I had my eye on this for a while as I had kept seeing it pop up in various places. So, so course, whilst perusing the library shelves it shouted out to me and I decided to give it go. And am I so glad that I did. I absolutely loved the book, the ideas within it, from start to finish. I ended it a very happy bunny.
Every year Candence Sinclair and her extended family stay on an island owned by her grandparents for the entire. Well off, her and her cousins spend the summer exploring the island and the four large houses that occupy it. With busy lives throughout the rest of the year, their summer is solely for themselves. Mischievous and daring, Cadence recounts the summers before, and the 17th one she is living now.
I got into the story as soon as I opened up the first page. I really liked the opening that had diagrams and descriptions of the inner workings of the family. I really like introductions like that, and with quite an intricate family dynamic was wonderful to refer back to without getting lost.
Cadence as a character was different. Although quite pretentious and blindly wealthy, she had a fragility about her that made her come across as understandable. I can see how her voice and internal monologue could become annoying to some, but I found the inner workings of her mind interesting to read about. They could go on, and at some points she could be seen as watery, but I felt it gave a flavour to her character, and depth, that was required to give a story worth reading. I would have liked to have known more about her struggles at home during the previous year, as I felt they were slightly brushed aside at times?
Her relationship with the other Liars was one that I found quite bizzare – yet incredibly intriguing. They were intriguing characters in themselves, and ones that I would have loved to know more about, but the dynamics of the group was a little strange. Maybe because it was a different relationship, and their relationships involved only the summer. Once I got my head around it though, it was fine.
I did adore the storyline though, and the non linearity of it. Jumping back and forth meant that tying the mystery together took longer and as a reader you were able to spend more time with the characters. I really liked the ending of it, one that was incredibly satisfying even if sad.
A short, yet emotionally fuelled beautiful read that I encourage others to pick up!