If I Lie

If I Lie

by Corrine Jackson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442454132
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 08/28/2012
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.82(w) x 8.32(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: HL700L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Corrine Jackson lives in San Francisco, where she works at a top marketing agency, managing campaigns for several Fortune 500 clients. She has bachelor and master degrees in English, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. Visit her at CorrineJackson.com or on Twitter at @Cory_Jackson.

Read an Excerpt

If I Lie


  • Chapter One

    “Carey Breen is MIA.”

    His tongue weighs each word to cause the most pain.

    My father’s news drops like a bomb, blasting the air from my lungs, and everything in me shrieks, Not Carey.

    My dresser bites into my backbone. I deflate, clamping my fingers around the Nikon to hide how they tremble. I want to throw up, but my father blocks escape to the bathroom, his shoulders spanning the doorway. Late February morning sun slips through the window blinds and swaths his perma-sunburned face in blades of light and dark. Shadow camouflage.

    My stomach twists and sweat slides down my sides. He doesn’t care what this news does to me. How it destroys me. His chin’s up. Wintergreen eyes narrowed under sparse blond eyebrows. Hairline retreating from the neat rows of lines crossing his forehead. I’m barely holding it together, and he doesn’t bother to hide his disappointment at my reaction to his words.

    His lips thin. “Quinn, did you hear me?”

    Yes, sir. Carey is MIA. Sir.

    Since the scandal six months ago—that scandal we don’t speak of—my father says Carey’s name with reverence. They are two Marines, two men who’ve fought for a freedom I no longer feel. Comrades betrayed by the women they left behind.

    Sand and grit have rubbed between the pleasantries in Carey’s e-mails since I stopped answering him weeks ago. We’re leaving Camp Leatherneck soon—pleasedon’ttell—we’ll be patrolling roads, clearing IEDs, something big’s coming—imissyou—you may not hear from me for a while—Godidon’twanttodie—you must be busy with school and all—talktomeQuinn—I hope to hear from you soon.

    Carey could be a hostage. He could be dead, his brown body abandoned and decaying in a foreign country. The town has watched the CNN reports on Operation Moshtarak for the last week, tracking Carey’s battalion, the 1/6, as waves of Chinooks dropped troops into Marjah. Rockets, machine-gun fire, mortars, and IEDs met them. I’ve held my breath for days, trying to pick Carey out in the news footage. What if . . .

    Not Carey.

    His parents must be destroyed. They know by now, if my father knows. How did they react? The Marines would have sent at least one soldier to the Breens’ house, and I imagine how Mr. Breen looked hearing the news. Evaluating. Slow and methodical, his eyes focused on the ceiling to hide his thoughts. When composed, he would catch his wife’s worried gaze, and Mrs. Breen would KNOW. As if she waited—expected—the worst to happen. Her body would fold, welcoming sadness, drowning in it, and Mr. Breen would support her, catching her before she hit the ground. If she blamed me before, it will now be a thousand times worse. I can’t even grieve for Carey—not where people can see me.

    Carey has sewed my mouth shut.

    Pleasedon’ttell.

    Nice girls don’t cheat on their hero boyfriends. Damn you, Carey.

    “Quinn?” My father sounds impatient.

    My rage blows away, leaving hopelessness in its place. “I heard you, sir.”

    “You’re not to leave the house unless it’s to go to school or to work. People are going to be in a lot of pain when they find out. I don’t want your presence making them feel worse. You’ve done enough, you hear me?”

    I nod. He’s right. Nobody will want to see me. Today, I will not go to Grave Woods. I set the Nikon on the dresser behind me, among the neat pile of lenses and memory cards. My hands feel useless without my camera. Void.

    My father assumes I’ll obey. His uniform has starched his backbone so straight he walks tall even in faded jeans and a worn Marine THE FEW. THE PROUD. sweatshirt. Lieutenant Colonel Cole Quinn’s orders—like the Ten Commandments—are disobeyed at your own peril.

    His eyes narrow to two dashes and sweep my room. They land on the bed with its sheets and blanket tucked military-style, as he taught me. The dresser with its clean top. The desk with the books lined up by size and subject. Nothing out of place. No thing to criticize except me. I cannot remember the last time his eyes stayed on mine. After I was branded the “town slut,” he looks through me.

    Maybe if we both wish hard enough, I will become invisible, with watery veins and glass bones. My translucent heart will beat on, but my father will not notice.

    He sees only my mother in the spaces around me.

    *   *   *

    He leaves my bedroom door wide open. Moments later, my father’s study door shuts with a snick. In his sanctuary, the bookshelves lining one wall tell the history of war from A (American Revolution) to Z (the Zulu Civil War). There are biographies of generals, World War II memoirs, and academic tomes about US military strategy during Vietnam. My father studies war as a hobby like other men hunt Bambi or rebuild classic engines.

    A mahogany desk faces the Wall of War, and there are no chairs in the room other than my father’s. I wonder if he has done this on purpose.

    Holed up in his office, my father will not reappear until chow time at 1800 hours. Alone, I lie on my bed, pull the plain sky-blue bedspread over my head, and cry inside my tent.

    The phone rings from the hallway—Dad took my phone out of my room six months ago—and I pull myself together to answer it. Barefoot, I pad across the wood floor and into the hallway to the small antique sewing table that my mother restored a million years ago. It has the phone she put there. It’s the old rotary kind, where you slip your finger into the holes and spin the dial for each number. Mess up and you have to start the process all over again.

    “Hello?”

    No answer.

    The door to my father’s office cracks open—his way of letting me know that he is listening.

    “Hello?”

    A sigh that’s really more of a grunt comes in response. I know the voice, but he rarely speaks to me.

    “Hey, Nikki,” I lie. I lean against the wall and wind the spiral phone cord around my finger as if I’m settling in to talk to my old friend. My father’s footsteps recede as he falls back to his desk. I grip the phone tighter.

    “Talk to me, Blake,” I beg in a whisper. “I know it’s you.” We hadn’t always liked each other, but we’d had Carey in common. Me, his girlfriend; and Blake Kelly, his best friend who was more like a brother. We’d always kept the peace because Carey demanded that kind of loyalty. Despite everything that happened, that shouldn’t have changed.

    No answer.

    “You heard, didn’t you? Are you with his parents?” It made sense. The Breens have turned to Blake for comfort since Carey received his orders. I’m guessing he’s calling to tell me about Carey so I’m not blindsided at school Monday.

    “Do they blame me?” I don’t want to know, but the question scrapes out of me. Do you blame me?

    Click.

    “It’s not my fault,” I whisper, but Blake’s gone.

    *   *   *

    There are some things nice girls don’t do in a town like Sweet-haven, North Carolina. Six years ago, before my mother walked out on us with my father’s brother, she told me, “First chance you get, girl, run like hell. And for the love of all that’s holy, don’t end up a soldier’s wife.” A smudge of bitterness clung to the smoke from her Virginia Slims Menthol. Her Avon’s “Light My Fire” red lips pursed around the filter one last time before she crushed the stained cigarette butt into the glass ashtray she hid whenever my father came home on leave. Short black curls spiraled in defiant abandon when she shook her head. “I wish I’d never seen An Officer and a Gentleman. Damn Richard Gere and his dress whites.”

    At eleven, I had no idea what my mother meant, but I understood one thing: My mother wouldn’t pretend to be a nice girl forever.

    With her tanned skin and snow-white sundress, my mother reminded me of actresses in the old movies she liked to watch. I had told her so, and she had caressed my cheek, the warmth of her fingers lingering for hours after. I loved my mom best when my father was gone. When his battalion deployed their fighting would cease, and the temperature in our house increased by ten degrees.

    The summer I turned eleven, though, she dumped me at my grandmother’s, dropped a kiss on my forehead, and told me to “be a good girl.” She waved good-bye from the passenger seat of Uncle Eddy’s Buick. It wasn’t until my father returned a month later that I realized she wasn’t coming back. And I could only blame myself.

    After all, I’d told him the one thing sure to tear our family apart. I’d told my father that Uncle Eddy had slept in my mother’s bed.

    Located just west of Camp Lejeune, Sweethaven had a good number of sons (and some daughters) who’d enlisted straight out of high school. Many families could claim a Devil Dog in every generation, and all could agree: Cheating spouses were the scum of the earth.

    My father returned from Iraq, and I trailed him unnoticed through our house. Tight-lipped and dry-eyed, he studied his uniforms, marching in solitary formation in the empty closet. My mother had committed one last sacrilegious act before escaping. His once pristine blue dress uniforms sported gaping holes from her best sewing shears.

    My father’s hand shook when he touched a brass button clinging to a jacket lapel by a single thread. I understood then the golden rule my mother had broken. You didn’t disrespect the uniform. Ever. Not in a family that could trace five generations of soldiers who had served their country. Not in a town that could claim its forefathers had thumbed their noses at the British during the American Revolution and had lost sons to each war since.

    My mother’s name was not mentioned in our house after that day. And I—lovingly named Sophie Topper Quinn after my mother and my father’s half-brother, Captain Edward Topper—became Quinn at my father’s insistence. Quinn, the girl who would be better than her mother.

    My father’s epic ability to freeze people out had begun with my mother. Not that she’d ever tried to come back or see us again, but he’d managed to erase her from everything except my memories. He stripped her belongings from our house, barring the few things I hid in the attic. Their wedding photos disappeared one day while I was at school, along with every other photo of her.

    Later, I wondered if I really remembered her the way she looked, or if she had become a screwed-up Debra Winger/Elizabeth Taylor collage. Other times, I caught my father watching me with cold, dead eyes, and I prayed he was remembering her, that my resemblance to her made him think of her.

    Because I didn’t want to believe my father hated me that much.

    Especially when all of Sweethaven thought I’d become her too: the town slut cheating on her Marine.

  • Reading Group Guide

    A Reading Group Guide to

    If I Lie
    By Corrine Jackson

    About the Book

    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 he’s 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.

    Then Carey goes MIA, and Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend . . . and her promise.

    Common Core Anchor Standards for Discussion Questions

    Reading Literature: Key Ideas and Details
    • Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence to support conclusions drawn from the text.

    • Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

    • Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

    Reading Literature: Craft and Structure
    • Interpret words and phrases as used in the text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

    • Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text relate to each other and the whole.

    • Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

    Reading Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
    • Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

    For more info on Common Core Standards, visit:
    http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf

    Discussion Questions

    Chapter 1
    1. How would you characterize Quinn’s father? Give examples from both the dialogue and the setting that support your answer.

    2. Quinn says there has been a scandal, but does not tell you what it is. What does this add to the story?

    3. Select a metaphor or simile in this chapter and explain how it is effective.

    4. Who calls Quinn? Why do you think he doesn’t speak? Predict what role you think he will play in this story.

    5. Where is the novel set? What makes it different from most towns?

    6. Why does Quinn go by her last name?

    7. Compare how Quinn’s father reacts to her mother’s leaving with how he treats Quinn.

    Chapter 2
    1. Quinn says, “Every thought I have wraps around Carey.” Read the paragraph before this line and analyze how the structure mirrors this statement.

    2. What do Carey’s actions in regards to Mr. Winterburn show?

    3. What is ironic about the phrase “Jamie’s red, white, and blue body?” How do you feel about Jamie in this chapter?

    4. Quinn talks about being SOMEBODY versus NOBODY. What does she mean by this? How does Carey make her feel?

    5. What does the incident in Bob’s Creperie show about Quinn’s friends? How do her reactions characterize her in your opinion?

    6. What kind of friendship does Quinn seem to have with Nikki and Angel in the flashback?

    7. How would you characterize Blake? Give details from the chapter to support your answer.

    Chapter 3
    1. What happened to Carey in Marjah?

    2. What do we learn about Blake and Quinn in this chapter? Was this revelation foreshadowed in previous chapters? If so, where?

    3. Quinn thinks, “We. Didn’t. Cheat.” Why do you think Blake isn’t aware of this? What is Quinn keeping from him?

    4. What is the secret Quinn’s been keeping? How would you characterize her for keeping this a secret?

    5. What does the flashback in this chapter reveal about Quinn’s mother? How do you think this affects Quinn in her decision to keep the secret?

    6. Quinn says there are different types of silences. Compare them.

    7. To what does Quinn compare different kinds of silences at the end of this chapter? Explain each of her comparisons.

    Chapter 4
    1. What does Quinn’s work at the VA hospital say about her?

    2. George and the others call Quinn “Sophie” here. What does this represent to her?

    3. Why does George’s support mean so much to Quinn?

    Chapter 5
    1. Why is school worse for Quinn in this chapter than it has been in recent months?

    2. Why do you think Jamie is the only one not to ignore Quinn?

    3. Knowing Carey’s secret, how do you feel about the Facebook incident?

    4. Quinn says in this chapter that “Carey’s Quinn faltered.” What does she mean by this? How is Carey’s Quinn different from the true Quinn?

    5. There are allusions to The Scarlet Letter and its protagonist Hester Prynne. If you have not read that book, look up a summary online. What is The Scarlet Letter about? How is Quinn like Hester? How is she different from Hester? What other imagery in this chapter hints at the A in The Scarlet Letter?

    6. Quinn chooses not to tell Angel, even knowing she wouldn’t tell anyone. Why? What does this say about Quinn? About Angel? About the town?

    Chapter 6
    1. Quinn describes Blake’s words as a “dare and a plea.” How can they be both? What does he really want to happen? How do you know?

    2. Why is Quinn angry at Blake for asking her to tell the secret?

    3. Quinn quotes her father’s words about a moment defining a person. How do her choices in the past define her to the town? How does her choice to keep Carey’s secret define her in your eyes?

    Chapter 7
    1. Quinn compares “tricking the camera” to tricking people that she’s more than she really is. How does Quinn feel about herself? Given that she is the only person who knows the whole story, is this ironic? Why do you think she feels this way?

    2. The number of crows Quinn sees is clearly symbolic here when Quinn recounts the nursery rhyme she knew as a child: “Seven for a secret never to be told.” How else can crows be symbolic for the secret? For Quinn herself?

    3. Why doesn’t Angel go to the vigil? What do her actions in this scene say about her?

    Chapter 8
    1. What reasons does Quinn give for not noticing the clues that Carey was gay?

    2. Carey had considered not telling Quinn the truth but chooses to do so. How do you feel about his keeping the secret? How do you feel about the fact he felt he had to hide it?

    3. How does Quinn feel after the vigil? How does she deal with the bullying?

    4. What is it like living in Sweethaven? What are the positive aspects of living there? What are the negative aspects?

    Chapter 9
    1. Why do you think Quinn’s father chose to have her work at the VA hospital as a punishment? What is ironic about this?

    2. Uncle Eddy appears at the end of this chapter. How long has it been since Quinn has seen him? What do you predict will happen?

    Chapter 10
    1. “A red filter colors my vision,” Quinn says. What does this metaphor mean?

    2. Trace the emotions that Quinn experiences as she sees her mother.

    3. What promise does Quinn break to her mother in the flashback? Why does Quinn break it? How do you think this relates to her keeping her promise to Carey?

    Chapter 11
    1. What does Quinn compare her rage to when she says, “The rage, rekindled when my mother nonchalantly walked through the hospital, burns slow and bright. I think my skin glows with it”? How is the comparison an effective one?

    2. Quinn says her clothing armors her. What kind of figurative language is this? How can clothing act as armor?

    3. What double standard does Josh’s behavior reveal?

    Chapter 12
    1. Why is Blake at the dance? What does this say about him? About Angel?

    2. Blake comes to Quinn’s rescue but it angers her further. Do you agree or disagree with her reaction?

    3. Explain Blake’s anger in this scene. Who is he most angry at and why? Support your answer with evidence.

    4. What does Carey’s letter to Quinn say about him as a person?

    Chapter 13
    1. In the flashback, who initiates the romance between Blake and Quinn? When does this happen and under what circumstances?

    2. How are things different with Blake than they were with Carey? What do you think this reveals about Quinn’s feelings?

    3. When does Carey ask Quinn to lie for him? Now that you know the sequence of events, how do you feel about Quinn’s agreeing to keep Carey’s secret?

    Chapter 14
    1. Quinn tells Uncle Eddy that someone objects to every name she has. What does each variation of her name (Sophie, Quinn, Q) represent to her and to others?

    2. Do you think she will go to the meeting with her mother? Why or why not?

    3. What revenge does Quinn take upon her father and why? Do you feel this is fair? Explain.

    4. What brings Quinn and her father closer? Why do you think this happens?

    Chapter 15
    1. Why does Quinn’s mother compare eleven- year-old Quinn to her father in the flashback? Who do you think seventeen-year-old Quinn is most like and why?

    2. Does Quinn speak to her mother at the cafe? Explain Quinn’s actions and her feelings when she sees her mom.

    3. Why does Quinn feel she has betrayed her father?

    Chapter 16
    1. Mr. Horowitz points out Quinn’s passion for working with the military as if he didn’t expect it. Given the role the military has played in Quinn’s life, is her interest surprising? Explain.

    2. Why does Quinn contradict herself when she thinks, “I hate them. I really wish I hated them” about her classmates? How does she truly feel about them?

    3. Jamie’s comparison of Quinn to Quinn’s mother affects Quinn strongly. Why?

    4. What do the flashbacks about Quinn, Nikki, and Angel reveal about Nikki even before the scandal? What do they reveal about Angel?

    Chapter 17
    1. Explain why Quinn feels sitting in the laundry room is ironic.

    2. Explain Angel’s anger at Quinn. How is it different from most other people’s?

    3. What favor did George ask Quinn to do for him? What significance do you think the name Quinn looks up has for George?

    4. Quinn tells Blake that whatever damage she’s done, she made up for it and doesn’t owe anything to him. Do you agree? Explain.

    Chapter 18
    1. “Two guys and I love them both. Loyalty divides and subtracts me from both of them,” says Quinn about Carey and Blake. Explain this metaphor.

    2. What does Blake say happened that kept him from confessing it was him in the picture? What promise did he make? How is this “ironic?”

    3. Quinn says she and Blake each sacrificed for Carey. What do their actions say about them and their relationship with Carey?

    Chapter 19
    1. Who is Charlie Deacon? What is surprising about him? What does this say about George and about the military?

    2. Brotherhood and sacrifice are usually viewed in a positive light, but the words seem to anger Quinn. How does she relate the word “sacrifice” to Carey? To her father?

    3. Quinn makes an analogy between the military and “screwed up families” at the end of the chapter. How are they alike?

    Chapter 20
    1. The “secret” about Quinn being a vegetarian finally comes out. How does her father react? What does this say about their relationship and how it’s changed?

    2. Who does Quinn run into at the cafe? How does she feel about the encounter? Are her feelings justified?

    Chapter 21
    1. How do Quinn’s visits with George provide an escape from her situation? What does he represent to her?

    2. What is ironic about what Quinn says about her middle name, Topper?

    3. Do you feel any sympathy for Quinn’s mother in this chapter? Why or why not?

    4. “Your father said—” Quinn’s mother says before cutting herself off. What do you think she meant to say here?

    Chapter 22
    1. When Quinn tells Carey he broke her heart, he seems to disbelieve her. What might he suspect about Quinn’s feelings?

    2. Why does Quinn compare her emotions to a kaleidoscope? How is this simile effective?

    3. “It felt a little like someone had died,” Quinn says about her conversation with Carey. What are they mourning here? In what ways is it like a death?

    Chapter 23
    1. Quinn says she feels Carey betrayed his parents with his lack of trust. How can you betray someone by not trusting them? Explain.

    2. What do Quinn’s actions toward Mrs. Breen in the garden store tell you about her? Do you respect Quinn for her behavior here?

    3. Quinn compares her feelings about her mother and her feelings about Mrs. Breen. In what way are the situations similar in Quinn’s eyes? How are they different?

    Chapter 24
    1. Quinn says she wonders if her father will even know the favor he did her by making her work at the VA hospital. Do you think he knows? What do you think was his motivation for making her work there?

    2. Who does George invite to Quinn’s party? What is his motivation? What does this tell you about George’s place in Quinn’s life?

    3. Trace Quinn’s feelings from seeing her mother arrive at the party to the end of the chapter.

    4. How do you think Quinn’s father feels when he sees Sophie?

    Chapter 25
    1. Who do you feel the most sympathy for when Quinn’s mother and father are fighting? Why?

    2. In the flashback, Quinn’s father says her mother is making Quinn “just like her.” Why would this upset ten-year-old Quinn, who loved her mother? Why does the memory of it upset Quinn now?

    3. George’s illness and her parents’ fighting make Quinn yell at both of her parents. Does she make any valid points or do you feel she’s being unfair? Explain.

    Chapter 26
    1. Explain what Quinn means when she says, “Maybe if I hadn’t covered for Carey, I would be stronger.” How has covering for Carey affected her?

    2. In the flashback, what is it Carey says that makes Quinn cover for him, despite her anger? What does this say about her motivations?

    3. Explain the circumstances that led to the photograph that started the scandal.

    4. Blake apologizes when Quinn says she felt abandoned. Given the information he knew at the time, do you feel that he should apologize for this? Why or why not?

    5. How do you feel about the reunion of Quinn and Blake? Do you think it will last? Why or why not?

    Chapter 27
    1. What does the gift Quinn’s father gives to her say about their relationship at this point? How has it evolved?

    2. Quinn says the signs regarding George’s illness have been there all along. How else has she ignored warning signs in the past?

    3. How long does George have left? How does he try to protect Quinn?

    Chapter 28
    1. Mr. Horowitz asks Jamie, “What is it you don’t like about these pictures, Miss Winterburn? Is it because they don’t show us as the best versions of ourselves?” Consider and explain the role photography plays in this novel.

    2. How does Quinn handle Jamie in this chapter? What does this show about Quinn as a character?

    3. Why is Blake upset when Quinn shows up at the garage? Do you feel he has a right to be upset?

    4. What news do Blake and Quinn get in this chapter?

    Chapter 29
    1. What has happened to George? What does Quinn say she will finish for him and why?

    2. Who fills Quinn in on Carey’s condition? What does this say about their relationship?

    3. What was Quinn’s father’s defining moment? Does this revelation change how you feel about Sophie? Explain.

    4. Quinn sees one crow outside the hospital window. What does this crow represent? How does it fit with the earlier crow symbolism?

    5. How would you characterize Quinn’s actions toward George at the end of this chapter? What kind of person is she?

    Chapter 30
    1. What items does George leave to Quinn? What does this tell you about their relationship?

    2. How does Quinn’s mother help her? How has their relationship changed?

    3. Quinn confronts her father about his decision to keep Sophie away. How does he react? Do you agree or disagree with his reasoning?

    4. Trace Quinn’s emotions during the phone call from Mr. Breen.

    5. What is Quinn’s message to Carey? Do you respect Quinn for giving this message or not? Explain.

    Chapter 31
    1. Why does Quinn choose to move?

    2. Quinn says about the words on her locker, “I no longer believe that they’re true.” What does this say about her feelings about herself both at the beginning of the book and now?

    3. Why doesn’t Quinn feel vindicated when Carey’s secret is finally revealed to Blake?

    4. Quinn corrects Blake and tells him her name is Sophie. Why is the name important to her?

    5. How does Quinn defend Carey’s actions to Blake?

    6. Why is Blake angry at both Quinn and Carey? Do you feel he is justified in his anger?

    7. Explain Quinn’s choice regarding her relationship with Blake. What does she mean when she says she needs to “be first for once”? How has she put others first throughout this situation?

    Chapter 32
    1. Why does Quinn use quotes around the word “friends”? How does Quinn respond to their reactions regarding Carey’s secret?

    2. Mrs. Breen calls to tell Quinn that Carey needs her and she goes to him. Relate this to the reason why she kept his secret.

    3. What project are Quinn and her father working on together? What does this say about their relationship now?

    4. Quinn says, “That girl died and Sophie was born out of the ashes.” What mythological creature is being alluded to in this quote? How does it suit Quinn?

    5. Mrs. Breen reveals yet another lie that has been told. What was her motivation? How does Quinn react?

    6. George’s words continue to advise Quinn after his death. What lessons did he teach her that are important now that she sees Carey?

    7. How does Quinn act in this final defining moment? How would you define her as a character here at the end of her journey?


    This guide was written by Laurie Wielenga, an English teacher and journalism advisor at Orange High School in Southern California.

    This guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

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    If I Lie 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
    VeraciousRose More than 1 year ago
    This is one of those books that shakes you up, that keeps you turning the pages with a fast paced plot and motivated characters, but then it levels up and makes you think about the cost of freedom. It makes you realize that integrity can be a lonely place. It makes you hope that you've never muddied up your feet in the grey swamp of judgement. This is realistic fiction at its very best - if you enjoy books by Laurie Halse Anderson and John Green, I highly recommend IF I LIE.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book has a lot of heart and dose not take the easy way out. We see the struggle and fight in the story. This is a must read book!
    Kimmiepoppins More than 1 year ago
    When I was in high school, I became fascinated with POW's from Vietnam. I was haunted by the idea that these guys had never come home. Who were they? Where were they? And what had they left behind? I "adopted" a missing soldier and wore my MIA bracelet until it wore out and broke in half. When I was in college, I was a girlfriend of a guy who was in the army. Then I married him--making me a military wife. I fell in love with this fierce, dedicated, kind, bigger-than-life community. And sometimes I hated being just another piece in a finely tuned machine--even it it was made up of some very wonderful people. Sometimes I felt a little lost. I didn't always like who I was supposed to be and what was expected of me. I didn't know it then, but I was a girl who had things to say--weird, slightly off center things to say--and not speaking them was a bit unhealthy. So, I related to Quinn--having lived that life with my own kind of secrets pushed down inside me. I'm sharing this information with you because I want you to know, that in my opinion, Corrine Jackson got it right. As I read her words, it took me back... I'm a huge fan of authors who create people with depth. I like to see the characters have faults AND triumphs. Not only did Jackson do this seamlessly, but she also accomplished this with her presentation of the military. I both loved and hated the institution and it's affect on those involved in it--just like I did in real life. She didn't use hero worship and she didn't demonize either. She simply acknowledged that like all of us, it is made up of the good and the bad. I was also grateful to see her humorous and touching relationship with an elderly veteran, George. I have always had a soft spot for the older generation. I think they are gifts that we often let pass us by. Jackson brought me to tears with her gentle reminder that it takes only one person to make a difference in someone else's life. IF I LIE is a well written, beautifully balanced, heart-wrenching book that is about so much more than a snapshot of people in a small military town. I hope it moves you as much as it did me.
    Ray10101 More than 1 year ago
    Unforgettable, delightful, special
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    If I Lie is about a young girl, Sophie Topper Quinn, who goes by Q because her father doesn’t want to have a reminder of her mother who left them years ago to be with her dad’s brother. Quinn is detested by her father and the rest of her small military town. All because of a photo that is leaked on the internet of her cheating on her deployed boyfriend, Carey. Now known as a cheater, traitor, and slut, she is torn about whether to keep the secret and continue to be hated or tell the truth and lose Carey’s trust. But since Carey is MIA, her decision is made even more difficult. Quinn is brave and loyal. She loves Carey and wants to make sure he is protected. But by doing that, it is affecting every area of her life. I don't think I would have had the courage she had to keep a secret so admirably. All of the characters were presented clearly and effectively. Each of them had a definite personality. My personal favorite was George, her best friend at the veteran hospital. His outlook on life was refreshing. I cried multiple times when both he and Q interacted. The ending was well written and answered all the unanswered questions. I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a good read. 
    TheNerdyJournalist More than 1 year ago
    “If I Lie” has been on my to-read shelf forever, hiding amongst all of the bright covers and eloquent summaries. It has a simple cover and a no-frills synopsis. I’m currently cursing my tendency to gravitate towards aforementioned glamorous covers and summaries because I wish I’d read “If I Lie” sooner. 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. This book is utterly H-E-A-R-T-B-R-E-A-K-I-N-G. And, yes, I really did needed to spell it out for emphasis. It isn’t a sad book—it does have sad moments, though. It’s painfully truthful, and it explores human emotion tremendously well; that’s what makes it heartbreaking. The beautiful writing certainly doesn’t help stop the leaking tears either. "One... two... three... One… two— I am bits of who everyone thinks I am. One... Blake’s Q. Two... Carey’s Quinn. Three… Sophie Jr., taking after her w**re mom. Four... middle name Topper for Uncle Eddy the Honorable. Which piece is really me? I’m plummeting and terrified of hitting rock bottom. I want to be someone new. Sophie Topper Quinn, no more." Jackson also does a great job of highlighting sensitive topics, such as cheating, homosexuality, abuse, bad parent-child relationships, the brutal effect of war, etc. The main character’s mom walked out of her life years ago (with her dad’s brother, nonetheless). Her father treats her with cold indifference because she looks like her Mom. Many characters came of the battlefield with scars inside and out. Many have parents that did. I also feel the need to point out that there is lots of photography in “If I Lie.” Quinn uses it as a form of expression, a way to forget all of the s**t that comes her way. I’ve always loved photography, so it really helped me click with Quinn. The characters in “If I Lie” are amazingly realistic; they’re all layered in the way that only human beings can be, an exterior hiding secrets and emotions. I don’t think I hated any character. Not even the bully because I know her reason for being one—not that that justifies bullying. I just want to go through and list a few of the characters that stuck out to me. George: he was one of my favorites because, even though he’s a cranky old man (kind of like my grandpa), he’s a tremendously kind person. He’s been through war. He knows not to waste life by seeing only the dirty misconceptions. He sees Quinn for who she really is. Plus, he’s hilarious. Sophie Topper Quinn or just Quinn: her life sucks. Her mom is a two-timing b***h who ran off with her uncle, leaving her with a cold father who sees a copy of her mother every time he looks at her. Especially when she’s labeled a cheater. That’s the key word: labeled. Sophie didn’t really cheat on Carey; they broke up, but maintained appearances because of his secret. If I was in her place, I don’t know if I would’ve kept his secret. It makes you wonder: Am I a good enough person? Would I have protected my ex like that, even if I did still love him (as a best friend)? Carey: I really want to hate him for making Quinn hide his secret. It‘s a selfish and cowardly thing for him to do. But, somehow Jackson manages to highlight his and Quinn’s past in a way that makes him hard to hate. Blake aka Carey’s best friend and the guy that Quinn “cheated” on Carey with: he is certainly no knight in shining armor. No one knows that he’s the guy that Sophie was caught in a scandalous embrace with—it was a pretty bad picture taken on someone’s phone. If they did, everyone would hate him. He can’t let that happen because he made a promise to take care of Carey’s parents in his place; he can’t risk revealing the truth because it means breaking his promise to his missing best friend. Hiding the fact that he “stole” his best friend’s girlfriend makes him just as cowardly as Carey, doesn’t it? But, isn’t fear a part of human nature? He does actually care for Quinn. A lot. And he makes that clear by trying to protect her, even when he’s too afraid to step into the gunfire with her. The broken relationship he has with Quinn is definitely another heartbreaking factor in this book. I’m still trying to decide whether I love the ending or hate it. The ending is all about forgiveness and starting over. Quinn chooses herself instead of making a decision because of a guy, and that’s really refreshing. The ending fit the book really well, but things definitely didn’t turn out the way I hoped they would. I really can’t say anything else about it without spoiling the book.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book was AH-MAZING AND I LOVED IT!!! I loved how the author put some plot twist to keep it interesting. What i didnt like was how everyone just turned against her. So what if people cheat, friends cant just abandon you like that. I feel like the whole town was to be blamed and this ordeal wouldve gone smoother if she would've had any supporters in the midst of shame she was put upon. ~Bree
    rockygirl1 More than 1 year ago
    I have to say, this book blew me away.  There were several points and times where it put me in tears and my husband came through and asked me if I was okay, that is how emotional it made me.  Quinn's character was so strong and took so much abuse from so many people, her father, her so called friends, even the boy who claims to be in love with her. Seriously, this is the kind of emotions that a truly talented author should be able to stir up in you.  I loved this book and would absolutely recommend it to someone else.  Just make sure that you have a few tissues near by, cause it really pulls on the heart strings.   I can't get into too much more detail without giving away too much of the plot, but trust me, this is one to add to your to be read pile! So far my favorite book of the year, hands down.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book is a really good book if you likevit then might as well as read it dont yiu think i finished this book just resently
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** If I Lie by Corrine Jackson Publisher: Simon Pulse Publication Date: August 28, 2012 Rating: 4 stars Source: Copy sent from the author Summary (from Goodreads): 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. What I Liked: I have not read many books dealing with the military (other than Something Like Normal by Trish Doller, which I read AFTER I read this book), so I was not sure what to expect from this book. I have to say, this book pulled at my hearstrings and made me want to cry many, many times (and I am NOT a crier, for movies or books or anyone).  I had a feeling I knew what was wrong with Carey, both physically, and why Quinn had to lie for him. I felt so bad for Quinn, because she went through so many awful things, in order to keep a secret. I really felt bad for Blake, because he did not deserve to not get what he wanted.  This story is so twisted, but in a bittersweet, heartbreaking way. Quinn cannot be happy no matter what she does. Blake cannot get what he wants. Carey cannot get what he wants. It seemed like there was no way that anyone could get any silver lining out of this situation. I really liked the multiple plots - of Quinn dealing with Carey's secret, and Quinn dealing with her mother, and Quinn's past being revealed. It made me sad for Quinn, sad for Quinn's father, and sad for Quinn's mother. I just felt bad for everyone, even though, in a way, everyone did something that was bad. I do not know how Ms. Jackson did it, but she wove this story in a way that made me hate and love everyone. I think if I had to really hate anyone, it would be Carey, for asking Quinn to keep that secret. Not because of what the secret was, but because he ruined her life by asking her to keep it. I liked how the story switched from past to present. This kind of thing is either done very well, or absolutely abysmally. Ms. Jackson did a wonderful job with the switches. It kept me on my toes, to make sure I understood what was going on. And it was an interesting way of revealing Quinn's past and present at the same time. The ending was very bittersweet, but I think it ended well. It is resolved, but there are some things about the end that not everyone will like. I completely respect Quinn's decisions. Honestly, I may have done the same thing if I were her. What I Did Not Like: I said it already, but I really did not like the fact that Carey asked Quinn to keep that secret, and I guess, that Quinn actually kept the secret. That is SO not something that you should ask a person to keep quiet. Obviously, there would be no book if Quinn had not kept the secret. But I still did not like this. Also, I really, really wish Quinn could have, um, had a nice ending with that nice boy, instead of doing what she did. But that's okay, because I completely understand why she did what she did. Would I Recommend It: Yes! This book is so bittersweet, but it is so, so good. And sad. And good. It's not a light, quick read, but it's definitely worth the time.  Rating: 4 stars. This contemporary novel is definitely one for the ages!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    KDH_Reviews More than 1 year ago
    This book was just short of amazing. The writing was wonderful. The characters were real and had depth. The storyline was strong. It wasn't perfect, though. While it was a quick read, there were a few parts that seemed to drone on a bit. Sometimes, in my opinion, the author got a bit long-winded with unnecessary detail. There were also a few times were I was irritated with Sophie (Quinn, Q). While I completely understand her reasoning for keeping Carey's secret, I thought the whole martyr act was just a bit too much. She could have opened up to someone, especially George. Overall, I enjoyed this book. The imperfections aren't big enough to take away from the book's powerfulness. I would read another of Corrine Jackson's books. She's a talented author. Rating 4.5/5
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This story contains stuff about the war and i learn so much about it. How soldiers get when they come home. Sophie Quinn was a popular girl with her boyfriend, Carey, the marine. She has kept a secret from everybody and all her friends abused her and hate her thinking she had done something to their marine. I read this amazing book in a day. It kept me on my toes. I had to read all of this to know what happenn to Sophie. Im a teenager and i criedd. I cried like a babyy because this story really touched my heart. If youre looking for something intense with emotion, i recommend this book. Hope you enjoy this as much as i did. :)
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I liked this book alot. Quinn was a character who really came to lifen I found myself crying during her story. I kind of was hoping she would end up with Blake but I don't feel that would have been the best end. He let her take all the blame I thought he was a coward. I highly recommend this book
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    My cousin jacob is in the marines
    pippy28 More than 1 year ago
    This book was a decent read. POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT!! I just didn't understand why she couldn't have told everyone that they had broken up. It seems like they could have at least done that. The fact that she also doesn't end up with the guy she really liked, and who liked her, kind of ruined the story for me. I mean, I understand there were a lot of outside factors, but I had hoped for a happy ending after the lengthy read I had just endured. Books are my escape and sometimes I just want to read a book that has a really happy ending (even if it isn't always realistic). Can't say it was my favorite story ever or that I would read it again any time soon.
    StuckInYAbooks More than 1 year ago
    I have never had so much emotion during a book than reading this one! I felt like crying during some of the book because of what Quinn has to go through. It has to be one of my favorite contemporaries because it was beautifully written. From the first page I was addicted and I had to read what will happen next. I did like how Corrine Jackson made the novel very focused on the topic of Marines fighting in the war, which is a different take in YA but it now making an appearance which is good to read about how relationships are during that time when the boys go on tour. It covers so much and it will give you a perspective of torn families, the army and even friendship. The novel begins with a scandal about our main character Sophie Topher Quinn who was caught kissing a guy other than her perfect boyfriend Carey. This is not a good thing in a small town where everyone talks. Mostly everyone in the town is part of the army and when Carey goes missing she is still not able to talk to Carey's family, her friends, when the real truth is that Quinn did not cheat on Carey. With all the blame towards her she still would not reveal Carey's news before he left and, this news would break him apart. The entire novel was intense and heart breaking. I fell in love with each of the characters as I began reading more about their story. Corinne painted the picture for this novel and she succeed with grabbing my attention. George was definitely one of my favorite characters because he is the one that does help Quinn become the person she is by the end of the novel. George is soo funny, and he makes the story have a tole model who helps Quinn through all her problems. He is a elderly Veteran of the War at the VA Medical Center where Quinn helps/volunteers which is another thing that holds her together through school. Quinn is stubborn for admitting the truth. She is in a self-less in love with her best friend for Carey. It was moving to see how Quinn was feeling. Her dad pretends to ignore her because of the scandal, Quinn life is like any family: Dysfunctional. I was very sad for her at some parts as well as happy that she is able to stay strong for herself while people were bullying her. The characters were realistic and understandable which many teens can relate to. The romance had very little, but that is not the main subject from what the real story takes place and Sophie's relationships are on rocky grounds. This also includes her parents which many children/teens would go through if your father and mother were always fighting. Her father and mother were another story that grew. This books is definitely one book people should pick up because so many people can relate to Quinn's position. This story will bring you to tears, and make you fall in love with her story as she tries to come to terms with relationships, family, and finding who she is. It will be unforgettable once you read this amazing read!