like when i read Mitch Albom's books; i'm able to appreciate the good story and writing but can't successfully feel the wonder and art of it like other people. The way Cadence describes her thoughts and descriptions of the people around her were wonderful and unique, but i only managed to appreciate it at the end of the book when it really made an impact on the readers' views.


Wow. Even after the warnings that the ending will blow my mind away, IT STILL DID. I knew SOMETHING BAD had happened, but i was too caught up with Cadence's current thoughts that i had no time to wonder or predict what was going to happen.

I'm going to be honest. I had a negative vibe throughout the entire book. It felt creepy, lonely and evil. I know they're probably not the right words to describe how i felt while i read the book, but i just felt scared the whole time. I think it was the suspense of not knowing what was coming. I actually forgot to read the blurb at the back, so i kinda had no idea what the book was going to be about. But yeah, it didn't have any parts that made me bubbly(even though yes, there were some lovey-dovey parts but it still felt weird).

The description and map of the island itself was haunting. I mean, an ENTIRE private island with a few HUGE houses there, for only around 15 people? It sounds awesome at some point yes, but thinking how easily someone could go missing or kidnapped or drown kinda played with my mind. Not just that, but the whole idea of the Sinclairs and how greedy and materialistic they can get also makes me feel distant from the characters. Gat was quite a jerk in my opinion, so even though he wasn't a Sinclair he still couldn't make me feel attached. It made me sick how Cadence's mum would force her daughter to act a certain way just to fit in with the family or show that she was a good granddaughter.

I really like how the ending makes you think back about everything else you just read in the book, and how you can automatically relate the loopholes and random bits together. It was a strange ending; the part where the rest of the Liars were still around Cadence to help her heal and remember. I was astonished and a little sad at the same time. I liked how Cadence described her final thoughts of them before they left, because it gave weight and meaning to the descriptions of the Liars from the start of the book. It's great how E. Lockhart can manipulate her readers like that.


I am concluding something obvious;
Having expectations on a book can ruin the ride for you.

When there's a hype about a book or movie, you automatically have at least a certain amount of positive expectation that it's going to be somewhat good. No matter how much i try to have low expectations before reading a book or watching a movie, it's extremely difficult to do so and i'm rarely taken by surprise. I would have enjoyed We Were Liars more if people weren't hyped up about it, i think. But then there's the dilemma of deciding whether it's worth buying or not, so either way i lose something. Ugh, i wish books were cheap.

Anyway, i'm sorry that this isn't really a review. I think i'm going to read the book again soon, so that i can understand and appreciate it more. I hope i'll enjoy it more on the second read. Do read it if you get the chance. I'm rating it 4.5 out of 5.


  1. I was contemplating before, now I'm just so convinced that I have to get my hands on this book. Like you said, I wish books are cheaper *sigh* Thank for the review Kamalia!

  2. haha yes, its worth reading but do try your best to keep your expectations low, coz a lot of people i know(on instagram) said they think the hype was bigger than how good the book actually was. a lot of them think they would have enjoyed it more if it wasnt for the hype, and i agree. but yeah, enjoy the book! :D and do read the spoiler part of my review and tell me if you agree or not, eh? i'd love to discuss about this one :D



Follow me on Instagram!



2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Kamalia has read 15 books toward her goal of 50 books.