Review: Family of Liars by E. Lockhart

Family of Liars by E. Lockhart

Family of Liars
E. Lockhart
Delacorte Press
Published May 3, 2022

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About Family of Liars

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.

Family of Liars on Goodreads

My Review

I first read WE WERE LIARS in one sitting, telling myself, “just one more chapter” all the way to the end. So, when I heard there was going to be a prequel, I knew I had to read it. It’ll be a little tricky to review the book without giving any spoilers for WE WERE LIARS, but I’ll do my absolute best!

FAMILY OF LIARS takes place on the same island that WE WERE LIARS does. It’s an island owned by the Sinclair family, where they stay every summer in beautiful houses with hired staff. The story is told by Carrie, the oldest of four sisters, the aunt of Cadence, the main character in WE WERE LIARS.

Carrie is grieving the loss of her youngest sister, who drowned on the island. Her family never talks about her sister, though, so Carrie feels isolated in her grief. She’s also addicted to pain pills, something that began during her recovery from cosmetic surgery to reshape her jaw.

That summer, for the first time, Carrie falls in love. It’s not like she expects, and the boy, Pfeff, is unpredictable and… odd. He’s very odd. Charming and impulsive. Daring and forgetful.

So Carrie tells us the story of the summer she met Pfeff and all that happened to her family. The secrets that devastate them quietly behind the masks of perfection.

The Tension Gradually Builds

I felt like the story began a little more slowly, building gradually. At the beginning, I wasn’t sure I was going to love it. I couldn’t get a feel for where it was going and whether it was going to have that same emotional, destructive darkness that WE WERE LIARS had that I found so compelling.

Then, the story began to build speed. Power. I couldn’t put it down. I needed to know what happened to Carrie, her sisters, her mom. All these broken girls with their secrets and lies. I needed to know what would happen to them.

So I stayed up waaaaay too late finishing the second half of the book, and now I really want to read WE WERE LIARS again to see how knowing these things about Carrie’s generation of the Sinclair family fits into what we learn in Cadence’s story.

All in all, though, I’m so glad I read FAMILY OF LIARS, and I recommend it to anyone who loved WE WERE LIARS. You don’t have to have read WWL before reading this book, but know that FAMILY OF LIARS contains spoilers for WE WERE LIARS, so if you plan on reading both, read WWL first.

Family of Liars on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

Most characters are white. One character is Jewish. One boy is gay. Two girls have a romantic relationship with each other.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. Brief touching. In one scene they undress and it’s understood they have sex. Reference to sex. Reference to two girls in a romantic relationship.

Spiritual Content
Ghosts visit Carrie.

Violent Content
Someone hits another person over the head and kills them.

Drug Content
Carrie takes codeine and sleeping pills. Carrie and the other teens drink alcohol.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

2 Responses to Review: Family of Liars by E. Lockhart

  1. Gayle A Rosengren says:

    I’m so relieved to hear you loved Family of Liars as much as We Were Liars. I loved WWL too, so much so that when I heard there was a prequel coming I pre-ordered it. It arrived yesterday and I will be starting it as soon as I finish my current read. Lockhart can not only create a great storyline and unique characters, she writes it all so beautifully!