We Were Liars PDF

For most people, it’s hard to accept themselves as they are. Most people spend their whole life avoiding the inevitable in the pursuit of happiness, while happiness lies in accepting things and situations that one cannot control. Mistakes have their consequences, but that doesn’t mean one has to cling to those consequences. One must move on with life by accepting things.

Lockhart in her young adult fiction novel tried to vividly portray these themes through the character Cadence. The whole story revolves around how the main character Cadence healed herself after a dreadful accident that shattered Cadence’s heart. As per Los Angeles Times writer and literature critic Amy Benfer, We Were Liars is “a classic story of decaying aristocracy and the way that privilege can often hamstring more than help”.

This is the kind of novel that has ‘sublime and blistering storytelling, thrilling and mysterious plot, and an excellent portrayal of human consciousness’ one might say.

Here, from us, you will get a clear and unbiased overview of the book and then you can choose whether or not you wish to read the book.

Book details

Book Name We Were Liars
Author E. Lockhart
Language English
Publisher Delacorte Press
Genre Young adult fiction, Psychological thriller, Mystery
Pages 246
Size 0.91 MB
Format PDF
Originally Published May 13, 2014

We Were Liars PDF

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An Overview of the Plot

The novel originally consists of five parts, each one indicates the development of the story. The plot revolves around a wealthy family, which spends their summer vacation on their family-owned private island. The main character Cadence suddenly had an accident and lost her memory of the time spent on the island. To help her remember, her three friends called ‘the liars’ in the book go along with her on another vacation. Then another dreadful accident occurs and Cadence lost her three friends. It gets hard on Cadence to forgive herself for the incident, while there was no mistake of her. In the end, Cadence finds herself forgiving her.

Part One (welcome)

The main character Cadence, an eighteen years old girl, a scion of the Sinclair family, narrates her story in the first person as she describes the generation leniency of the Sinclair family. The head of the family, Grandfather Harris Sinclair, widowed; his three divorced daughters; and Cadence and her 6 cousins. They spend their summer vacations on a private island owned by the Sinclair’s. One aunt’s boyfriend has a nephew named Gat and he joins them every year on their vacation. Cadence’s granddad is not particularly fond of Gat, for his South Asian descent. Gat, Cadence, and her two cousins are called ‘the Liars’ in the book for unexplained reasons.

Gat and Cadence fell in love when cadence was fourteen. The next summer, Cadence undergoes an accident and partly lost her memory. After that Cadence goes through a recovery period for her injuries from the accident, in the meantime, none of the liars keep contact with Cadence and don’t even reply to her emails.

Part Two (Vermont)

After the dreadful accident, Cadence goes through a difficult time trying to recall past memories. If she asks someone in the family about the vacation, she always finds the answer upsetting.

Cadence’s family tries reluctantly to bring her to Europe for the next summer vacation while Cadence keeps on insisting to return to the island. Meanwhile, Cadence comes to know that the internal affairs of the family are not going well as Harris Sinclair is becoming more and more mentally unstable. One of the younger cousins informs Cadence that Cadence is being called a drug addict within the cousins. The younger cousin also suspected that the island might be haunted.

Part Three (summer seventeen)

Cadence arriving at the island begins the 3rd part of the story. After arriving, to her surprise Cadence find the old Victorian house has been rebuilt to a modern ugly looking structure. Cadence once again meets with ‘the Liars’ but this time, somewhat awkwardly. They decide to spend more time together than with the family.

The group bonding this time was invisible. The group’s other three members were rarely responsive about Cadence’s accident last summer.

Part Four (look, a fire!)

In this part, finally, Cadence starts to realize what happened last summer. The adult family members were fighting over the inheritance of the granddad’s property. Then the family members leave the island for a short while. But the liars were left behind and since the inheritance was mostly based upon the Victorian house, the liars burnt it down. To their surprise, they observe that the adults are behaving quite nicely with each other.

But this happy moment turns into a gloomy one when she realizes she and the liars are responsible for the death of their two pet dogs.

Part Five (truth)

This is the part with the twist of events, Cadence finally realizes the truth that she was the lone survivor from the fire. The other three members of the liars spent the last weeks as ghosts to help Cadence realize the truth. And now they have to depart, Cadence wishes her last goodbye to her beloved Gat and the other cousins. Taught from her previous mistakes, she becomes more resolved to be kinder towards the family members.


The novel is quite a page-turner with a sublime storytelling style and thrilling twists and turns. The book has been appreciated by being awarded the Goodreads choice award. It also made it to the top ten best list for young adult fiction at ALA.

But there are also criticisms that the novel doesn’t push any morals in the end and it was shallow. There were some inquiries that needed to be addressed. but the writer didn’t. The twists of events meant nothing to the plot. The critics have claimed that this book is purely entertainment, nothing more.

People who are looking for books to pass leisure time, fans of mystery and thrillers, will find this book amusing. So, start reading.


Helpful Resources

We Were Liars- Wikipedia

We Were Liars PDF

Summary of the book

The Goodreads review

We Were Liars review


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