Cover Image: Family of Liars

Family of Liars

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Member Reviews

This read was just what I needed to get out of a slump I have been in!  It was engaging, easy to fall into and kept me thoroughly entertained.  I love it when a story becomes like an afternoon spent with a good friend and "restores your soul" with its goodness and delight.  This is a book of that nature.  It is sure to bring a smile to your face and it will not disappoint!
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I was a fan of We Were Liars long before it was TIkTok famous -- so I was excited for Family of Liars. This story is about the adults from We Were Liars when they were children. I honestly think I enjoyed this more than the first one!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Loved the first book and loved the prequel.  Pulled me in right away

4.25 stars 
My 8th graders will love this book
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I enjoyed this follow up to We Were Liars even more than the first book. The backstory of the family, the unreliable narrator and the setting of the private island all were enjoyable.
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In what appears to be a new tradition from YA authors, Family of Liars has author E. Lockhart returning to a book world that she first wrote about years ago. And thought Family of Liars was a quick and interesting read it was absolutely unnecessary.

I will start off by saying that I very much liked We Were Liars when I first read it and I even enjoyed it when I reread it a few years later so that I could refresh my memory when I assigned it for my teen book club. The unreliable narrator, especially given that the reader is pretty much told right away to expect that the narrator is unreliable, and the twists were pretty groundbreaking. 

Family of Liars was told in almost the same way, it just wasn't done as well which is why I think the book itself is unnecessary. We've already seen that family on the island. We've already seen that family talking to ghosts. And we've already seen members of that family lying their asses off. 

Overall, I actually did enjoy the book for what it was. I just don't think it really needed to have been written.
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I was so excited to see Family of Liars on NetGalley because I really loved We Were Liars. This prequel didn't have quite the shock value of We Were Liars, but I loved the book just the same. I loved going back in time to learn about the previous generation of Sinclairs. They are a family that has their own way of functioning due to their wealth and traditions. But as always, the teenagers in a family question the norms and do their own thing, often with troubling results. This was a very satisfying and quick read.
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Fans of Lockhart will thrill to see her return to the island where family secrets and summer idylls are guaranteed to bring surprises.
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I really wanted to love this prequel to We Were Liars by e. lockhart but it just fell short for me. There was a lot of background for WWL but I did not feel that it enhanced it much. Had I not read WWL it may have been a different read. But I do recommend WWL! ⭐️⭐️⭐️
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In this prequel to We Were Liars, we visit the island off the coast of Massachusetts with the Sinclair family in the 80s. Carrie is the eldest daughter, with her youngest sister, Rosemary, having drowned the summer before. The family returned this year without acknowledging the missing family member. Then, a boat full of boys arrives at the island with a lot of drama for the Sinclair girls. The sisters have to navigate their new life with some betrayal and mistakes along the way. 

This prequel starts off with spoilers for We Were Liars, so it shouldn’t be read first. Carrie narrated the story as her adult self looking back on that particular summer where her life changed. It was similar to We Were Liars in the way that it was the same family on the same island but it was quite different as well. 

This story was a lot darker than We Were Liars. There were serious issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, drowning, murder, cheating, and homophobia. Some of these scenes were really uncomfortable, but they also honestly showed the flaws in this upper class family, which led to the events of We Were Liars. 

Family of Liars was a great prequel to We Were Liars. 

Thank you Penguin Teen Canada for providing a digital copy of this book.
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From the first paragraph, I knew this book would be a good one. I immersed myself into the book from the first chapter and I cannot say enough good things about this book! Honestly amazing! The writing is incredible and the plot is just one to die for. I am absolutely obsessed with this book. My favorite part would have to be the character development throughout the book. Character development is something I look forward to and this book did not disappoint.
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I liked but didn't love this prequel. Plenty of it was great with a shock or two here and there, but too much of it felt like a dream. I was frustrated with a few of the characters and their choices, which pulled me out of the narrative. I'm glad I have some backstory, but it wasn't as satisfying as I would've hoped. There was no "oh wow!" moment like in the first book.
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Family of Liars by E. Lockhart is the highly anticipated prequel to We Were Liars. It goes back a generation and tells the story of another summer on the family's private island. In this story, the three aunts are the privileged teenagers. We learn more about the family's history and the ethos that created The Liars of the first book. The book moves at a nice pace and the lyrical writing gives a hazy, wistful quality to the story. Highly recommended for fans of the first book as well as teen readers of realistic fiction.
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I wanted to like this book because I loved the first book so much. I have started this book numerous times but it took me months to really want to read it and get into the story. We purchased the book for our teen collection and it is popular. I feel like "We Were Liars" was better as a standalone book.
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“To be a Sinclair and to have the security and good standing that all our hard work and dirty money and unearned privilege and intelligence has bought us…” is a rather hefty price to pay in this family! When what was yours is no longer yours, the question of who you are and what you are willing to do comes forth. In a labyrinth of a summer vacation, narcotics addiction, date rape, murder and lies, so many lies loop into themselves to become a thought provoking tale of one woman’s experience.
Lockharts characters were strong and gave all the feels in one way or another, and her plot twists around in depravity and loyalty and love, no matter how warped. A great summer read!
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A great follow up for Liars fans. The way themes of family, acceptance, and teen drama are woven together makes for a thrilling and meaningful read.
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This book was okay. I LOVED the sequel but I felt as if I didn't really get anything from this read. I was an okay storyline but I felt it wasn't anything special to the general story.
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We Were Liars captured a lot of attention upon it's release and with good reason. Not only did it shine a stark light on privileged families and the destructive nature of inter-generational wealth, it did so with a compelling narrative and innovative structure. And it was a complete engaging book that left us thinking, left enough unanswered that we thought about it and debated it afterwards. But it didn't leave much room for further exploration, at least not in the form of a sequel. So it was not surprising when I learned that Lockhart was revisiting the Sinclair family that this was done in the form of a prequel. There are references in the first book to secrets and lies from the previous generation and this book endeavors to tell us about those secrets. But I'm not sure we really needed this. It doesn't break ground the way the first book did, ends up feeling like a rehash of the same ideas. If you're a true fan of We Were Liars this might be worth a read but I wouldn't make it a "must-read".
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So. I remember when I first read We Were Liars that there were a lot of naysayers hating the characters, ending, etc. I loved it. Not sure what that says about me, but if my friends on goodreads are any indication, there were almost a million of us pulling an almost 4 star rating. So no, I wasn't alone. I jumped at the chance to read the prequel, because, in my pea brain that forgets most stories a week or so after I've read them, I was curious to revisit this one. It stayed with me. I am pretty sure I begged my daughters to read it (again, me reading their YA books), but my liking it had become a strike against the book. Still, I'm pretty sure they read it anyway. 

I loved the prequel. I tried to forget there was more coming and to consider the book on its own, and I think Lockhart achieved something great here—a new and compelling story. The characters are multi-dimensional, and the "liar" notion is more well-defined. I want to reread the original now to understand how the small details were woven in to join the two together. As a point of reference, I am not a re-reader of books, especially given the tremendous TBR pile I am trying to whittle down... but I am going to finish the other book I am reading and go back to We Were Liars while this is fresh in my mind. It was totally worth the time, and a perfect read if you are at the beach, or on your own private island enjoying a little break ;)
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This prequel to "We Were Liars," just didn't hit as hard as the original book. While I really enjoyed "We Were liars," this one just fell flat. Yes, secrets were revealed, but I just didn't connect as well with the characters in this generation as much as did in the previous book. 
Overall, it was pretty good story- rich people behaving badly, teens acting like teens, secrets coming out. 
Solid, but not exceptional.
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Family of Liars by E. Lockhart; Delacorte Press, 320 pages ($19.99) Ages 12 and up.

...

On her family's private island off Martha's Vineyard, a 15-year-old girl is found shivering naked on a beach with a head injury and no memory of how she got there. Cadence Sinclair's struggle to remember what happened to her – and the shocking reveal when her memory returns – made for a thrilling read in E. Lockhart's 2014 blockbuster hit "We Were Liars," which was named a best book of the year by NPR, Time magazine, the Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe. 

This absorbing prequel, going back a generation, is set on the same private island, exclusive domain of the wealthy Sinclair family, and is told from the perspective of Caroline "Carrie" Sinclair, Cadence's aunt. It's framed as her response to a loved one's question: "What's the worst thing you've ever done?"

The new novel can be appreciated without reading the first book but it does contain spoilers; a family tree in the beginning clarifies the relationship of the Sinclair generations.

In the summer of 1987, 17-year-old Carrie and sisters Penny and Bess are returning with their parents to Beechwood Island a year after 10-year-old sister Rosemary drowned. Carrie feels that she is the only one truly mourning Rosemary. Her parents and sisters never talk of her; Rosemary's things have been boxed and moved to the attic.

Over the winter, at her father's insistence, Carrie underwent painful facial surgery that required breaking her jaw; complications from an infection and a second surgery left her addicted to codeine. Once on the island, she starts stealing her father's sleeping pills and Rosemary's ghost starts appearing to her. The combination of addiction and grief raises questions about Carrie's mental stability and the reliability of her account of events. Then she unearths an upsetting family secret when she finds an old photo of her mother with a strange man, his face scratched out, hidden in a drawer. 

Her summer is upended further when her Uncle Dean arrives with his young son, 18-year-old daughter and three of the daughter's friends, and Carrie falls in love with one of the boys, a heedless youth who is careless with his affections. 

As she did in the original, Lockhart uses fairy tales and a shocking twist to powerful effect as she explores family secrets and betrayal against a backdrop of a casually affluent lifestyle and the pressure "to be a credit to the family" that comes with being born into privilege.
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