Book 41: If I Lie by Corrine Jackson
WARNING: This review contains spoilers for this book. I was going to try to write this review without giving anything away, but there were so many things that bothered me about this book that I figured I would just go ahead and share all my thoughts. Read at your own risk. You have been warned.
Summary from goodreads:
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 had high hopes for this book. The premise sounded interesting, and I immediately wanted to know what the secret was that Quinn was keeping. I had a theory, but that theory didn’t really make sense, so I was hoping I was wrong. I wasn’t. And not only was I not wrong, but they told us the big “secret” like 20 pages into the book, which took away my main motivation for wanting to read it. The only reason I kept reading it was because I wanted to give the author the benefit of the doubt – I hoped that there was going to be something at the end, some fact revealed, that explained why the truth was worth lying about.
I shouldn’t have wasted my time.
There were only two likable characters in this entire novel: George and Cole, Quinn’s father. George is a feisty old guy who entertained me, and Cole seemed like a real person. He was flawed, sure, but he was flawed in a believable way. I don’t really expect every similar father/daughter relationship to end up this way or anything, but I could believe that it was possible. He’s not this horrible guy. He’s a Marine who doesn’t know how to relate to his teenage daughter who reminds him of his cheating wife. I don’t agree with everything he does, but he’s trying, and he grows, and that’s what counts. I actually really liked her father. I would never want to marry him or live with him, but I enjoyed reading about him.
But that was it. I hated Quinn. Even at the end of the book, I can’t understand why she did what she did. I understand not telling everyone his secret, as that’s not her business to tell, but she completely ignores the fact that SHE COULD HAVE SIMPLY TOLD PEOPLE THAT THEY BROKE UP. She keeps acting like her only two options are to confess everything or nothing, but there’s the simple fact that she could have told something. And, yes, I know that Carey asked her to pretend that they were still dating, but I’m sorry, that’s not good enough.
And that’s another person I hate – Carey. He’s a good Marine, but he’s a terrible friend, and it didn’t really fit with his character. I can completely understand having to hide the fact that you’re gay (I mean, you shouldn’t have to, but I understand why he feels the need to), but why does he have to pretend that they’re still dating? Why wouldn’t he just tell people they broke up? Or ask her to write him letters pretending they’re still dating? After all, it’s the other men in his unit who need to be convinced that he’s straight, as they’re the ones who would beat him up.
Blake is a coward. Toward the end of the novel I could more understand his hating Quinn, as she betrayed him and lied to him, but still…I just never really liked him. And their whole love just seemed sort of thrown together. He’s hardly ever in the book, but suddenly she goes from being confused about him to loving him. Perhaps had we seen more of their relationship before the big event happened it would have been different, but I never really wanted them to get together.
And how could Quinn get mad at Carey’s mother for hating her when she thought Quinn cheated on her son? She didn’t know the truth, so she sided with her son and not the girl who cheated on her son. Given what she knew, what’s wrong with that? I just wanted to smack Quinn at the end of the book when his mother admits that she now knows the truth.
Sophie’s mother, on the other hand, was horrible, though I guess I can see where Quinn gets her horrible decision making skills from. Again, we have someone who sees two options (stay with husband she doesn’t love and her daughter OR abandon both of them), when there’s an obvious third choice: leave the husband and take the daughter.
I just really did not like this book. It wasn’t my least favorite book this year, as I was able to keep reading (unlike Starters, which I had to keep putting down and coming back to), but it was still horrible. Quinn just sat there and let all these bad things happen to her in order to “protect” her best friend, and it didn’t make sense. And Carey’s supposed to be this hero who would rather be hurt than let others get hurt, but what the hell did he think would happen, especially after he heard about the picture? It’s selfish anyway to make her spend her last year of high school alone, pretending to be dating him. And what if she hadn’t gone away to college? Was she supposed to spend the rest of her life pretending? I just don’t see that as being consistent with Carey’s character.
I would not recommend this book.