Cady is part of the wealthy Sinclair family, a legacy started from her grandparents and passed down to their three daughters and their children. Every summer, the families converge onto their private island where each family has their own home. Cady, with her two cousins and a family friend become summer pals on the island. Each year they play together, they grow up together, they are inseparable, they are “the liars”…. until one summer where Cady has an accident and can’t remember what happened while everyone tiptoes around her.
If you haven’t heard anything about this book yet, good. Leave it that way until you read it for yourself! I bought into the hype of everyone talking about it, so I had to read it for myself. Ignorance is bliss – the less you know, the better off you’ll be. Which makes writing this review incredibly difficult!
One of the first things I noticed about Lockhart’s writing was that it was gritty and dark, while maintaining a seemingly lighthearted summertime mood. The way she write’s Cady’s POV is quite violent in the metaphors, with mentions of cutting and bleeding to describe the protagonist’s emotions. She has a way with words and her storytelling is well-paced, leading the reader along where she wants you to go. Between the chapters of the main narrative, variations on a fairytale are told, slightly different with each instance in such a way that it seems to correlate with the flow of the story.
It was also an interesting subplot of how the (very-Caucasian) Sinclair family reacted to the introduction of a couple of people who are of a different ethnicity onto their private sanctuary of an island. The differences in interaction between generations was poignantly noted, between the older generation of the grandparents to the different personalities & points of view of the grown adult daughters, and down to the younger generation of the kids.
I loved the idea of a contemporary YA thriller and the cover wouldn’t necessarily give you the impression that this is one. I find so often that these three components – contemporary, young adult, thriller – are not often done, or done well. It may be a sci-fi YA thriller, or a contemporary YA romance. I flew through this story and couldn’t put it down. This book, while I did unfortunately figure out where it was going, still entertained me immensely. This is why I say: the less you know, the better!