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We Were Liars

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Paperback
$10.99 US
On sale May 29, 2018 | 320 Pages | 978-0-385-74127-9
Age 12 and up | Grade 7 & Up
Reading Level: Lexile 600L
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. Don't miss the #1 New York Times bestselling prequel, Family of Liars.

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.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

"Thrilling, beautiful, and blisteringly smart, We Were Liars is utterly unforgettable." —John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars

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.

It doesn't matter if divorce shreds the muscles of our hearts so that they will hardly beat without a struggle. It doesn't matter if trust-fund money is running out; if credit card bills go unpaid on the kitchen counter. It doesn't matter if there's a cluster of pill bottles on the bedside table.

It doesn't matter if one of us is desperately, desperately in love.

So much 

in love 

that equally desperate measures 

must be taken.

We are Sinclairs.

No one is needy.

No one is wrong.

We live, at least in the summertime, on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts.

Perhaps that is all you need to know.
  • WINNER | 2016
    Missouri Gateway Readers Award
  • WINNER | 2015
    Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award
  • WINNER | 2015
    Georgia Children's Book Award
  • NOMINEE | 2018
    Georgia Children's Book Award
  • NOMINEE | 2016
    New Mexico Land of Enchantment Book Award
  • NOMINEE | 2016
    Louisiana Young Reader's Choice Award
  • NOMINEE | 2016
    Georgia Children's Book Award
  • HONOR | 2016
    Rhode Island Teen Book Award
  • SELECTION | 2015
    Virginia Capitol Choices Award List
  • SELECTION | 2015
    Virginia Young Readers Program
  • SELECTION | 2015
    Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List
  • FINALIST | 2015
    Georgia Children's Book Award
  • SELECTION | 2015
    YALSA Best Books for Young Adults
  • SELECTION | 2015
    Pennyslvania Young Readers Choice Master List
  • NOMINEE | 2015
    Georgia Children's Book Award
  • NOMINEE | 2015
    Michigan Reading Association Great Lakes Book Award
  • NOMINEE | 2015
    Florida Book Award
  • SELECTION | 2015
    IRA Young Adult Choices
  • AWARD | 2014
    Georgia Children's Book Award
  • AWARD | 2014
    School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
  • AWARD | 2014
    Publishers Weekly Best Books
  • SELECTION | 2014
    Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers
  • SELECTION | 2014
    Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year
“Sometimes a book is a book and sometimes a book is a phenomenon. E. Lockhart’s 2014 Y.A. psychological thriller We Were Liars is, without a doubt, a phenomenon. . . . The prequel aims to stand on its own, and technically it does; you don’t need to have read the earlier book to understand this new one. But for the greatest enjoyment of Family of Liars, read We Were Liars first.” The New York Times, on Family of Liars

"You’re going to want to remember the title. Liars details the summers of a girl who harbors a dark secret, and delivers a satisfying, but shocking twist ending." —Breia Brissey, Entertainment Weekly

"This mindblowing YA thriller from E. Lockhart will make you glad you're the 99 percent...And that's about all we can tell you when it comes to the story of 'We Were Liars,' the book by E. Lockhart that everyone will be reading, and re-reading, this summer. It's twisty, it's mysterious, and it's got a surprise ending that'll knock your socks off."
—Kat Rosenfield, MTV News

"Surprising, thrilling, and beautifully executed in spare, precise, and lyrical prose, Lockhart spins a tragic family drama, the roots of which go back generations. And the ending? Shhhh. Not telling. (But it’s a doozy)...This is poised to be big." —Booklist, starred review

"Lockhart has created a mystery with an ending most readers won’t see coming, one so horrific it will prompt some to return immediately to page one to figure out how they missed it. At the center of it is a girl who learns the hardest way of all what family means, and what it means to lose the one that really mattered to you." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Riveting, brutal and beautifully told." —Kirkus, starred review

"The ending is a stunner that  will haunt readers for a long time to come." —School Library Journal, starred review

"A taut psychological mystery marked by an air of uneasy disorientation...The ultimate reveal is shocking both for its tragedy and for the how-could-I-have-not-suspected-that? feeling it leaves us with. But we didn’t, which is Lockhart’s commendable triumph." —The Horn Book, starred review

“This is a love story as much as it is a psychological mystery…Astonishing." —Shelf Awareness, starred review

“[a] haunting, sophisticated mystery...a novel so twisty and well-told that it will appeal to older readers as well as to adolescents.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Irresistible premise for this ticking time bomb of a novel.” —The New York Times Book Review

"A Lockhart YA is always a treat and this is no exception...The glimpse we get into a life of privilege, a lifestyle most of us can only imagine, is insightful and thrilling. The ending will shock the mose jaded of readers, we promise!" —RT Book Reviews

"There's trouble in paradise at the opening of National Book Award finalist and Printz honoree E. Lockhart's shattering yet ultimately hopeful YA novel . . . and neither family nor reader will ever be the same." —Library Journal

"It's a nearly perfect story, and it's utterly absorbing." —Bustle,  A YA Best Book of the Year

"No book on this summer's reading list will have readers immobilized in their hammocks more than E. Lockhart's We Were Liars..... This book has that surprise quality--like Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity--that makes readers scramble back through hungrily devoured chapters and wonder in admiration: Could I have seen this coming? Did I miss any clues?" —Newsday

"Like a shard of glass, WE WERE LIARS glitters and shines, then cuts deep. E. Lockhart has truly outdone herself with this masterful, darkly mesmerizing portrait of a fractured family ruined by the excess of wealth. Humming with rich descriptions and razor-sharp intelligence, the story of Cadence Sinclair Eastman will both inspire and haunt readers for years to come." —Sarah Pitre, Forever Young Adult

"Perception often is not reality -- and it certainly is not in WE WERE LIARS. This is a look at what “a perfect world” looks like on the inside and how it unravels once one of the players sees it for what it is. Pitch perfect in both plotting and character development."
—Carol Fitzgerald, Book Reporter

"The must-read contemporary novel so far this year is definitely E. Lockhart’s stellar We Were Liars, a rich, stunning summer mystery with a sharp twist that will leaving you dying to talk about the book with a pal or ten." —Sonia Charaipotra, Parade

"A haunting tale about how families live within their own mythologies. Sad, wonderful, and real." —Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies and Leviathan

"I've fallen in love with every E. Lockhart book I've ever read (and I've read them all), but We Were Liars blows them all out of the water. Dark, gripping, heartrending, and terrifyingly smart, this book grabs you from the first page--and will never let go." — Robin Wasserman, author of The Waking Dark

"Spectacular." —Lauren Myracle, author of Shine, The Infinite Moment of Us, and TTYL

"A haunting, brilliant, beautiful book. This is E. Lockhart at her mind-blowing best." — Sarah Mlynowski, author of Don't Even Think About It and Gimme a Call

"Stunningly sharp. . . . will sear itself into your memory." —Christian Science Monitor

"A haunting psychological thriller." —The Guardian

"The mystery driving the plot is a shocking punch in the face that will stay with you long after you finish." —Hypable Online Hypable-Weekend Reading

“There’s no preparing for the shocker of an ending.”
SLJ

"We Were Liars is amazing. I felt run over by it . . . .Emily has done something incredible here. —Paul O. Zelinsky
© Heather Weston

E. Lockhart wrote the New York Times bestseller We Were Liars and the upcoming Genuine Fraud, a psychological thriller. Her other books include Fly on the Wall, Dramarama, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and the Ruby Oliver Quartet, which includes The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Boys, and Real Live Boyfriends. She also wrote How to Be Bad with Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle. Visit her online at emilylockhart.com, and follow her on Twitter at @elockhart.

View titles by E. Lockhart

E. Lockhart at the First-Year Experience® (FYE) 2015 Random House Luncheon

Educator Guide for We Were Liars

Classroom-based guides appropriate for schools and colleges provide pre-reading and classroom activities, discussion questions connected to the curriculum, further reading, and resources.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

Classroom Activities for We Were Liars

Classroom activities supplement discussion and traditional lessons with group projects and creative tasks. Can be used in pre-existing units and lessons, or as stand-alone.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

Discussion Guide for We Were Liars

Provides questions, discussion topics, suggested reading lists, introductions and/or author Q&As, which are intended to enhance reading groups’ experiences.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

About

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. Don't miss the #1 New York Times bestselling prequel, Family of Liars.

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.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

"Thrilling, beautiful, and blisteringly smart, We Were Liars is utterly unforgettable." —John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars

Excerpt

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.

It doesn't matter if divorce shreds the muscles of our hearts so that they will hardly beat without a struggle. It doesn't matter if trust-fund money is running out; if credit card bills go unpaid on the kitchen counter. It doesn't matter if there's a cluster of pill bottles on the bedside table.

It doesn't matter if one of us is desperately, desperately in love.

So much 

in love 

that equally desperate measures 

must be taken.

We are Sinclairs.

No one is needy.

No one is wrong.

We live, at least in the summertime, on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts.

Perhaps that is all you need to know.

Awards

  • WINNER | 2016
    Missouri Gateway Readers Award
  • WINNER | 2015
    Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award
  • WINNER | 2015
    Georgia Children's Book Award
  • NOMINEE | 2018
    Georgia Children's Book Award
  • NOMINEE | 2016
    New Mexico Land of Enchantment Book Award
  • NOMINEE | 2016
    Louisiana Young Reader's Choice Award
  • NOMINEE | 2016
    Georgia Children's Book Award
  • HONOR | 2016
    Rhode Island Teen Book Award
  • SELECTION | 2015
    Virginia Capitol Choices Award List
  • SELECTION | 2015
    Virginia Young Readers Program
  • SELECTION | 2015
    Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List
  • FINALIST | 2015
    Georgia Children's Book Award
  • SELECTION | 2015
    YALSA Best Books for Young Adults
  • SELECTION | 2015
    Pennyslvania Young Readers Choice Master List
  • NOMINEE | 2015
    Georgia Children's Book Award
  • NOMINEE | 2015
    Michigan Reading Association Great Lakes Book Award
  • NOMINEE | 2015
    Florida Book Award
  • SELECTION | 2015
    IRA Young Adult Choices
  • AWARD | 2014
    Georgia Children's Book Award
  • AWARD | 2014
    School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
  • AWARD | 2014
    Publishers Weekly Best Books
  • SELECTION | 2014
    Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers
  • SELECTION | 2014
    Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year

Praise

“Sometimes a book is a book and sometimes a book is a phenomenon. E. Lockhart’s 2014 Y.A. psychological thriller We Were Liars is, without a doubt, a phenomenon. . . . The prequel aims to stand on its own, and technically it does; you don’t need to have read the earlier book to understand this new one. But for the greatest enjoyment of Family of Liars, read We Were Liars first.” The New York Times, on Family of Liars

"You’re going to want to remember the title. Liars details the summers of a girl who harbors a dark secret, and delivers a satisfying, but shocking twist ending." —Breia Brissey, Entertainment Weekly

"This mindblowing YA thriller from E. Lockhart will make you glad you're the 99 percent...And that's about all we can tell you when it comes to the story of 'We Were Liars,' the book by E. Lockhart that everyone will be reading, and re-reading, this summer. It's twisty, it's mysterious, and it's got a surprise ending that'll knock your socks off."
—Kat Rosenfield, MTV News

"Surprising, thrilling, and beautifully executed in spare, precise, and lyrical prose, Lockhart spins a tragic family drama, the roots of which go back generations. And the ending? Shhhh. Not telling. (But it’s a doozy)...This is poised to be big." —Booklist, starred review

"Lockhart has created a mystery with an ending most readers won’t see coming, one so horrific it will prompt some to return immediately to page one to figure out how they missed it. At the center of it is a girl who learns the hardest way of all what family means, and what it means to lose the one that really mattered to you." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Riveting, brutal and beautifully told." —Kirkus, starred review

"The ending is a stunner that  will haunt readers for a long time to come." —School Library Journal, starred review

"A taut psychological mystery marked by an air of uneasy disorientation...The ultimate reveal is shocking both for its tragedy and for the how-could-I-have-not-suspected-that? feeling it leaves us with. But we didn’t, which is Lockhart’s commendable triumph." —The Horn Book, starred review

“This is a love story as much as it is a psychological mystery…Astonishing." —Shelf Awareness, starred review

“[a] haunting, sophisticated mystery...a novel so twisty and well-told that it will appeal to older readers as well as to adolescents.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Irresistible premise for this ticking time bomb of a novel.” —The New York Times Book Review

"A Lockhart YA is always a treat and this is no exception...The glimpse we get into a life of privilege, a lifestyle most of us can only imagine, is insightful and thrilling. The ending will shock the mose jaded of readers, we promise!" —RT Book Reviews

"There's trouble in paradise at the opening of National Book Award finalist and Printz honoree E. Lockhart's shattering yet ultimately hopeful YA novel . . . and neither family nor reader will ever be the same." —Library Journal

"It's a nearly perfect story, and it's utterly absorbing." —Bustle,  A YA Best Book of the Year

"No book on this summer's reading list will have readers immobilized in their hammocks more than E. Lockhart's We Were Liars..... This book has that surprise quality--like Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity--that makes readers scramble back through hungrily devoured chapters and wonder in admiration: Could I have seen this coming? Did I miss any clues?" —Newsday

"Like a shard of glass, WE WERE LIARS glitters and shines, then cuts deep. E. Lockhart has truly outdone herself with this masterful, darkly mesmerizing portrait of a fractured family ruined by the excess of wealth. Humming with rich descriptions and razor-sharp intelligence, the story of Cadence Sinclair Eastman will both inspire and haunt readers for years to come." —Sarah Pitre, Forever Young Adult

"Perception often is not reality -- and it certainly is not in WE WERE LIARS. This is a look at what “a perfect world” looks like on the inside and how it unravels once one of the players sees it for what it is. Pitch perfect in both plotting and character development."
—Carol Fitzgerald, Book Reporter

"The must-read contemporary novel so far this year is definitely E. Lockhart’s stellar We Were Liars, a rich, stunning summer mystery with a sharp twist that will leaving you dying to talk about the book with a pal or ten." —Sonia Charaipotra, Parade

"A haunting tale about how families live within their own mythologies. Sad, wonderful, and real." —Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies and Leviathan

"I've fallen in love with every E. Lockhart book I've ever read (and I've read them all), but We Were Liars blows them all out of the water. Dark, gripping, heartrending, and terrifyingly smart, this book grabs you from the first page--and will never let go." — Robin Wasserman, author of The Waking Dark

"Spectacular." —Lauren Myracle, author of Shine, The Infinite Moment of Us, and TTYL

"A haunting, brilliant, beautiful book. This is E. Lockhart at her mind-blowing best." — Sarah Mlynowski, author of Don't Even Think About It and Gimme a Call

"Stunningly sharp. . . . will sear itself into your memory." —Christian Science Monitor

"A haunting psychological thriller." —The Guardian

"The mystery driving the plot is a shocking punch in the face that will stay with you long after you finish." —Hypable Online Hypable-Weekend Reading

“There’s no preparing for the shocker of an ending.”
SLJ

"We Were Liars is amazing. I felt run over by it . . . .Emily has done something incredible here. —Paul O. Zelinsky

Author

© Heather Weston

E. Lockhart wrote the New York Times bestseller We Were Liars and the upcoming Genuine Fraud, a psychological thriller. Her other books include Fly on the Wall, Dramarama, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and the Ruby Oliver Quartet, which includes The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Boys, and Real Live Boyfriends. She also wrote How to Be Bad with Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle. Visit her online at emilylockhart.com, and follow her on Twitter at @elockhart.

View titles by E. Lockhart

Media

E. Lockhart at the First-Year Experience® (FYE) 2015 Random House Luncheon

Guides

Educator Guide for We Were Liars

Classroom-based guides appropriate for schools and colleges provide pre-reading and classroom activities, discussion questions connected to the curriculum, further reading, and resources.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

Classroom Activities for We Were Liars

Classroom activities supplement discussion and traditional lessons with group projects and creative tasks. Can be used in pre-existing units and lessons, or as stand-alone.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

Discussion Guide for We Were Liars

Provides questions, discussion topics, suggested reading lists, introductions and/or author Q&As, which are intended to enhance reading groups’ experiences.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)