Monday, January 30, 2012

Lie, by Caroline Bock

Everybody knows, nobody’s talking. . . .
Seventeen-year-old Skylar Thompson is being questioned by the police. Her boyfriend, Jimmy, stands accused of brutally assaulting two young El Salvadoran immigrants from a neighboring town, and she’s the prime witness. Skylar is keeping quiet about what she’s seen, but how long can she keep it up?

But Jimmy was her savior
. . . .
When her mother died, he was the only person who made her feel safe, protected from the world. But when she begins to appreciate the enormity of what has happened, especially when Carlos Cortez, one of the victims, steps up to demand justice, she starts to have second thoughts about protecting Jimmy. Jimmy’s accomplice, Sean, is facing his own moral quandary. He’s out on bail and has been offered a plea in exchange for testifying against Jimmy.

The truth must be told. . . .

Sean must decide whether or not to turn on his friend in order to save himself. But most important, both he and Skylar need to figure out why they would follow someone like Jimmy in the first place.
I don't know what I was expecting when I first started reading LIE. Obviously, not stories of fluffy kitties and puppies frolicking together in flower-covered meadows... but, I don't think that I was expecting such an intense story, either. It was a shock to the system, to say the very least.

I think the most unique part of the story for me was the fact that it was told in so many different POV's, yet it didn't get confusing in the least. To be honest, I think because the story was about such a sensitive subject, we actually NEED a lot of these POV's to understand just how everyone reacted to this. And the most eye-opening part about this was, besides the family of the victim, a lot of people seemed to literally worship Jimmy and was able to turn a blind eye to the horrific crime that he had committed. I expected it from Skylar and Sean, but all of the grown-ups, too? I applaud the fact that the author decided to write so many POV's and she did an INCREDIBLE job at fleshing all of the characters out so well in so little time. However, to have all of the characters (especially the grown-ups) make up excuses for Jimmy is a little unbelievable.

Speaking of Skylar and Sean: Ehh. Alright, I get it... Skylar's mother died and Jimmy was all she had, blah blah blah. But the way she worshiped the ground that boy walked on and seemed to not be able to even manage to exist without him really made my nerves stand on edge. I honestly do not get the dependency on one boyfriend - especially when she clearly had a father at home that was competent and there for her. My emotions for her fell flat from the very beginning. I started to have a little respect for her closer to the end but her actions throughout the entire book seemed to trump the little bit of redemption at the end. And Sean.. well, I can't say much about him for fear of spoilers. My feelings toward him were very roller-coaster, up and down throughout the story.

One character that did not have his POV written into the book was Jimmy himself. Honestly, there was so much told about him through the other characters that his POV was not needed.. but it didn't mean that I didn't want to know exactly what was going through his mind to make him do what he did. We get enough of an idea, but it doesn't make me any less curious. Though, it might be best that he didn't have a say in this story because I don't know if I could have handled it. Lisa Marie made my skin crawl enough with her behavior, so I could only imagine how dirty I would feel after reading any thoughts from Jimmy's mind.

Even though my emotions were all over the place throughout reading the novel, it was a very good read with a powerful message. If there was one thing I would have liked to change would be the ending. It was very abrupt and left a lot to the imagination as to what could have happened. This could have been left open like this on purpose and I could understand why. After being so emotionally invested throughout the story, I would have liked to see some concrete conclusion to the story. Besides that, it was a read worthy of the time.

Overall, with the subject matter at hand, I think this will be one of those books that people either love or not like because this isn't some contemporary romance with rainbows and sunshine throughout. This is raw and very real, dealing with a sensitive subject that may be a little too much for those with a weak stomach when it comes to hate crimes. However, if you can digest it.. it's worth the read.

Rating: ★★★★✩
Source: Young Adult Books Central

Title: Lie
Caroline Bock
St. Martin's Griffin
Paperback, 224 pages
Release Date:
August 30, 2011

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Ann Summerville said...

Thanks for the review. I don't normally like books with lots of POV switches but it sounds like this one was done well.

Missy said...

This one was written well because each character did have their own voice. I think the only confusing part was the adults had the same opinion/voice when it came to the crime.. which was a little discouraging. Other than that, it read well - and this is coming from someone who sometimes rolls her eyes at more than one POV in a story. ;)

Cass said...

I Want to read this book so bad! Thanks for the review

Cialina at said...

Wow, great review. I haven't heard a lot about this book which is a shame. I love hearing that the author fluidly writes several strong perspectives, but I'm a bit disappointed to hear that there's a lot of male dependency. I'll keep this book in mind! Thanks for the review.

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