Thursday, 10 November 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Review: Lie by Caroline Bock

Title: Lie
Caroline Bock
Genre: YA, Social Issues
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Pages: 224
Source:Finished Copy
My Rating: 3.5*

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.
     He wasn't against legal immigration. I asked him how his family got here, or were they American Indians?  He said that his mother's family owned farmland out on the South Fork going back to the 1700s.  He said his family documents are in Dutch, which is who were in charge here before the English.  I said good for him.  You can give history lessons.  My father's father lied about his age and came over steerage, on his knees the whole way.  He was called the Big Swede.  What about giving these people a chance?
     He said they were stealing our jobs.  I said they were doing job nobody else wanted.
     "You want them living next door to you?  Twenty, thirty, or more Mexicans jammed in a house together?"

I had been waiting to read this book for some time.  In fact, I think this book was one of my Waiting on Wednesday picks sometime back in May or June.  Every time I went to the bookstore in hopes of acquiring this book, it never quite worked out and I finally just ordered it online sometime back in October.  Of course as soon as I got it, I began reading it.  Sad to say, I was disappointed.  I was so disappointed in fact, that this book was originally classified as DNF on my shelf and after about 50 pages in, I put it down.  Usually, when I classify a book as DNF, I don’t pick it up again.  But for some reason, I decided to give this one a second chance.  I can honestly say that I am glad that I did.

Lie is told from multiple POVs and as such you really get to hear the viewpoints of everyone in this particular community.  The sad part is that all those POV’s really do mirror each other and still adhere to the line ‘everybody knows, but no one’s talking’.  It’s really disturbing to see just how everyone lets the fact that the victims were Mexican and the perpetrators were white cloud their minds to the fact that a crime was committed, and that lives were put in danger.  The really sad part is that Lie, even though fiction, mirrors events that have happened in real life.

I have never been more disgusted with a character than I was with Skylar.  She uses her loss as a way to make her apathetic to the suffering of anyone else.  The fact that she has gone through a loss should have made her appreciate life so much more.  Instead she has this pity me, poor me attitude that leads her to rely on the very racist Jimmy for absolutely everything.  For Skylar, I really didn’t see the struggle between right and wrong.  She clearly couldn’t tell the difference if it slapped her upside the head.  The sad thing is that she was not alone in that viewpoint.

Don’t get me wrong, I knew that Lie wasn’t going to be a book about fluffy bunnies and as such was likely going to provoke some intense reactions.  I was expecting outrage, frustration and maybe even a little sadness and anger.  What I was not prepared for was the absolute rage and disgust I felt while reading this book.  The tag line of Lie is ‘everybody knows, nobody’s talking’ and that one line should be enough to set anyone’s teeth on edge.  The fact that Lie is a book based around a hate crime, ‘everybody knows, nobody’s talking’ should outrage and disgust you.


Mocha ღ Latte(Cupcake and a Latte) said...

0O0! I was actually pretty curious about this one a couple of months ago. Thanks for the review, Nicole!

-Wendy from A Cupcake and a Latte: YA Reviews

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

Ugh yes, this was not at ALL a happy read. I couldn't believe the lack of morality in the characters. It just made me sick to my stomach the way no one in the community seemed to care about what happened. You can read my review here; it's quite similar to yours, I think.

Nicole @ All I Ever Read said...

@ Wendy - It's another one of those short books that just hits you.

@Ashley - This book just left me furious. I think maybe the fact that I couldn't connect with the characters is what made me originally not able to finish it. We do seem to be on the same page with this one! Great minds think alike!

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