A dramatic and powerful novel that explores the gray space between truth and perception.

Cheater. Traitor. Slut.

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Shunned by everyone she knows, Quinn loses her friends, her reputation, and her identity. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s a Marine who’s serving overseas, and beloved by everyone in their small, military town.

But Quinn didn’t cheat. She could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. So she stays silent, and waits for Carey to come home.

IF I LIE Blog Tour

IF I LIE in the News:

February 3, 2014 – IF I LIE is listed on YALSA’s 2014 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers list
January 27, 2014 – IF I LIE is chosen for ALA’s 2014 Rainbow List
November 13, 2013 – IF I LIE is nominated for ALA’s 2014 Rainbow List
October 13, 2013 – IF I LIE makes Mashable’s list of 11 Young Adult Books Sure to Make You Cry
March 30, 2013 – IF I LIE mentioned in Denver Post article “Books bring light to dark issues for teen readers
January 30, 2013 – IF I LIE mentioned in Statesman-Journal’s article “Best YA books can help teens face challenge”
December 19, 2012 – KALW’s Your Call picks IF I LIE as a Best Book of 2012
December 6, 2012 – The Los Angeles Public Library names IF I LIE one of the Best Teen Books of 2012


Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: August 28, 2012 (Paperback – August 26, 2013)
ISBN-10: 144245413X
ISBN-13: 978-1442454132

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“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.” – VOYA

“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.” – Kirkus Reviews
“This is an intense and heartbreaking bit of quality realism, putting the stress of life in a small military town during wartime on full display as a pertinent backdrop for more personal drama. Characters that could easily become stereotypes are instead drawn with sensitive attention to idiosyncratic detail that displays the vulnerability of the gruff warrior, the heartlessness of the well-meaning friend. Quinn’s outer forbearance set against her inner rage makes her a compelling character indeed as she fights her own wars and learns that while some battles are winnable, others are ongoing.” – Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

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Download a PDF of the Teacher’s Guide below.

IF I LIE_Teacher’s Guide

In the meantime, learn about the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project.


Want to find out how to do a Veterans History Project for a soldier you know? Details here.

Here I am discussing the inspiration for If I Lie.

Music is vital to my writing process. It sets the mood and the tone for the story. This was more true for If I Lie than any story I’ve written. Quinn is sad for much of the novel. Whatever mood I was in when I sat down to write, I had to get to that place where I could feel her sorrow. Music was my way in. I hope you enjoy the playlist!

All songs below link to Amazon for purchase, except “Hero” and “Ya Mama” which link to iTunes.


Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs
Alexi Murdoch
OneRepublic & Sara Bareilles
The Swell Season
Kris Delmhorst
The Frames
Juliana Finch
The Swell Season
Glen Hansard & Colm Maclomaire
Pearl Jam
The Swell Season
Kate Earl
Kelly Dalton
The Beautiful Girls feat Mason Jennings
Clare Reynolds
Peter Bradley Adams
Colin Hay
Mason Jennings
Wuf Ticket

*The song that inspired a key scene with George & Quinn.