IF I LIE Reviews and News
IF I LIE is out in the world in just twelve days.
Okay, now that’s out of my system, I can get on to the good stuff. I’m happy to post the full reviews for IF I LIE from Kirkus and VOYA. These are up at Barnes and Noble, too, so I figure it’s okay to post them now. Here we go.
Quinn has done the unforgivable. Caught cheating on her boyfriend, a hometown hero now MIA in Afghanistan, she is hated by everyone in her small military town. While Quinn knows the truth that would clear her name, it is rooted in secrets that are not hers to tell, secrets she may have to live with for the rest of her life. Jackson’s debut novel is a strikingly poignant portrayal of a young woman’s struggle to be right in the face of persecution from, not only her peers, but her entire community. While the novel is told in Quinn’s first-person narrative, the author has gifted Quinn with the capacity to recognize the pain underlying others’ actions, even those who are slinging the most hate her way. Addressing bullying, homophobia, family dysfunction, grief, and the awesome cost of war, the novel is mostly about honor and what it means. Strong, achingly human characterizations help make the novel as emotionally sound as it is; Quinn’s work with the Veteran’s History Project at the local VA hospital is especially moving. In a few places, Quinn’s flashbacks do not transition smoothly and it takes a few sentences to realize she is looking back, but otherwise the storytelling is gripping. Much more than a unique spin on being the high school outcast, this is also a thought-provoking glimpse into a community built around service to our country and the many faces of honor. Reviewer: Vikki Terrile[/note]
Six years after Sophie’s mother cheats on her father, a Marine, Sophie does the very same thing and becomes a pariah. Sweethaven, N.C., is just west of Camp Lejeune, and it is a Marine Corps town through and through. An injury to one is an injury to all, so when a half-naked Sophie is photographed wrapped around a boy who is not her boyfriend just days before he is deployed to Afghanistan, she becomes “slut” to everyone, including her father. As Sophie reflects of her boyfriend, “He might as well have a PROPERTY OF SWEETHAVEN label stamped on his ass.” Her only solace is the time she spends at the VA hospital with George, a crusty soldier-turned–war photographer whom she is helping with an oral-history project. What she won’t—can’t—say is that not only was she not cheating on Carey, she is suffering all this to protect him. Sophie’s blunt, perceptive present-tense narration takes readers effectively into her personal emotional maelstrom. Relationships and their dynamics play themselves out naturally and with satisfying complexity; readers see all too clearly the damage done in the name of love. If Sophie’s friendship with George feels familiar, readers won’t begrudge her the only human who shows her warmth. Set in the waning days of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” this portrait of a military town rings true.[/note]
WOW. I mean, WOW. I’m stoked. I’m beyond stoked. I’m flipping euphoric. I’m doing this.
And the good news? You can now read sample chapters at a gorgeous site that Simon Pulse made. 🙂