We Were Liars Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Number one New York Times best seller.
A modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. Don't miss the eagerly anticipated prequel, Family of Liars, available May 2022!
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.
Listen to it. And if anyone asks you how it ends, just lie.
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|Listening Length||6 hours and 27 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||May 13, 2014|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #3,740 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#5 in Fiction on Emotions & Feelings for Teens
#6 in Teen Fiction on Death & Dying
#6 in Fiction on Family for Teens
Reviewed in the United States on January 15, 2021
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Top reviews from the United States
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After reading this novel, I understood the importance of coming to a conclusion without any outside influences for yourself. This novel began with vivid imagery, that took my breath away in a audible gasp. I loved the way the protagonist described her father's leaving as him grabbing a shotgun and shooting her squarely in the chest and making her heart fall through the hole it had created. I couldn't stop reading and rereading that scene. The visceral effect did what was intended and the author is truly out of this world.
The poetic way the prose was delivered swept me away like I had caught the words in a waltz, they fell onto my ears and heart and I became one with the character(s), understanding their motives and feeling their pain.
The plot seemed a little flat to me at first but when everything was explained, I had a little ohhhh moment, where everything slot together perfectly. I had guessed a fraction of the big mystery, but everything came together in a way that cause indescribable pain for me who had taken on so much of the characters.
The story speaks to perception, how our views are always clouded, by our preconceived notions and our environment, but when the veil is lifted, the truth is unbelievable so we're better off not believing...
The Sinclairs had a perfect little family that vacation on a perfect little beach, Beechwood, during the summer. They were athletic, beautiful, and rich. They walked in straight lines and held sophisticated discussions around the dinner table. They were the definition of quintessential. At least, they used to be. But everything changes one summer when Cady, Gat, Mirren and Johnny craft a foolish plan. Now, two years later, Cady is back at Beachwood for only four weeks. Four weeks to go through the twisting chaos of her memory and find out how consequential her actions really were. But after Cady finds out the truth, she finds that it was more beneficial to her fragile state of mind to be left in the dark. Friendship and family are important, but they are also fragile. What happened that summer? With her perfect family crumbling down around her, will Cady be able to overcome and accept what she did?
The way Cady, Gat, Mirren, and Johnny are portrayed is vital to the success of the book. As you read, each personality floats out of the pages and can be seen as a reality. The reader can easily relate to the main characters, their emotions, relationships with each other, and struggles they go through. There are two main characters that especially pop out at you. The first one is Gat who was passionate, political, and ambitious, brings perspective, intelligence, and diversity to the island, “Not everyone has private islands. Some people work on them. Some work in factories. Some don’t have work. Some don’t have food” (Fantasy Island by Meg Rosoff). Gat is aware of everything going around him and wants to make a difference. He never lets anyone forget how bad the world sometimes really is, “You don’t know my bedroom with the window onto the airshaft…...You only know me on this island, where everyone’s rich except me and the staff. Where everyone is white except me, Ginny [the housekeeper], and Paulo [the gardener]” (103). He doesn't want to be perfect and put on fake smiles at dinner. Gat pops out of the book because of how different he is. Gat wasn’t a Sinclair. He wasn’t blond and rich. In fact, he was the complete opposite of a typical Sinclair and while some of the family couldn’t stand him, Cady fell in love with him.With Gat in the picture, Cady views the world differently. In my opinion, I think that Cady wouldn’t have made those mistakes and gotten into her accident if it hadn’t been for the way Gat influenced her and convinced her to take more chances without fully thinking through them.
Not only are the characters important to the success of We Were Liars, but the plot is as well. Each good story must contain a strong, intriguing plot. There must be suspense, diction, and conflict. The plot E. Lockhart creates with her surprise ending will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. When you start reading We Were Liars, the reader discovers that the main character, Cady, was in an accident. She’s been told that she hit her head while swimming. However, the reader and Cady, who are both limited to the information of what actually happened, start to question the sequence of events from the night of her accident, “I make a separate page for the accident itself…I must have gone swimming on the tiny beach alone. I hit my head on a rock….I was diagnosed with hypothermia, respiratory problems, and a brain injury…Did I really have a head injury from the swim, or did something else happen?...Was I the victim of some crime?” (77). Cady starts wondering about what really happened, and no one will help her remember, “Johnny stares at me oddly. ‘You don’t remember?’ ‘Her memory is messed up Johnny!’ yells Mirren……..No, no, shut up right now,’ Mirren barks……..’This is important! How can you not pay attention to this stuff?’ Mirren looks like she might cry” (94). Cady and the reader are limited to the information of the accident but discover that Cady’s mind conjured visions of Mirren, Johnny, and Gat to protect her from what actually happened that night. As the conclusion of the book comes, suspense builds and the ending is unforeseen.
Your actions are important. Consider the consequences of what you’re doing before doing them. If Cady had done this, the place in her heart meant for family and love would not feel so empty. E. Lockhart uses Cady’s choices to make We Were Liars an unpredictable roller coaster from start to finish. I would recommend this book to someone who loves suspense action, and love.
I wanted my book review to be informative enough for the reader to understand the plot as well as the author’s intentions. I chose this approach because my book has a more elaborate plot and is written more poetically. By using a more informative tone, my hope is that the reader will adapt a better grasp on the book. To take this approach I tried to make a more elaborate summary without including all of the details. I also incorporated some of the deeper meanings of the text. I tried to touch upon symbols and theme more than once so help the reader comprehend why the author may have made these choice. In my books case, the theme and symbols went hand in hand which made it easier to get the message across.
Before the book review I had never put as much thought into an online review. The majority of reviews i’ve written have either been because the product or service was really great or really awful. Typically my reviews have been for clothing products. In these cases it’s a lot easier to state what is good about the product or what is bad. Writing the book review was a much more thought provoking process because it allowed me to think more about what the reader would need to know rather than solely my personal experience. While writing my book review I tried to keep in mind clarity and purpose without including every important detail.
While writing my summary I felt that it was necessary to include details that may not have seemed necessary in other book reviews. I made the choice to include smaller details such as the grandfather’s house. This detail seems quite minor at first but by the end of the book the reader can really reflect on the significance it carried. The house was a symbol of power that was expressed throughout the book. I think that publishing something similar to a review makes a lot of sense but to ask a student to publish a literary analysis or another type of essay may not always be necessary. I think that teachers should allow student to publish occasionally on writing that can impact the readers.
I have never previously written a book review. With this being my first book review it allowed me to realize some of the challenges and thought processes that go into writing a review. Book reviews are much different than essay’s in that the author of the review must think about who will be reading the review and what might benefit them the most. It is also difficult to write a review without spoiling the entire story. I decided to use a spoiler in my review but this could also mean that people will refrain from reading it because they don’t want to know the ending. Lots of questions arise while writing the review and it’s difficult to write but also fun. Writing the review also allowed me to reflect on what I read and analyze it in a way that I had not done while reading it. Writing the review was a good experience for me and it gave me a new perspective on different styles of writing. Each style comes with its own thought process and formatting.
(THIS IS FOR AN ENGLISH PROJECT)
Top reviews from other countries
What works : Great, unusual wrtiing techniques and a genuine twist that sheds light on what you’ve already read.
What doesn’t : As narrator, Cadence is passive to a frustrating extent. The build-up to the big reveal has a few too many dull periods, forcing the narrator’s penchant for the dramatic to compensate.
Cadence Sinclair (Cady) comes from a rich, well-to-do family. So well-to-do, in fact, that they have the luxury of vacationing on their own priavte island every summer. It is this island, Beechwood, that is the heart of Cady’s narrative; the summers she spent there with her childhood companions. The inseperable foursome; Cady, Johnny, Mirren and Gat – affectionately termed ‘the Liars’ – treasure their Beechwood idyll, but when Cady has a mysterious accident during ‘summer fifteen’, the four become divided as Cady searches for the truth.
Lockhart’s clever techniques (as Cady herself declares, ‘I like a twist of meaning’) give vivid representation to ‘the Liars’ as Cady simultaneously struggles with discovering the reality of what has happened to her, the conflicts within her family and the conflicts within herself. ‘The Liars’ – freespirited dreamers – are a contrast with the rest of the Sinclair family -ignorant and repressed. Through these relationships, Lockhart explores social commentary on class, family hierarchy and expectations, while (very) slowly building suspense, and the narrative is as much about the trials of the Sinclairs as it is about Cady’s quest.
Lockhart’s aim to enhance the narrative by making Cady herself a writer, describing her feelings in overly dramatic imagery, often feels like filler while the story takes significant time to develop. However, Cady`s creative reimaginings of fairytales reflect the narrative while dealing with her inner turmoil – the matters she (frustratingly) won’t confront in reality. Cady passivity, given the gravity of the situation, is neither believable, nor likeable.
Though Cady’s shortcomings make her hard to relate to and detract from the reality of the narrative, Lockhart’s various writing styles are strong and endearing, making the novel an overall enjoyable read. The big reveal evoked an audible response while reading – a sure sign of a shocking twist – and retrospectively strengthens the narrative as a whole. Lockart has impressively painted an evocative picture of a family portrait being ripped to pieces alongside a tale of suspense.
Although the story was at first intriguing, I found that I quickly became bored of the storyline and uninterested in what was happening due to the repetitiveness of the plot. The actual storyline in We Were Liars didn’t make a lot of sense and I found that overall it was missing the progression of a grounded and coherent plot line. While Lockhart’s writing was emotive and colourful, the story was overall underwhelming, monotonous and dull. While I did enjoy the little ‘fairytales’ about the King and Princesses that Lockhart threw in randomly throughout the book, and found that the symmetry between them and the actual story made for an interesting deduction for the audience to ‘read between the lines,’ which was where my enthusiasm for this book ended.
On a more positive note, the twist at the end of this novel was shocking, heart-breaking and absolutely unpredictable. I had no idea that Lockhart would choose to do what she did, and thought that this choice did allow for some sense of normality and understanding in the book. There were a lot of intricate character relationships portrayed, involving love, trust (or a lack of it) and a strong and resilient family bond, that would not be broken no matter how much they seemed to be falling apart. Cadence’s ‘madness’ was a point of interest in the book; Lockhart managed to subtly use moments such as the endless pills she was taking and her desire to own nothing material to successfully portray this. However I think if she wanted to make this emotive or profound she would need to emphasise the ‘madness’ even more.
One character who I found intriguing was Gat. He was the obvious choice for Cadence, but I never felt satisfied with the relationship between Cadence and Gat. I enjoyed their love for each other, and thought that Cadence’s lust for someone she could not have would be very relatable for a lot of readers. However I found that Gat’s hostility towards her was frustrating and would have preferred if Lockhart kept to a more ‘Romeo and Juliet’ storyline, keeping their forbidden love alive. In the end I think if I were to describe the book in one word it would be messy.
Not your typical straightforward YA novel, though it has all the necessary ingredients like a teenage crush on a dark handsome outsider in the family, her volatile relationships with her single mother, her estranged father, and her aunts, and her hoary and extremely patriarchal grandfather, who’s a little of a tyrant like King Lear with her 3 fawning daughters dependent on his goodwill.
Lockhart’s writing is crisp and sharp, and the characterisation refreshingly rich and layered, where even the minor characters like each of Cady’s younger cousins, whom the older kids call the Littles, are distinct and unique. The dialogue is also authentic, and there are quite a few quotable lines that bear committing to memory, like “Silence is a protective coating over pain”, a warning Cady’s mom gives her not to bring up distressing memories when Grandma Tipper dies and leaves Grandpa Harris a broken shell of a man, and Mirren, Cady’s cousin’s mantra, “Be a little kinder than you have to”, that proves to be a life source of sorts for Cady.
The novel is filled with secrets and lies, and unspoken griefs, and the shock of the twist when it comes, does take one’s breath away. Definitely a credible author, whose work I would want to check out in the near future.
The narration comes from Cadence, a girl from the Sinclair family. Her unique, complex and author-like way of expressing her thoughts is so interesting to read, and can take a bit of getting used to. She comes from a family that rides on success and keeping their heads up high. When something goes wrong, they brush it under the rug and keep going forwards. Cadence talks about summers she spends on her Grandfather’s island and the connections she builds with friends and family. Cadence gets into a severe accident and doesn’t remember one of the summers in great detail, and a lot of the plot is her trying to figure out what actually happened.
The book’s best part is definitely its ending. Personally, it shocked me as I wasn’t expecting it. Once you find out what really happens it changes your perspective on what you’ve just read completely, and it makes you want to read the whole book again. Things you read earlier in the book that didn’t make a whole lot of sense, suddenly come into clear picture.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I thought it was imaginative with a great twist, and had a unique voice in the writing. I recommend it to anyone that’s interested!