Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Book Review: Family of Liars by E. Lockhart


Goodreads Overview:

The prequel to We Were Liars takes readers back to the story of another summer, another generation, and the secrets that will haunt them for decades to come.

A windswept private island off the coast of Massachusetts.
A hungry ocean, churning with secrets and sorrow.
A fiery, addicted heiress. An irresistible, unpredictable boy.
A summer of unforgivable betrayal and terrible mistakes.

Welcome back to the Sinclair family.
They were always liars.

Jacque's Review:

I LOVED We Were Liars, which I picked up at BEA (Book Expo America) back in 2014. Here is a link to my review.  As soon as I saw this prequel, I had to read it. This time around, we find out what it was like on Beechwood Island for the Sinclair daughters. 

Carrie Sinclair has a history of addiction and has seen ghosts since she was a teenager. Now she sees the ghost of her dead son Johnny, who asks her for stories about her youth. She begins telling him about her seventeenth summer on the island, which was filled with secrets, love, and lies.

Carrie was never the beautiful one in the family. All of the Sinclairs have a certain look and strong jaw line, but she does not fit the mold. She discovers a hidden family secret that only fuels her insecurities. Her father talks her into having an extensive surgery to correct her jaw line, which is when she became addicted to codeine. It is now the summer after the youngest Sinclair daughter, Rosemary, drowned while swimming alone on the island. Carrie wants to keep her memory alive, but her mother has closed off Rosemary's room and boxed up all of her things. Whenever she brings up Rosemary her sisters, Penny and Bess, tell her it is time to move on. With nobody to turn to and gripped by addiction, her mind's way of coping is to bring Rosemary back as a ghost. She sees Rosemary on Beechwood Island and the girls carry on like they used to. They begin helping each other cope with the situation, but clearly Carrie is in need of help.

That year, her father's brother comes to stay with them on the island and brings his son Tomkin, daughter Yardley, Yardley's boyfriend George, and two of George's friends. This is the first time they have had boys their age on the island and Carrie becomes interested in one of the friends, Lawrence Pfefferman "Pfeff". Pfeff comes on a little strong, but also was a wandering eye and really can't be trusted. There is a big event that takes place, which is where the lies start to pile up. After everything we learned in We Were Liars and now this book, they truly are a Family of Liars. 

This wasn't quite the 5-star book that We Were Liars was, but it was still a solid 4-stars and an excellent addition to the series. I would highly recommend both of these books to any YA fan.

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