I have two close friends who I swap books with constantly. During our last exchange they were shocked to learn I had never read E. Lockhart's We Were Liars. In unison they shouted, "You would love it!"
The young adult book is set on Beechwood Island, a private island off of Martha's Vineyard. It is inhabited every summer by three generations of the Sinclair family, who have built four custom homes on their oceanfront oasis.
The opening paragraph reads, "Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family. No one is a criminal. No one is an addict. No one is a failure. The Sinclairs are athletic, tall, and handsome. We are old-money Democrats. Our smiles are wide, our chins square, and our tennis serves aggressive."
The title of the book refers to Cady, Johnny, Gat and Mirren, the foursome of cousins and friends who called themselves "the Liars." Each year they arrive to Beechwood and immediately fill their days with their favorite pastimes - swimming off the "little beach," eating lunch on the roof, and keenly observing the behavior of their aunts and grandfather.
Of course there is romance. In her teen years, Cady develops a deep infatuation with Gat (Johnny's best friend). He's well read and curious, and she completely smitten.
About half way through the book, Cady survives a terrible accident, leaving her with serious head trauma. She isn't able to remember much about that night and her entire family seems to be walking on eggshells around her. As the reader, you come along with Cady as she desperately tries to piece together what happened.
I don't want to give away the ending, but I will say that I didn't love it. There's a big reveal on the final few pages and I just couldn't get on board with the author's decision.
That said, as I was reading, I kept thinking how this book would make an excellent mini series on Freeform. It feels like Pretty Little Liars meets Outer Banks. Plus, who wouldn't want to watch multiple episodes set in mansions off of Martha's Vineyard?
Since finishing this book, I also read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. It's very imaginative and I can't wait to share more with you.
*Image courtesy of Youth are Awesome.