Author: E. Lockhart
Since this book was published a few years back, I know it’s been oversaturated with reviews, hopefully I add something new to the review pool. To be honest, I’m out of the YA loop. I read my fair share of YA as a teen but I’ve been branching out for the last five years or so.
So I found myself in Barnes & Noble, which is a rare occasion since I frequent the local independent bookstores. I saw this purple cover with sparkly letters and, the best part, a “signed copy” sticker on the front… I was sold. The cover alone told me it fell in the YA genre, but I bought it anyway.
Before I went to sleep that night, I was 80% done with the book. That’s what I really don’t like about YA, the books go by too quickly! Nevertheless, I was hooked into the characters and eager to find out the ending.
Here’s a brief synopsis:
The Sinclairs are a preppy, old money family. Harris and Tipper Sinclair reside in Boston; they have three beautiful, pure-bred daughters: Carrie, Bess, and Penny. Through their daughters, they have seven grandchildren. Harris and Tipper have pride in their family genes; the Sinclairs are tall, athletic, and blonde.
Beechwood Island has been in the Sinclair family for generations; it’s a privately owned island equipped with four houses, a staff building, beaches, boats, and a tennis court. The island is not too far from Martha’s Vineyard, if you’re familiar with Massachusetts at all.
Every summer, the family joins on the island for lemonade, beach days, boating, board games and quality family time. There’s no cell phone or wi-fi service on Beechwood. The four main characters, the “Liars”, are Cady, Mirren, Johnny, and Gat. Gat is the black sheep; Carrie brought Gat on the island to play with Johnny when they were just children and has been coming back every summer since.
Cady is damaged, self-conscious, but also passionate. Mirren is light-hearted and sensitive. Johnny is reckless, silly, and everything but serious. Gat is intellectual, thoughtful, and observant. The four Liars are inseparable, they live for their summers on the island, they feed off of one another.
The book brings you through their summers, describes their day-to-days, until the plot twist. The inside of the book jacket describes it as: “A revolution. An accident. A secret.” I will not give away anymore of the story, however I will tell you that the twist had me upset and confused. I have to say, the story evoked emotion.
I didn’t love the book. I’m not passing it around to my friends telling them they have to read it. I enjoyed the story, I loved the additions of the map and the family tree; I didn’t enjoy Lockhart’s metaphors and I would have liked if the characters, other than Cady, had a bit more depth. Anyhow, the book will look pretty on my shelf and it was an interesting way to kick off summer reading!