Author: Corrine Jackson
Published: August 28th 2012
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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.
I seldom write reviews right after I have finished a book, but my emotions are so strong that I know, if I don’t write my review now, it won’t be a true painting of my feelings. I can list the things I feel, or rather am, after reading If I Lie on one hand: emotional, broken, hopeful.
“Sometimes a moment defines you, defines how people see you for the rest of your life. You can accept it or fight it. If you're lucky, you'll recognize the moment when it happens.”
The story. Quinn has done something wrong in the eyes of the people of Sweetheaven. She has the power to stop her former friends and the whole town from bullying her—the girl who cheated on the town hero—but she can't because she will not break her promise. Even her own father blames her. It’s an everending cycle of hurt for Quinn and the only person who can save her from this hell is the guy who left her face it all alone and may not ever return.
My thoughts. I can tell you right off the bat that the real synopsis is quite a bit misleading and it’s not what we think we’re getting ourselves into. I am thoroughly surprised by how raw and painful this read was. I was expecting to be emotional, yes, but I didn’t think it would turn out to be this bad. It... It isn’t an ugly cry book, but it was a never-ending silent cry one. I'm telling you, these tears just didn’t know when to stop. Quinn is so lost due to a secret she once told, because it was about her mom, and when it all came out, her whole world was torn apart. She has learned her lesson and won’t spill the secret that’s killing her inside and outside. I did not see that secret coming at all. This situation was so complicated. The person Quinn supposedly cheated with is close to Carey—Quinn’s boyfriend. If the three of them had talked everything out, none of this would have happened, but it goes to show how critical our society is about these kinds of situations. Quinn should have never gone through that.
In addition to being the town’s most hated inhabitant, her father sees the ghost of her mother in her so he is pretty much ignorant towards her. I hated how he didn’t notice her. Didn’t see her until it was almost too late and in some ways it was. What do you have if your parent doesn’t believe in you and blames you for everything that has gone wrong in one's life? If everyone else has turned their back on you? When a person you love doesn’t stand up for you because they feel betrayed, but you can’t explain because it’s not your secret to tell? If the person who’s basically responsible for all the horrible things that have happened to you by keeping their secret is afraid to tell the truth? It’s amazing how much Quinn grew thanks to these horrible situations. She may have made one mistake, but all she ever did was try to protect the person she loved. I wish she had loved one less. The only person who sees the real her is George—a veteran who Quinn takes care of at a hospital. I found him to be the best part of this book and his words, attitude and friendship with a high school senior was admirable and inspiring.
All in all, I didn’t expect any of this. It’s a novel that will stick with me for quite some time. If you want a book with swoon-worthy romance, beautiful words and a gorgeous love story, then this is not the book for you. Foremost it was raw and sometimes even depressing, but it shows that sometimes things will go from bad to worse before they get better. The ending.. I’m a happily-ever-after kind of girl. This wasn’t one. I didn’t expect it to be, though. I think this ending feels real and it couldn’t have been any other way. I cried during that last scene. I cried after I had shut the cover of my kindle and after crying..? I felt hopeful. Should you read this? Most definitely yes.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars