If I Lie by Corrine Jackson
Read by: Anna/Copley Teen Room
Before he leaves for Afghanistan, Carey comes out to his girlfriend of two years, asking her to keep the secret he’s told her from everyone in their small military town. Including his parents and his best friend, Blake. But when an accidental picture of Sophie and Blake kissing gets posted on Facebook, the entire town errupts into accusations that Sophie is cheating on her Marine boyfriend. Just like her mother did to her father six years ago. Sophie’s tough military dad orders her to work at the VA hospital three days a week until she graduates to keep her from getting suspended from school over the picture. While at the VA hospital, she comes to befriend George, the grumpy old guy interviewing and photographing veterans for the Veteran’s History Project. He recognizes a professional photographer in her and begins teaching her all he knows. Then Carey goes MIA and the other students begin tormenting Sophie even more than ever before. Friends ask her to explain what happened the night she kissed Blake, but she vowed she wouldn’t, and their tormenting continues, calling her every horrible name in the book from Slut to Traitor. Her life is a living hell, and she doesn’t even know if Carey, the boy she still loves despite everything, will ever return to set the town “straight”. His secret is not hers to tell, and she knows that well.
This novel is extremely gripping. And Kleenex is required toward the end. It’s also realistic in everything that happens to the un-Disney-like ending. George is such an awesome character. The humor he shares with Sophie and their good times are little rays of sunshine in her thunder cloud world. The characters are 3-D, the setting is 3-D, and the author leaves you wondering how the book will end. Will Carey make it home? Will he tell the truth? This book keeps you reading to find out. If you’re wondering what the effects of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell are on the civillians left behind, this is a great, heartfelt example. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in the military and what it’s like keeping secrets that could easily destroy or save a life.