Aug 29, 2011

ARC Review: Caroline Bock - Lie

Caroline Bock - Lie

• Pub. Date: August 30, 2011
• Publisher: St. Martin's Press
• Format: Paperback 224pp
• Age Range: Young Adult
• ISBN-13: 9780312668327
• ISBN: 0312668325

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 received this ARC ecopy through Net Galley. Here is my honest review:

This book starts off with a quote from The New York Times about "beaner-hopping." This is not something I'd ever heard of before reading this book, and I live in Arizona. It is hardly an act I can wrap my head around, but it just goes to show that there is hate in this world that happens without people even knowing. I can't believe the level of hate and racism we still have in this country.

About the book itself: It is told in first person/present tense with alternating narrators. You hear from Skylar (girlfriend of Jimmy, the attacker), Lisa Marie (Skylar's best friend), Sean (Jimmy's best friend and accomplice), Skylar's father Tommy, one of the victims and his mother, Jimmy's father, the school's baseball coach, the school's principal, etc. Readers hear from officers and news reports as well. Jimmy never gets to explain his side of the story, but it's easy to gather from everyone else's accounts. I would have liked to hear from Jimmy, but I mostly wanted to beat him up with a bat instead.

I felt like this was just a very short part of the story. It starts and ends very abruptly, and the idea is so outrageous and offensive! Some people in the book don't even see anything wrong with it! I got SOO tired of Lisa Marie. I mean, I can't imagine myself in their shoes, but they were all ridiculously whiny and hateful. I had a hard time feeling bad for Jimmy because he is a total jerkwad. And every time Skylar would talk about loving him, my skin would crawl.

Ugh, let's just get on with it.

What I liked:
  • Possibility. Maybe people can learn from reading this book. Hate isn't worth it. Things aren't always what they seem.
  • Hating the characters. I didn't even care that I hated them so much. They all deserved my hatred, honestly. I wasn't conflicted when it came to my feelings toward these characters.
What I didn't like:
  • The idea. Oh my goodness. I'm SO huge on equality and love and all that. I can't even understand why people hate so much! This book is full of it. I understand that this is real-world stuff here, but it's awful to even think about.
  • The characters. Jimmy - what an ASS! Skylar couldn't see how manipulating, slimy, dirty, and hateful he is, but I sure did. He learned his behavior, but in this day and age, how do you not know that something is wrong with that way of life?? His father.. no words for that awful man. And Lisa Marie.. oh man. She is a piece of work. Also controlling, she's a liar, a horrible friend, and a skank. And what is up with her parents? Goodness. I know I talk about not hating, but there is a valid reason to not like these people.
  • The lack of answers. This book ends without any real answers of what's going to happen. I also thought we'd maybe hear from Jimmy as a last chapter, but he never makes his own appearance. The end did leave you with a little hope for the truth, but I guess we'll never know!
Bottom line: A frustrating, hateful read, but it sheds some light on an awful real-life topic. Try it out.


3/5 book sharks


  1. The blurb sounds very interesting, but it seems this is just one of these books that can't live up to the hype. Thanks for your review! The things you disliked are dealbreakers for me, too. Especially the characters! I can live with some unanswered questions, but only if I conntected with the characters.

  2. The book IS interesting, I just don't feel like it went far enough. And yes, it was definitely hard to connect to the characters. Kind of annoying there. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I had to google beaner hopping to see what it is, and just reading the definition pissed me off. I hate hate.

    Maybe a book like this will serve to raise awareness?? I can imagine it was tough to get through. The cover is pretty and the synopsis sounds promising, but I think I will sit this one out based on the less-than-redemptive qualities of the characters. For me *right now in my life* I just need something a little different, ya know? But thanks so much for your thoughts. And for helping me understand more about that kind of hate that is out there for the illegal immigrants.

    Out here in eastern NC, we have all kinds of hateful stuff, but there are *mostly* other targets. It is always good to be aware of what other people are going thru, even when it SUCKS.


  4. I'm so with you on the peace and love. That was so cool of you to keep your review to under control, I know it could have been so easy to just RANT about the certain topics the book brings out.


Thanks so much for leaving a comment! It means a lot!! Happy Reading!!