Monday, 12 May 2014

We Were Liars by E.Lockhart

This post contains a review and a bookish manicure.

We Were Liars by E.Lockhart
Published May 13, 2014 by Delacorte Press
Source: the publisher via Netgalley
Rating: 5 stars

From the blurb: 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.
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.
We Were Liars by E.Lockhart is set on Beechwood Island, a fictional island off the coast of Massachusetts. Owned by the Sinclair family, Cady (full name Cadence Sinclair Eastman) and her mother spend every summer there along with the rest of the clan. There’s her grandfather and grandmother, Harris and Tipper. Her aunts, Bess and Carrie, the littles (Bonnie, Liberty, Will, Taft). And then there’s Mirren, Johnny, and Gat, who form the Liars, along with Cady.

Cady is the narrator of this story yet she’s partially unreliable as she cannot recall the events of her fifteenth summer on the island. That was this year that she had an accident and now suffers migraines and memory loss. It is now summer seventeen and Cady returns to the island determined to remember what happened two years ago.

Cady’s voice is hard to ignore, I started this book and thought I’d just read a page or two but before I knew it I was engrossed by her life on the island and the mystery of her accident. Cady loves her family but there is pressure to live up to the Sinclair name, to be the golden first grandchild. She has fallen in love with Gat, Aunt Carrie’s partner’s nephew, and their moments together were so beautiful. Their summers on the island were idyllic, a time when they could leave behind their regular life and be their summer alter egos.

Normally when I read a book involving mystery I am constantly thinking ahead, trying to figure it all out, but that was not the case with We Were Liars. Instead I couldn’t draw my attention from Cady’s story and I focused on the now, knowing that in time the secrets would be revealed.

The writing was beautiful, not a word felt wasted or out of place. Each word was used with precision and conveyed such a vivid, emotional story. Everything about this story, the characters, the island, the events, felt real. It’s a quiet yet powerful novel.

I don’t want to talk about the ending too much, I don’t want to spoil anything and I don’t want to encourage anyone to spend the whole book thinking about the ending. If you read this book, just let it all happen at the pace set by the plot and know you’re in for a masterfully told story. I will say that I felt forlorn once I’d finished; I missed the Liars, I missed the island, I wanted to spend another summer with them.

We Were Liars by E.Lockhart is a captivating story of family and first love. The story, the setting, and the characters will draw you in and hold you close until the very end.

Thank you to Delacorte Press / Random House Kids for my review copy via Netgalley. AUSSIES: Allen & Unwin is publishing this in August, so keep an eye out for it ;)

I’ve had this review saved for about two months as I didn't want to post it until closer to the release date, and I hadn’t planned on doing nails because this cover features a photo and no graphics. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do nails for it. Rather than try to duplicate the cover exactly, I chose a few elements and used those as nail art inspiration.

I started with a base of Mode Cosmetics Cool As, a mint green. Once dry I painted the left side of each nail using Bloom Kate, a pale blue.

Once dry I used a makeup sponge to dab on Ulta3 Lily White.

The font used on the cover reminded me of earthquake nails, which are fun and easy to do. I used a fine brush and black acrylic paint to paint a line down the middle of each nail. Then I made smaller lines horizontally, varying the length up and down the middle line.

This look is really versatile, it'll work with so many colour combinations and it's nice and easy (if you don't have a fine brush you could use a toothpick).


  1. Love the nail art design you got inspired by the cover. Its cool looking.

  2. I love your review and manicure for this! I keep seeing awesome review for this book and I know I need it in my life. Isn’t the synopsis written for this the most intriguing ever!

    Thanks for the great review.

  3. I WANT TO READ THIS SO BAD. Everyone is reviewing it at the moment and it's making me quite desperate to try it. ;) Love the nails! I think you caught a lot of elements of the cover really well. Ohhh, but I'm super curious as to the mystery. I neeeeed to know....

  4. Ooh, I really like those nails! I finished this book yesterday and though I didn't love it, I did enjoy it. Still, can't say it's my favorite Lockhart by a long shot. I'm glad you were drawn to Cady's narration though, Mandee, and gorgeous review! :)

  5. I'm so happy you liked this one, Mandee. I tried reading it some time back, but the writing just wasn't for me. It's one of those books that you either love or hate and unfortunately, I fell in the latter group. I can see why so many people loved it though. It was intriguing book from start to finish and Cady's instability was very alluring.
    Great review, Mandee.

  6. I've heard a lot of good things about this book and saw Lockhart recently too. Glad you liked it and I will have to pick it up. I also love the nails you did. Really cool interpretation of the cover.

  7. Yet another 5 star review for this one, this book is seriously everywhere. I think it will be hard for me to concentrate on things as they happen rather than try and figure out the mystery cause that's what I love about mysteries, trying to solve them before the big reveal. However, I'll try to keep your words in mind and just enjoy everything as it happens =)

  8. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. I think you loved it a bit more than me, but my favorite part was most definitely the beautiful writing. I loved the unreliable narrator, and the almost fairy tale feel to the story. I really did figure out what was going on pretty early on, but I still had a melancholy feeling when it was all over.

    I'm loving those nails. The black part alludes to the font treatment so nicely!

    Great review and nails!

  9. That's great you loved this one. I really did too. It was a book that really sucked me in.

    your nails are great too - i like that it fits the book in a smaller way.

  10. I have got to read this one. This is the second review I have read today that praises this one, and I love a good mystery with an unreliable narrator.

  11. I am so glad to see your 5-star review, Mands! I have the audiobook on preorder and am keen to get listening! I do enjoy a good unreliable narrator. Seriously cool manicure too. The earthquake style brings out the wavy font in the title, which I hadn't even noticed!

  12. Ahhh - I can't even tell you how excited I was that you did a We Were Liars manicure. I just scrolled down to see the nails -- perfection! -- and now I have to read the review. Hang on....
    Oh, glad you loved this book too! I really enjoyed it :)
    Jen @ YA Romantics

  13. stunning ! love color combo ! it is perfect mani !✿◠‿◠

  14. Beautiful manicure as usual Mands, I just think it's perfect for Winter! I love the sound of this book and cannot wait until I get my hands on it, I love how the story unfolds as time goes on. It sounds amazing.

  15. The nails are stunning as usual! So happy to see that you loved We Were Liars as much as I did. I couldn't stop reading that book and the end made me cry at work. Suck a beautiful book and I adored the authors writing style, it was so unique and wonderful. Great review :)

  16. Oh wow—I love your nail interpretation of the cover, that is lovely and COOL! I'm thrilled to hear you loved this too. I totally agree, I hope everyone goes into this without thinking of the ending, and just reading at Cady's pace. I had just read early reviews of the book before reading myself, and it had me looking at every turn for what the twist might be—totally not the way I wish I'd read it! But I still loved it. Wonderful review!

  17. Love the nails, so cool! I also really enjoy that the story kept you moving along without trying to guess at the end and rush through it!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  18. I like the idea you came up with for your nails. I have seen everyone reading this book so it must be good. I would love to read this book!

  19. This is the third review I've seen for this today. I'm really curious about this book, I think it's one I might really like. And the nails look great! I think they go with the book perfectly. :)

  20. Thank you for the fantastic review, Mands! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book - I've heard nothing but great things about it! Also, that manicure is divine!

  21. I decided that I wasn't really drawn to We Were Liars when I read the synopsis, because while it sounded interesting, I had a feeling I would end up disliking it or even stopping halfway through, so I haven't added it to my tbr, but I'm sorely tempted after reading this (excellent) review! It definitely sounds really interesting and I'm not sensing a spooky element I had anticipated there would be.

  22. I will definitely have to keep myself from thinking far ahead when I'm reading this, since that's exactly how I am! :) And great nails yet again! I'm always amazed at the ideas you come up with, since they fit the covers so perfectly yet always look so good without that context as well.

  23. Ah! The nails for this one are stunning! I swear you're getting better and better with your art :D This isn't the type of book I tend to gravitate towards but I do like mysteries quite a bit. That coupled with you saying that the writing style kept you in the now, completely engrossed in the MC's story. I'm the same way: I tend to always be thinking ahead with mysteries so I'd love to see if your experience would hold true for me! I'll need to check this one out and see ;-) Thanks for the excellent review Mands ^^ xxx

  24. I haven't tried these earthquake nails yet but maybe I will give them a try sometime! I love the way these turned out! :) Great job creating a mani inspired by this cover... I honestly don't know what I would've done if I had to do a mani inspired by this one... it would be really hard to do freehand recreation. I like how you took some elements from the cover as your inspiration instead


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