LIE: It Tries, But It Lacks Enjoyment And Likeable Characters

LIE is written by Caroline Bock. It was published in 2011 by St. Martin’s Griffin. Bock’s website can be found here.

Genre: Tough Read, Realistic, Young Adult


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.”

~Back Cover


“Everybody knows, nobody’s talking,” I repeat firmly. I must keep everyone on the same page. We must hang together. It was a terrible mistake, what happened. It was supposed to be all in fun. I don’t know what went wrong last Saturday night, none of us really do. But it can’t be entirely Jimmy and Sean’s fault. Jimmy can’t be guilty of—he’s not. Neither is Sean. They don’t deserve this. They’re my friends. That’s what I keep telling myself.”

~Bock 9

Sorry is a word to be pitied, that’s what my mother always said. Nobody truly knows the true meaning of that word, she said. Better to focus on hope, she said. I hated anyone who said they were sorry about my mother’s passing. Were they truly full of sorrow? Isn’t that what sorry means? You know, I’ve been asked to give another statement. It was hardly a request. Police Officer Healey said it should take thirty to sixty minutes. Lisa Marie says that her father thinks I should get a lawyer if I go. She says I don’t have to go, that I shouldn’t say, do anything else unless I’m subpoenaed, and even then I can still say that I don’t know anything about anything. It’s true. I mean, I don’t know anything anymore.

~Bock 114-115

Cover Art

Warnings: Violence, swearing, death (murder and suicide).

Recommended Age Range: 16+

Rating: 2/5

What I Liked:

There are some good messages in here about morality and doing the right thing. Bock also shows pretty well the effects of a father’s actions on his children. Jimmy acts the way he does because of the way his father acts and the way his father treats him.

The different points of view were interesting. Even more interesting is that we never got a viewpoint from Jimmy, so, alas, he remains somewhat of an enigma. Did he really love Skylar or not? What’s really going on in his head?

For a moment, I thought the ending would be different and I would have been so mad. But, luckily, Bock ended it the right way.

Double-meaning title: LIE, as in the characters are lying, and LIE, as in the L.I.E., the highway. Heh.

Now that I think about, naming a book after the initials of a road is…interesting.

What I Didn’t Like:

This book wasn’t too bad. It just wasn’t that great. I didn’t like the writing style and the characters were annoying and didn’t really develop at all, except for Skylar. It’s also just really not fun reading a book about people trying to pretend that they weren’t involved in a beating/murder. I didn’t enjoy it that much; hence, the low rating.

Overall Review:

LIE has some good messages and shows the struggle of the characters to come to terms with their actions/reasons (or lack of) well, but overall, it’s not an enjoyable book. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be so, but I can still enjoy a book if the content is a little tougher than usual, and this book did not have that enjoyment factor.

Coming Up Next: The Raft by S. A. Bodeen

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