We Were Liars

We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart

Publishing Information:  Delacourt Press:  New York, 2014
ISBN:  9780385741262
Pages:  240 p.
Grades:  7-12

Spending the summers on her family's private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her cousins and a special boy named Gat, teenaged Cadence struggles to remember what happened during her fifteenth summer.

Each summer the wealthy, seemingly perfect Sinclair family meets on their private island. Cadence, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat are a unit, especially during "summer 15," marking their fifteenth year on Beechwood-- the summer that Cady and Gat fall in love. Cady became involved in a mysterious accident, in which she sustained a blow to the head, and now suffers from debilitating migraines and memory loss. When she returns to Beechwood during summer 17 issues of guilt and blame, love and truth all come into play.

Book Talk:

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... True love... The truth.

All this in one little book.  Come spend the summers with a group of friends and cousins who learn about love, relationships, family, and consequences.  Read We Were Liars to discover what really happens.

Subject Headings & Major Themes
Realistic Fiction
Love Stories

Awards & Reviews:
Goodreads Choice Awards: 2014
Library Reads Favorites: 2014
A New York Times Bestseller
School Library Journal Best Books: 2014
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults: 2015

Booklist, January 1, 2014, p. 100
Kirkus Review, April 1, 2014, p. 127
Publishers Weekly, February 17, 2014, p. 101
School Library Journal, April 2014, p. 168
The Horn Book, May/June 2014, p. 91

Discussion Questions and Ideas:

  1. Do you trust Cady’s narration?  Is she lying…or hallucinating?

  2. Were the Liars justified in any way to commit the crime they committed?

  3. Was the crime successful in any way?

  4. Is the Sinclair family acting of their own free will or are they in some way merely moving through patterns established in fairy tales that existed long before them?  Consider the author’s use of Shakespeare’s King Lear and Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.

  5. Was the ending a surprise…or did you see it coming?  Return to earlier passages in the book and locate instances of foreshadowing of events to come.

  6. What does Cady come to learn at the end of the novel?  

Related Websites:
Author’s website:  http://www.emilylockhart.com/
We Were Liars website:  http://www.wewereliarsbook.tumblr.com/
Random House’s Author Site:  
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/elockhart  
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/elockhartbooks
Author’s Teacher Resources/Book Club:  http://www.emilylockhart.com/teachersbook-clubs


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Other Books by the Authors:
The Boyfriend List, 2005
The Boy Book, 2006
Fly on the Wall, 2006
Dramarama, 2007
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, 2008
How to Be Bad, 2008
The Treasure Map of Boys, 2009
Real Live Boyfriends, 2010

About the Author:
Emily Jenkins, who also writes under the name E. Lockhart is a writer of children's picture books, young adult novels, and adult fiction.

Her first novel as E. Lockhart, The Boyfriend List, was published in 2005 and has been followed by three sequels, The Boy Book (2006), The Treasure Map of Boys (2009), and Real Live Boyfriends (2010).These four novels are also known as the Ruby Oliver novels, based on their central protagonist.

Lockhart's 2008 novel, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, was a finalist for both the National Book Award for Young People's Literature and the Michael L. Printz Award. Her picture books, written as Emily Jenkins, have won numerous awards, including Boston Globe-Horn Book Award honors and the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Book Award. Her 2014 novel, We Were Liars, has achieved wide acclaim from reviewers.

Jenkins grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Seattle, Washington. In high school she attended summer drama schools at Northwestern University and the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis. She attended Lakeside School, a private high school in North Seattle. She went to Vassar College and graduate school at Columbia University. She has a doctorate in English literature. She currently lives in the New York City area. (From Wikipedia and the author’s website)