Good news: You don't have to look any further for your can't-put-it-down summer poolside reading. Because We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is it. We Were Liars just came out last week, so you might not have seen it yet, but trust me--this book is the Gone Girl of 2014. My very good friend Lauren gave me an advance reader copy of it last month, and I devoured it in less than 24 hours. It's that good.
Here's the premise: Seventeen year old Cadence is the oldest grandchild in the Sinclair family, which basically means she's a Kennedy. The Sinclairs are tall, blond, rich, and athletic. They're practically perfect, in an East coast prep school kind of way. They are the kind of people who use summer as a verb. As in, "We always summer on the family's private island."
Cadence's grandfather built a home for each of his three daughters on the island, and the entire clan spends each summer there together. It sounds idyllic, but life hasn't been so great for Cadence since she spent her fifteenth summer on the island. Something terrible happened that summer. Something she can't remember, because she sustained a head injury on the night that it happened.
Cadence's cousins, Johnny and Mirren, are her best friends, and they were there when it happened. But they haven't spoken to her since. The same goes for her kind-of boyfriend, Gat. All Cadence knows about that night is that she was found in the ocean, wearing only her underwear.
Cadence is an unreliable narrator (my favorite kind!) who slowly works to piece together what happened to her two summers ago. She gives away her belongings, one by one, without knowing why. And she writes short stories about a king with three beautiful daughters. Each story brings her a step closer to the truth.
I could say more about the brilliant construction of this story, but I don't want to give away the secret. Just read it.