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.
While the premise behind this novel is indeed very good, I personally found it a bit slow. The main character, Cady, jumps between flashbacks and the present, which is usually one of my favorite types of writing styles, but this time, it fell a bit flat for me. I really just felt like this was a story about some cousins who visit an island every summer, only to watch their parents fight with one another over money and other superficial things. The story itself didn’t really move, and while the kids are friendly and they have a few fun excursions, I must have completely missed the segment that explained how, exactly, they were known as the liars—they didn’t seem to do anything, let alone talk to one another.
Gat is a friend of the family and soon becomes Cady’s crush, but there is no development there aside from her pining for a boy she can’t have, so the romance aspect was a little bit of a bust for me as well. Truthfully, I could have done without it, since it didn’t go anywhere, and much of the grumbling on Cady’s behalf became monotonous fairly quickly for me. In terms of characterization, Cady isn’t a character I like, and though not much time was spent on the other characters, I didn’t really care for them either. Because of this, I think I struggled a little more than usual trying to connect with the character, and hence, I wasn’t a fan of the story overall.
The last few pages of the novel reveal a surprise I didn’t see coming, and I liked it very much, but by that point the novel was basically over, so it was a short-lived revelation for me. I think, had the novel had a little more action and characters that meant something to me, I would have enjoyed this story so much more, but as it is, it just isn’t for me. However, a lot of my friends absolutely loved this novel, so I highly suggest you check out other reviews and give it a try because I may be the odd man out on this one. As is, though, I can only give it two and a half stars.
In exchange for an honest review, Random House Children’s and Delacorte Press have been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley.