Cady is a cousin in the Sinclair tribe, a family that has absolutely nothing I can relate to. I did not grow up on the east coast as a granddaughter of a very wealthy Old Boston family. My folks ( and their parents) did not have a private island where we summered ( each sibling having their own house with the big house where the grandparents lived central to everyone) I had a ton of cousins, but we spent days together, not the entire season, and we did not have motor boats, kayaks, canoes, staff, and private beaches at our disposal. ( A couple of times we rented a huge house at the beach and most of us were together for a week. We had only several inner tubes and a couple of floats for our watercraft . It was a lot of fun for a couple of days, but then it became overwhelming. I can't imagine an entire summer with everyone.)
Aside from that, I suppose having general angst about "who I am and where I am going and what has happened and why did this happen to me" are universal as we all trudge through the teen years. So that much is relatable.
Cady and her small group of near age cousins plus the nephew of her aunt's live in lover form a tight little group they call "The Liars" They are a separate entity from "The Littles" (or the younger cousins) and "The Aunts ( their mothers who happen to be sisters). They plot and conspire and lollygag around their private beach homes on the private island and seem to be worried about how difficult each of them has it. ( I guess it is hard to be from an uber wealthy and privileged pedigree)
This novel seems to be marketed as "THE BIG GOTCHA" ending so I am reluctant to say to much about the book itself. The overriding theme is everyone lies, has secrets, and intolerances and you have to read quite a bit to find who is lying to whom. (I use the pronoun whom because it is the object of the preposition to and therefore should be in the objective case. Son2 declared me archaic for using it, but on occasion I can be a grammar Nazi.)
The writing itself was ok, but it jumped back and forth from from novel form to verse and I find it irritating if there is no reason for the jump. I guess because I was just being pissy about having to read the different forms, it took me a while to really stick with the book long enough to finish it. When I finally got to the end and the big reveal I was tired of reading it. I understand other people found it to be amazingly poignant and haunting. Perhaps they are not as cynical or old as I am.
Read it for yourself and tell me what you think. At this moment I would have to give it a "U" for underwhelming. If you read it and have a different opinion please let me know. Maybe I was in such a hurry to finally finish the book that I missed some profound lesson I was supposed to learn.