Home / Book Club Picks / More Than A Surprise Ending | Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

More Than A Surprise Ending | Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

The buzz is justified for We Were Liars

Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Goodreads | Amazon | E. Lockhart Website

we were liars e. lockhart book review

Title & Author: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy – Contemporary

Release Date: May 13, 2014

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Random House

How I Got the Book: Bought – Book Club Pick


“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.”

More Than Just A Good Plot Twist

Because my book club is on a deeply emotional book trend this year, we naturally picked We Were Liars as July’s read.

There’s been such enormous buzz around this book that it was almost impossible not to know that there’s a twist at the end of the story.

That being said, there’s much more to We Were Liars than that. This story examines wealth, racism, family, love, friendship, growing up, mistakes (oh the mistakes) and secrets.

Yeah, just a few ideas to tackle. But, Lockhart tells this story in a totally original way. She uses fairy tales and graphic descriptions to delve into the lives of an old, rich family.

And by “graphic” I mean that when one of the character’s parents gets divorced (this is not a spoiler, I swear), the narrator describes her dad leaving as “he shot me with a handgun.” And when she’s emotionally distraught, she “bleeds.”

I’ve never seen this done before, and while it bothered me at first, I began to appreciate the use of language in a new, innovative way. Beside just these descriptions, the writing is excellent.

Plus, the plot and heart of the book is so raw. Instead of scratching the surface of a few topics, We Were Liars goes all the way in. It makes you feel something, that’s for sure.

Twists & Turns

One of my biggest problems with the book was that I knew there was going to be a twist. I mean, in the Goodreads description, it says, “And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.”

So because my brain is faulty, all I could do the whole time was look for clues as to what the twist was. Do as I say and not as I do. PLEASE try to forget that fact and just enjoy reading.

Like I said earlier, whether you figure it out or not isn’t the point. If you – like me – saw it coming a million miles away, it still doesn’t really matter because the book is so much bigger than that.


This is a book I won’t quickly forget. It’s powerful in its prose and point of view. It’s unreliable narrator makes you question everything, and the lively cast of characters is so well-written you can’t help but love and hate them all. We Were Liars is an excellently written book – albeit sorrow-filled – that will be remembered for more than its surprise ending.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Kayla @ The Thousand Lives

    I forgot about that part with the handgun; I read it literally, and was like, wait, this is a paranormal? Is she a ghost?? But then I realized that it was just very strange writing techniques and that’s about when I really started to enjoy this book. I didn’t see the ending coming at all, and when I read the last page my jaw completely dropped!

    • Exactly! I was SO CONFUSED at first, but after the initial shock, I began to really appreciate the imagery.

  • mayceegreene

    This book was fascinating. I read through it in just a few hours, impatient to know the ending. But don’t ask me how it ends, because I’ll lie.