cover image We Were Liars

We Were Liars

E. Lockhart, read by Ariadne Meyers. Listening Library, five CDs, 6.5 hrs., $35 ISBN 978-0-8041-6839-7

In this noir YA drama, three privileged cousins and a friend meet each summer on a private island, where they confront first love and staggering losses. Reader Meyers does an excellent job with the main character, Cadence, whose dialogue requires the full range of emotions. At the beginning of the story, Cadence seems like a typical sullen teenager trying to find her place in the world and wondering why her boyfriend doesn’t write back to her. As the story continues and grows darker, however, she pieces together her spotty memories of an on-island accident that wrecked her health and distanced her from the family, a whole cast of characters that Meyers also voices. These characters include Cadence’s snobby mother and her two shrill, money-grubbing sisters, who spend the bulk of their summers trying to wheedle themselves into their father’s good graces and substantial inheritance. Where the narration falls short is with the grandfather, who gets a voice that is stereotypically gruff and shaggy, even in his rare tender moments. Ages 12–up. A Delacorte hardcover. (May)