We Were Liars by E. Lockhart seems like an ordinary story at first. It almost seems like a “why am I reading this?” story, because teenagers who spend their summers on a private island are more likely to attract envy than sympathy. And yet, and yet, and yet …
Cadence is the center of a story that seems ordinary but has an undercurrent of something being wrong but we don’t know exactly what. She is an unreliable narrator, but it’s not her fault because she doesn’t remember what happened when she had her accident two years earlier. And since her family won’t tell her what really happened SHE doesn’t know, so WE don’t know …
This is definitely a book to read, discuss, absorb, and remember.
Cadence is upset with her so-called friends. The four of them spent every summer together on her family’s private island, but then two years ago everything changed when she had an accident and almost drowned. Then last summer when she was traveling with her father she emailed her friends, but they never answered. Maybe they forgot about her, or didn’t care after all.
Now this summer she’s back on the island and Johnny, Mirren and Gat are acting like it’s old times again, like their friendship stayed the same. Now it’s just Cadence’s family acting weird. They keep acting like she’s fragile, like she can’t be trusted, like every time she gets one of her headaches it means more than it should. Things haven’t been the same since the accident she had two years ago, but that doesn’t mean that she can’t live a normal life now. It’s important for Cadence to get back to normal. It’s important for her to be with her friends again, because when her family starts driving her crazy, her friends are the support system she needs.
And even more important than their support, Cadence realizes that her friends know what happened during her accident, the one she can’t really remember. She already knows that her family is lying to her, or at least not telling her the whole truth. But she has to find out what really happened. She has to make her friends tell her the truth that her family has been keeping from her. After all, what are friends for?