Aug 29, 2011

Review: Lie by Caroline Bock

Title: Lie
Author: Catherine Bock
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: 8.30.2011
Pages: 224
Genre: Contemporary
Series: No
Source: Finished copy provided by publisher

Rating: A-

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.

Whatever preconceived ideas I had about this novels were consummately shattered upon reading five chapters in. I went into this thinking it would be an angst-ridden, emotional tale of one girl’s struggle to balance right and wrong. Perhaps the most valuable lesson Caroline Bock taught me is that there is no simple answer, and one story can have many sides.

Lie is, in fact, told by ten different people. Each person gives their own take on what happened the night Jimmy and Sean attacked two El Salvadoran boys simply because those boys were Hispanic. While it might seem that so many voices telling the tale could get muddled or jumbled, Bock does a surprisingly good job at keeping them separate. Instead of confusion, each person adds a new layer and dimension that brings focus to the story.

The only drawback to this is that I felt I couldn’t really establish a strong connection to any of the characters. Skylar is the most prevalent narrator, but the entire novel is told in such a fragmented and fractured way that I couldn’t really nail her character down and bond with her. On the flip side, the bonus to this method is that it kept me from making any assumptions or judgments.

There’s no denying the tragic nature of this book. Unfortunately this book is rife with real world truths and beliefs that plague our society as a whole. Bock is careful not to press her own beliefs onto the reader, which is commendable. Lie could have easily served as a soapbox platform for her, but she kept it objective. I don’t know that I could have done the same. She was able to explain hatred and bigotry in a way that didn’t make me immediately repulsed. I could actually understand. That, my friends, is the power of a gifted writer.

Buy:  Amazon


  1. Thanks you for the fab review! I read another one. The blogger wasn't all that happy with the characters and how things ended. I might give this a try after all, though.

  2. That sounds like a totally different type of book than I normally read, but I am really intrigued! I think I'll have to keep my eyes open for this one!

  3. Sounds like an interesting book! Loved the review. Actually I like it when the book has several characters telling you the story. It can be boring at times but it gives you the whole scenario of what'ds going on =)


  4. I love your review and now really want to read this book. I like the changes in perspective. It spices up the story.

  5. I enjoyed your review. I think this will be a book that I will really enjoy.

    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  6. Sounds like an interesting story I'd like. I love the name Skylar, so that my contribute to why I like the sound of the book too! Great review!!


I hope you know that every time you comment, an angel gets its wings.

OK, not really, but thanks for popping by!