We Were Liars-E. Lockhart

On the outside, they are the perfect family. Beautiful. Tall. Blond. The Sinclair family.

No matter what happens, they will always be the beautiful Sinclair family.


we were liars


First off, I would like to thank S. Brody at http://theartofnotgettingpublished.blogspot.ca/ for giving me a copy of this book! You cannot imagine how thrilled I was when I found out I won the giveaway.

I was initially intrigued by the book because so many people have been discussing it and talking about the ‘twist’ that occurs at the end. I spent the entire book coming up with different possibilities, nearly giving myself a headache and the actual twist was nothing like what I came up with, so I was a bit underwhelmed.

The title We Were Liars requires some thought. I found it interesting that it’s in the past tense rather than the present tense. We were liars. Is Lockhart hinting at the twist?

We were liars. Am I lying when I say that? If I am lying, then I must be telling the truth. But if I’m telling the truth, then aren’t I essentially lying?

I think this ties into the fairytale theme.

I’m sure all of you have read a fairytale or seen the Disney version of a fairytale, however, I want to talk about one in particular: the Little Mermaid. Disney gives the little mermaid her prince and a lovely happy ending. The original story, written by Hans Christian Andersen, sees the little mermaid forced to choose between killing the prince and thus saving herself or doing nothing and dissolve into sea foam. She chooses to save the prince and leaps into the sea thus disintegrating into sea foam. Few people know the original ending. But does this then make the Disney version a lie?

The beauty about fairytales is that they have so many different interpretations because they have been read and translated by countless people, it is difficult to determine the ‘fake’ one and the ‘real’ one. It’s because there really isn’t a distinct divide between any of the versions. They are real and fake. True and a lie.

Interspersed throughout the novel are little fairytales. Each of them begin with the necessary opening of “Once upon a time” and then it divides into different variations. Is her subconscious trying to give her different stories to hide her from the truth? Or is this Cady’s subconscious trying to sift through her memories, trying to find the truth?  In fact, I think the fairytales hold more truth than the life that she is living now. Everyone has been lying to her. Cady has been lying to herself, hoping to find some happy ending (hence the fairytales) for her tragic reality.

The last tale of the novel is a fairytale spin of Cady’s reality. A tale to warn. A myth.  Does this mean that there is no truth to it? Is this fairytale-like retelling of Cady’s story akin to Disney’s retelling of The Little Mermaid? Like Cady said, there is “true and untrue”. The truth gets distorted to look like lies. Lies get twisted until it looks like the truth.

So is there any truth at all? Are there lies? Are they the same?

Or is this simply a matter of truth and untruth? Lie and unlie? A white lie? A black truth?

Or is a lie simply a different shade of the truth and a truth another side of a lie?



3 thoughts on “We Were Liars-E. Lockhart

  1. Awesome review! I love how deeply you thought about the book. It’s great how E. Lockhart writes such complex novels, but manages to make them commercially successful as well.


      1. Your first Lockhart! The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (TDHoFLB) is one of my favorite books period, and I enjoyed Fly On the Wall when I was younger. I hope more Lockhart lands on your shelves.


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