December 14, 2013

Review: If I Lie by Corrine Jackson

Title: If I Lie
Author: Corrine Jackson
Release Date: August 28th, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Page Count: 276
Source: Purchased
First Reaction: I'm just gonna sit here and cry for a little bit, okay?

A powerful debut novel about the gray space between truth and perception.

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]


So Quinn lives in this crazy military town where things are pretty black and white. Which is fine for Quinn when she's dating Carey and everything seems fine (despite the fact that he has to go to Afghanistan and fight in the war). However, things come crashing down pretty quickly when Quinn is caught cheating on Carey while he's in the Middle East. Quinn's labeled a whore and a cheat and, even though she could exonerate herself, she won't, because she promised Carey she wouldn't give away his big secret. And everything was kind of okay - things had died down a bit - until Carey goes MIA and things get very, very bad again. I mean, how much can a girl take before she's gotta stop protecting some boy and start taking care of herself?

The Ways This Book Broke My Heart:
  • Quinn: I swear, you guys, my heart hasn't broken from a character so wronged as Quinn in a very long time. But my love for Quinn doesn't stem from what happened to her. It really about the choices she made and how she responded to what happened to her - basically, how real she felt throughout. Because, I mean, if you look at the choices Quinn made, you see that she's not totally blameless. The way she ended up in the incriminating picture is not 100 percent on the up and up and she even admits that. Only the blame she puts on herself (and would have put on herself if things hadn't changed only the next day) is nothing compared to the beating she takes from her town. I mean, that girl is chalk full of honor and loyalty in a way I hope I will never have to prove myself for the secret she keeps despite all of the harassment she takes. I also fully believed in and absolutely loved Quinn's actions and decisions at the end of this book. Nothing could go back to normal and I think the changes she made were so perfect I just don't have the words for it.
  • Quinn and the boy in the picture: I won't tell you who's in that picture with Quinn. You need to read that yourself. But another entirely perfect aspect of this book is how this romance turns out. Now, don't be confused by the timeline. The chronology of it all doesn't make sense at first. It gets worked out in the end, though. You just have to pay attention to the little flashbacks. Quinn'll explain it all and then the ending will be so perfect you'll want to sigh until there's no breath left in you.
  • Quinn and her Dad: Jesus. I mean, talk about the worst. Quinn cheats, which is just what Quinn's mother did to her father. I don't think he had any right to treat her the way he did. But in a way he did help her. He made her volunteer. He warned her not to go out in public when it wasn't safe for her. No, he wasn't great on the emotional support end of things, and he basically shut Quinn out until the very end, but deep down I think he was a parent to her - just not necessarily the kind Quinn wanted him to be.
  • Quinn and George: GEORGE. Thank God for George in this story because he was kind of the dad Quinn wanted her dad to be throughout. I mean, it's like I said, her dad did her favor in making her volunteer, because that opportunity gave her George and he did what Quinn's father couldn't. But anyway, I loved the relationship between these two. It was so perfect and heartbreaking. 
  • Quinn and Carey: What I think is important to keep in mind with Carey is: yeah, he was selfish and that sucks. But he didn't know what Quinn was going through. She wouldn't tell him. Would he have told the truth if she had? We'll never know. Do I forgive him for everything at the end of this book? Well, no. But it doesn't matter if I do. It matters if Quinn does and that's really what hits home at the end of this book. I mean, the last few pages really just destroy you - as if you hadn't been destroyed enough throughout by all the mean words and terrible situations.
  • Quinn and her Mom: You'd think Quinn had enough to deal with: Her dad, Blake, Carey, George, her terrible friends... but no, you also have to throw in the fact that her mom comes back into the picture. You'd also think that this slim little book wouldn't have enough pages to really deal with this situation but, guys, it really does and the whole thing just breaks my heart times a million.
  • The Book in General: This is one of those books that isn't so much about the facts on the ground but the emotion. I mean, the story could have been set up in any number of ways to get us to the situation Quinn found herself in, and despite my interest in military stories, I wouldn't have minded. As long as the emotion remained the same and Quinn remained the same. Because she really does carry the book (which makes sense because she's the narrator, but it's still worth pointing out, I think). Ugh. Ultimately what I think I'm trying to say is that the feels destroyed me, this time around, you guys. Totally destroyed me. 

The long and short of it?

Plot: The facts of this book could have been about anything, since it's all about the feels, but I liked the military setting. A lot.
World Building: It's terrible that the world and people can often be like this, but it's true and I hate/love it every time I read a book like this one.
Character Development: Quinn/Sophie/whatever you want to call her is the freaking best and her growth throughout is stunning. I also really enjoy how Blake, Carey, Quinn's mom and Quinn's dad work their way through this book.
Prose: Guys. Corrine Jackson knows how to write a book. Please. My feels are on the floor, just stop stomping on them with your words.
Would I Recommend This Book?: Yes. A million times yes. To everyone. I'm not going to explain myself any further, or qualify who exactly would love this one. I'm just going to demand you read this book over and over again until you do.

Did this book stomp on your feels too? Should we have a support group? Let me know in the comments below!