We Were Liars was everything I could have ever hoped for when picking out a summer read. It had beaches, sunshine, friendship, mystery, and best of all – a shocking twist at the end.
Words can’t even describe how I felt after reading that final chapter, and if you’ve read it, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about!
This book is one that I wish I was able to reread for the first time again and again.
We Were Liars follows the Sinclair family, who look perfect to everyone on the outside looking in.
However, their secrets, lies, and flaws are hidden within their tight family unit. We follow Cadence, our nearly 18-year-old narrator, walking through the generations of her family and the consequences of their mistakes.
The story is leading up to telling the reader one catastrophic secret that changes everything. What’s in store will truly shock you and have you reeling.
We Were Liars is a fun book that has you second-guessing everything. I was desperate to find the same rush as this book gave me, so here are my recommendations for your next read.
If you loved the themes of family ties and mystery in We Were Liars, then you’ll love books like One Of Us Is Lying, Little Monsters, and Everything, Everything.
If you’re looking for a book to make you feel the same heartbreak and shock, check out our following recommendations.
Themes In We Were Liars
Family VS Romantic Love
We Were Liars is a story about familial love, but it also tells the tale of star-crossed lovers.
Cady must choose between her love, Gat, or having a place within the Sinclair family. Many of the characters urge the importance of remaining loyal to the family rather than focusing on romance.
The book depicts romance and family bonds as conflicting desires, which is a really interesting theme for the reader to think about.
It also shows the consequences of choosing to have an unwavering dedication to the family through Harris Sinclair.
The story recounts the wealthy Sinclair family and how this wealth corrupts them all.
The sisters – Penny, Bess, and Carrie – will inherit a lot of money when Harris Sinclair dies, and the mere thought of it is enough to send their greed to new heights.
When their mother, Tipper Tat, dies, the sisters become increasingly jealous of one another and resort to stealing from one another to gain the upper hand.
Greed is a strong theme running throughout We Were Liars and is an excellent example of how it can corrupt a family unit.
The Sinclair family is obsessed with maintaining their perfect appearance, which causes them to have an ethos to breed bigotry and racism.
We Were Liars suggests that these beliefs are inherited from one generation to the next, and the traditional image of powerful families concocts dangerous beliefs about cultural superiority.
Harris Sinclair’s bigotry beliefs are one of the many factors contributing to his downfall, and this novel makes us wonder whether we can really get out of the bigotry mindset we may have inherited from older generations.
Books Like We Were Liars
This book is a modern-day twist on The Breakfast Club, and sees five students tricked into serving detention with each other.
While five go in, only four come out. Each student has secrets they’d rather keep quiet, but how far are they willing to go to keep them hidden?
- Suspense-filled story that will keep you gripped to the edge of your seat.
- Thrilling whodunnit mystery.
- Shock twist at the end will have you reeling.
- The killer might be obvious to some readers.
Themes: young adult, gossip, secrets, lies, mystery, friendship, guilt, and trust.
Maddy was born with a rare disease that prevents her from being able to leave the house. If she does, she will die.
But her desire to live a normal life is further jeopardized when she meets Olly, her first love.
Maddy must convince her mother that she needs to risk it all to experience life the way it was intended. But will her actions lead to irreparable damage?
- Sweet YA love story about taking risks and living life to the fullest.
- Shock twist similar to We Were Liars.
- Fast-paced and emotional.
- The ending feels a little rushed.
Themes: young adult, romance, risk-taking, life and death, trust, and adventure.
Kacey is the new girl in town, with a new family and friends. Gaining two new best friends almost instantly, Kacey suspects something is up when they begin acting distant.
But when one of them goes missing after a party, everyone’s eyes are on the new girl.
This eerie thriller serves the same dark undertones as We Were Liars, shining a light on the darkest teenage thoughts.
- Dark and twisty YA thriller (if you’re looking for more YA-accessible thrillers, check out our guide to Natasha Preston).
- Delves deep into obsession, family ties, and jealousy.
- Twists and turns keep you guessing throughout the entire novel.
- Some found the ending confusing.
Themes: young adult, friendship, family ties, obsession, secrets, and loyalty.
Taking place in the 1970s on summer break, two girls – Jean and Fritz – fall hopelessly in love with Gil. From two completely different worlds, these girls now need to compete for Gil’s affection.
The sun-drenched island is just one of the similarities to We Were Liars, and so are the themes of jealousy, rivalry, and betrayal.
- Two-person point of view.
- Fast-paced and full of twists.
- A fun summer read that quickly turns enticing.
- The conflicting POVs make it difficult to decide who to root for.
Themes: romance, young adult, betrayal, jealousy, trust, rivalry, and love.
A wealthy family entices an outsider with their dazzling parties and glamorous lifestyle. But things aren’t always as they seem.
There is a troubling secret lurking beneath the surface, but will Charlotte Ryder be able to keep herself away from the drama, or will the glitzy life promise to draw her too far in?
- Interesting take on how wealthy families carelessly cover their mistakes.
- Lovable characters have you genuinely caring for their wellbeing.
- You won’t want this suspense-filled book to end!
- Pacing is a little slow in some parts.
Themes: romance, betrayal, wealth, greed, secrets, lies, friendship, and family ties.
Rosie sets off to escape her abusive stepmom to find her real mom with the help of her best friend Mary and a PI’s nephew, Mac.
There are secrets, troubled characters, and turns on every single page. This book is the ultimate unreliable narrator, and you won’t be able to put it down for a second.
- It will capture your attention from the first page.
- YA with the perfect amount of romance and thriller.
- An unforgettable novel about identity and devotion.
- The writing often lacks subtlety.
Themes: love, young adult, desperation, identity, devotion, family ties, and mental health.
We Were Liars is a young adult novel (If you like young adult novels, check out Books Like Dear Martin) focusing on family ties, secrets, and greed. It is different from many other young adult fictions out there, which makes it difficult to find similar books (If you like this, check out Books Like Here’s To Us).
However, all of my recommendations above have left me feeling the same as this novel did.
If you enjoyed the unreliable narrator aspect of We Were Liars, then you’ll love One Of Us Is Lying, Rosie Girl, and Even In Paradise.
These books will all keep you guessing and offer a delicious plot twist that will have you rereading the page over and over again.
If you’re looking for a novel with the same shock factor as We Were Liars, I implore you to read Everything, Everything next.
The twist is one that you won’t see coming and will leave you genuinely shocked for hours!
We hope that you enjoyed our article on what books to read next and that you discover your new favorite book.
While all of these books are young adult fiction (If you like young adult novels, you might want to check out Books Like Before I Fall), that doesn’t take away from the meaningful themes and stories depicted in each one. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Will There Be A Sequel To We Were Liars?
There are no plans for a sequel to We Were Liars. However, a prequel has been released, seven years after the original book, called Family Of Liars. This is now available to buy and read!
Is There A Series To We Were Liars?
An adaptation of the novel is heading to Amazon Prime Video. The series will follow the book’s order of events, but there is no official release date as of yet.