If I Lie by Corrine Jackson (website | twitter)
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Target Audience: Mature young adult
Keywords: Military towns, cheating, reputations, bullying
Format Read: eBook purchased for my Kindle.
Summary: Quinn’s boyfriend, Carey, is serving our country in Afghanistan. Shortly after his deployment, a photograph was taken of Quinn and another guy, proving that she was cheating on Carey. She’s trapped in a world of bullying because she’s protecting Carey by not sharing his secret.
I mentioned in my Shelve It vlog on Sunday that I was recently in a deep book slump because I was having a really difficult time making it through a book. (Don’t worry. It wasn’t If I Lie.) I was super hesitant to pick up another book because I really needed something solid, something that was sure to be an absolute win. And guess what? If I Lie was the perfect book for me.
Quinn is in her senior year of high school, shunned by her entire small Military town because they think she’s committed the ultimate crime: She cheated on her boyfriend, Carey, right after he went away to serve our country in Afghanistan. Did you catch what I said? They think she’s done this. There’s photographic proof that she was with another (unidentifiable) guy, but no one except for Quinn knows the absolute truth. Or the secret that Carey’s asked her to keep.
The backlash that Quinn faces from her father who was abandoned by her mother while he was at war, or from her classmates who vandalize her school locker, or from Carey’s parents who want absolutely nothing to do with Quinn will make you feel appropriately uncomfortable. But I fully believe Jackson does a brilliant job of balancing the bullying by showing us how resilient and dedicated Quinn is to Carey. There’s no way someone could face all the turmoil Quinn does without feeling deep, sincere love for another person.
But things only become more complicated for Quinn once Carey goes MIA after being out on a mission. But you know what I found most wonderful about If I Lie? Yes, we’re learning about Quinn, and yes, slowly Carey’s secret is being revealed to us, but there’s just so much more meat to the story. There’s also George, her wonderful elderly companion at the VA Hospital who is teaching her how to become a better photographer and doesn’t succumb to the rumors he has heard about Quinn. And there’s her messy relationship with her father and how desperately Quinn wants to be seen by him again. The speculation about who this other boy is also made my heart pound a little harder, but the final few chapters (our foster daughter can vouch for me as I was reading aloud to her while she played) really tugged on my heart strings and I balled my eyes out. My point: If I Lie is so incredibly well-rounded. The focus isn’t just on this one relationship, but has so many lovely gems that propel the story forward and make it flow effortlessly, especially when the subject matter gets a little tough.
I’m really, really not sure why I waited over a year to read If I Lie. I suppose that’s what happens when you let books pile up on your kindle because you get buy-happy. I sincerely hope that if you haven’t read this book yet that you’ll give it a whirl as soon as you can. Don’t be like me and wait too long to read a really wonderful story.