LIE

LIE

by Caroline Bock

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312668327
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 08/30/2011
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 1,284,842
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile: HL610L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Prior to focusing on her writing, Caroline Bock headed the marketing and public relations departments at Bravo and IFC cable networks. She is a graduate of Syracuse University, where she studied creative writing with Raymond Carver, and The City College of New York, where she earned a MFA in fiction. She lives in New York on Long Island.

Read an Excerpt

Lie


By Caroline Bock

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2011 Caroline Bock
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-8441-6



CHAPTER 1

Skylar Thompson


I should be in calculus, reviewing for the final, not at the police station. Or I should be in the school parking lot, deciding on whether to cut class and go to the beach with the other seniors. Or at the diner with Lisa Marie. Or even home. I should be anywhere but here.

"Let me tell you about Jimmy," I answer Officer Healey. "Jimmy stands up for his friends, keeps his word, and is the star of the varsity football and baseball teams. He couldn't have planned to hurt any Mexicans. Especially brothers. Jimmy has a little brother." I've been here for over an hour, being asked about Jimmy, about last Saturday night. I sit up straighter. "And it's important for you to know that I've never called anyone a 'beaner,' and I've never heard Jimmy use that word either."

Officer Healey hunches over, slashes down notes, not disagreeing or agreeing. He has sprigs of red hair, watery eyes, and he winces as if thinking hard. He could be any of my friends' dads, a coach of soccer or Little League, a worrier, a sideline pacer.

"No one at school ever talked about going out and jumping Hispanics or other foreign nationals just for fun? No one used the term 'beaner-hopping'? No one said anything like that in school?"

I shift toward the edge of the metal chair to keep my balance. I wish I were taller. I run my hands through my hair. I should have brushed it back, worn something other than black, practiced smiling like Lisa Marie suggested.

"Anything more you want to tell me? Better to do it now, Miss Thompson."

He clears his throat.

"One more question. Was Jimmy Seeger the mastermind?"

My father shifts next to me. He's a big man and they've given him a wobbly chair. "Lookit, my daughter isn't a liar."

"Dad —"

"I'm just telling the officer you have nothing more to say."

Officer Healey stands as we stand. My father's chair crashes to the floor and breaks apart; he folds the pieces on top of the table like a broken body.

"Just so you know, the victim, Arturo Cortez, is in bad shape. He's in the ICU. If he dies, we charge your boyfriend with murder. As an adult. He's eighteen. One more time, is there anything you want to add?"

"What about the other brother I read about?"

"The younger brother, one Carlos Cortez, had minor injuries. He's the one that got their license plate. Bright kid. He's been released from the hospital."

"Lookit, if we're finished, we're finished," says my father, avoiding eye contact with either the police officer or me.

I hesitate. I have one more thing to ask. "When can I see Jimmy?"

"You're not," answers my father.

"His family's got to post bond," responds Officer Healey. "If not, the county jail allows twice-weekly one-hour visits. That's for nonattorneys."

"Two visits a week?"

"This isn't summer camp," says Officer Healey, squinting hard. "To visit, you got to be eighteen years old, with a valid ID, or be accompanied by an adult."

"Forgetaboutit," says my father. "The whole thing. Forget about it. Let's go."

"My birthday is this week, or should we 'forgetaboutit' too?"

He studies his scuffed-up work shoes.

"Any more questions?" asks the police officer hoarsely.

I will myself to say nothing. I have a million more questions racing through my head but I only shake my head. This was the plan. Everybody knows. Nobody's talking.

The officer follows us out to the main entrance. "If there's anything else you can think of, please give me a call. We appreciate your cooperation."

My father slips the card into his EMT uniform.

I know I will have nothing more to say.

From the top of the steps, Officer Healey watches us drive away. I ease my mother's car, a red Mustang, my car, through the choked police parking lot. Mastermind is racing through my head. Jimmy isn't that smart. I mean, he is smart — he was a Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

I drive slower than usual.

I don't know how it happened, last Saturday night. It wasn't supposed to happen. But all I have to do is say nothing and it will be Jimmy and me in the Mustang going east, going out to Montauk as planned. Say nothing; he'll be back.

My eyes lock in front of me. I estimate thirty, twenty, ten feet to go, and I'm free, except I'm going the wrong way.

"Make a right here," instructs my father. "A right. Your other right."

I make a sharp right to the exit of the police parking lot.

My father then starts in about food. Going to lunch at the diner. Burgers and oversized onion rings. A vanilla milkshake, he ventures. Since it's Monday he doesn't have to be at work until four p.m. His insistence surprises me. We haven't been out to eat since my mother died. I shake my head at the diner suggestion. I want to get back to school and find Lisa Marie and tell her exactly what I said. Our hope is that Jimmy and Sean will be out on bail sooner than later. They were arrested on Sunday. Twenty-four hours without Jimmy is about as much as I can bear.

"You okay?" my father asks, not really wanting an answer.

So I answer him with a question. "You know I was there, Saturday night?"

"I don't want to know." He sighs. Adds to the space between us. "I don't need to know."

I jump the Mustang into traffic.


Sean Mayer

Jimmy's best friend


Are you okay? I ask myself for the hundredth time since being arrested.

Yes, I lie.

I have never been so alone as I am here, in a cell, with eight other guys. It's the right number for a baseball team. It even smells like feet and sweat and urine, like a locker room. But nobody's swinging a bat in here.

The cops separated Jimmy and me because he's eighteen. His last words were, "Stay strong."

Stay strong, and breathe. Breathe.

I can't. I'm afraid to shut my eyes on this bunk. I never liked closed-in places, tree houses, backs of buses. I like playing the outfield, center field. Fields of green grass.

I rattle out of the bunk in a cold sweat. Everybody is rumbling, roaring, running at the mouth, and it's about me, pitched at my back. How I'm scared. How I'm a boy. How I'm white. I have no issue with them, especially eight-on-one. I pretend they're the opposing team, testing me. I block out their noise like I always did. I clutch the metal bars. Somewhere cells are banged open or slammed shut, and the reverb drills into my hands and shoulders.

Breathe. Breathe. Remember the visualization exercises. The first time, last August, the football team all tumbled onto the gym mats after an endless practice in the sun. We were missing Richie Alan, who was supposed to be the quarterback, and who was my former best friend. His father had lost his job. They had to sell their house and leave for his grandmother's apartment somewhere in Queens, which might as well mean they moved off-planet.

We jokingly sat cross-legged and closed our eyes. When the coach asked us to "mentally rehearse," I cracked everyone up by saying, "I know what I'm mentally rehearsing." All I was really thinking was that I wanted to play ball, not think of the ball.

Then Jimmy spoke up. He said that he knew that we sucked last year. That if we really wanted to win, we should be open to trying this. Everyone looked at everyone else. We couldn't believe that Jimmy, the new guy, was saying this. But that was Jimmy, I'd learn.

"Let me try to get the guys through this. Coach?" The two new guys sized each other up, Jimmy and Coach Martinez. Jimmy had a way of standing with his shoulders back and hands clasped in front of him that I was already working on imitating. He was as tall as the coach, six-three or six-four. He could stand awesomely still. He did that with the coach. "I only want to help," he said to the coach. "I only want to win." Jimmy didn't even blink. After that practice, I stood in front of the mirror at home and practiced standing still and not blinking.

The coach saluted him, a mock salute, a go-ahead-you-try salute. We were all quiet, had stopped twisting in our gym shorts, picking at our zits. Eyes followed Jimmy.

"Listen up. We're going to breathe like the coach said," Jimmy shouted. "Breathe. Breathe." And we did. Until our breaths, heaves of air, were in sync with his, until we could see, like him, that winning was a possibility this season.

Now there are no images in my head except one. Of him. Arturo Cortez.

Breathe. Breathe.

What were you thinking of, Sean? What did you think you were doing? What did you imagine would happen, Sean? My father couldn't understand and I didn't help him out this time. I was covering Jimmy. I was running his plays. I wasn't thinking.

I press up against the bars like I'm in the weight room. Groan with the effort of lifting what can't be lifted. What happens in jail if you stop breathing?


Lisa Marie Murano

Skylar's best friend


"Listen up, I don't have a lot of time. You trust me?"

"Always."

"And, Lisa Marie?"

"Jimmy?" I murmur, even though I could easily scream out loud, announce to the world, that Jimmy is calling me from jail. I'm parked at the back of the diner lot. The Camaro is running; the air blasts. Even so, I can still smell the stink of fish from the diner's kitchen. When something smells that bad you can't escape. Feral black and white cats dash in front of my bumper as if crazed by possibilities.

"We don't have long to talk and I need you to —"

The time glows in the dark. At nine p.m., I'm supposed to meet Skylar at our other diner. It's almost nine. I don't mention this to Jimmy. Don't get me wrong. I don't mean for this to be a "lie of omission," as my father would say, which only means you know something and don't say it. I just don't want to make Jimmy feel bad that he isn't meeting up with us like always.

Yet, I have to ask, "Have you called Skylar too?"

"I'll call Skylar as soon as I can. Will you tell her?"

I'm mesmerized by the cats prowling, hunting down something.

"Are you there, Lisa Marie? I feel like everyone is falling away —"

"I'm here, Jimmy. I'm focused. I am."

A cat yowls.

"Good. I need you to be. You know Skylar can't handle this. I'm afraid. For her. She could do or say anything. Listen up, I need you to keep everyone together, especially her. Make sure everybody knows —"

"Everybody knows, nobody's talking," I whisper into my cell phone even though I'm alone. "That's our mantra."

"Our what?"

"Mantra."

"Our what?"

"Our cheer or call-out, though of course we're not saying this in the school halls. Mantra —" My chest tightens. I want his approval more than I've ever wanted anyone's in my life, and don't get me wrong, I'm not usually looking for anybody's approval.

Silence. I'm not sure what's wrong. He releases one of his deep, rolling laughs, and I breathe. "Speak English, L.M. That's the problem. Nobody speaks English anymore." He practically shouts this into the phone as if he's making sure others hear it. I focus on the "L.M." Only Jimmy calls me L.M. He gave me that nickname like a present, and already I miss it.

"Everybody knows, nobody's talking," I repeat firmly. I must keep everyone on the same page. We must hang together. It was a terrible mistake, what happened. It was supposed to be all in fun. I don't know what went wrong last Saturday night, none of us really do. But it can't be entirely Jimmy and Sean's fault. Jimmy can't be guilty of — he's not. Neither is Sean. They don't deserve this. They're my friends. That's what I keep telling myself.

Two cats track another cat. They dart across the parking lot, hissing at this third-scrawniest cat, one with yellow eyes.

"Lisa Marie, have you talked with your dad? Will he help me?"

"I haven't. But I will."

I wet my lips, dig for my lip gloss. Not for the first time, I think how different this past year would have been if Jimmy had met me without Skylar. Don't get me wrong, I am totally happy that Skylar has Jimmy. He's been there for her when she really needed someone.

"Lisa Marie?"

I jump in my skin. I'm here for him. He needs to know that I will always be there for him, no matter what, no matter if Skylar — No, I can't think of that. Skylar is going to remain true. I'm going to see to that.

"L.M?" he shouts into the phone. He wants me. He needs me. This isn't the first time, but I'm not going to think of that now. I'm going to stay focused.

"Jimmy —"

Right in front of my car, two cats pounce on that scrawny, yellow-eyed one for no reason I can see. This isn't fair, I think, honking my horn, sending them all careening into corners.

"Jimmy," I say, my heart pounding. "I'm here for you."


Skylar Thompson


The diner. Not the one that smells like fish. But the King's Diner near the expressway, the L.I.E., with the neon and art deco booths and tabletop jukeboxes. That's our diner. Lisa Marie said to meet at the diner tonight. We didn't want to talk at school. No one is talking there. I'm here exactly on time. Nine p.m. I hate being late. That's the one way I'm like my father.

When Lisa Marie rushes in, forty-five minutes late, she slides into the booth next to me. Her embrace is fierce. I was waiting for that hug. She has news from her father, a lawyer. That's why she's late.

"Jimmy and Sean have been charged. With assault," says Lisa Marie, breathless. "Sean's parents are of course making bail tomorrow. I'm sorry."

My throat is dry. I need a glass of water. The diner is deserted of help. It's so late the King's Diner smells of cleaning supplies, of coffee grounds, of waitresses with cigarette smoke and perfume stuck in their hair — and I don't know what else. Maybe it'll rain tonight. My mother used to love a spring rain. This bountiful rain, she'd say, would help the flowers grow. Make the grass smell green, as if green were a smell.

It takes a moment for what Lisa Marie said to sink in. Sean's parents are making bail. Jimmy's are not.

"You sat up straight and looked them right in the eye, Skylar?"

Count the cars, speeding into the mist. Watch the windows fog with a breath. Jimmy, he loves the ocean in the rain. Nobody was on the beach when we drove out to Montauk that time in the torrential end-of-summer rain. Nobody except us. He said he wanted to kiss me for the first time where the air was the purest. He smelled like sea salt for a week afterward. So did I. Now I can't look at Lisa Marie.

"Skylar. You have to trust me."

"You know a lot of the diners are closing on Long Island. We used to have a half a dozen here. Jimmy says nothing is like it used to be. My father and mother always liked this diner the best; we ate here most Saturday nights. Maybe we should listen to some music? Remember how we cut school on Jimmy's birthday and banged in here ordering rounds of milkshakes? Last month. May first?"

Pink nails drill on the top of the fake red leather booth. When did Lisa Marie have time to get a manicure, or to put on makeup, or to buy what looks like a new pink sleeveless turtleneck, her arms sculpted from a winter of dedicated workouts?

I chew on my lips.

"Skylar. Focus. Jimmy is in the county jail and we don't know for how long. That doesn't seem fair at all. What did you say to the police? We all have to be saying the same thing. We have to trust one another to do this."

Don't trust me. Feel my pulse. Can't you tell my heart is breaking?

"Take your order, hon?" I recognize our waitress. She lives around the corner, is divorced, with two kids, grown up, must be in their twenties, living with her. Her hair is an unnatural yellow, her eyebrows overplucked and drawn back in. Her front teeth overlap. The smell of fried food swirls around her. Maybe she was cute in her day. Maybe she had her Jimmy and something went horribly wrong.

I'm staring. I know. I'm impolite. She shoots me a bitter smile. She knows me too.

"Sure," I say, pretending to study the oversized menu.

"Jimmy Seeger is a nice boy," she says. Her voice is wracked by cigarettes. "I know his mother. Works at Family Pharmacy. Goes to our church. Maybe nothing happened. Maybe it wasn't his fault. Self-defense. We're being overrun. I give them boys a lot of credit for doing something about it. No one else will." She hacks, doubles over, before straightening up and smiling at us. "What can I get you, girls?"

I order eggs over easy, whole wheat toast. A vanilla milkshake. My diner standard. On top of everything, I'm going to get fat.

"Why hasn't Jimmy called me yet?"

Lisa Marie grasps each of my hands in her own. "He will."

"I need to hear his voice." It hurts, physically hurts, in the pit of my stomach, to say how much.

"I know. He'll call as soon as he can, I'm sure."

I squeeze her hands back. We hold on to one another until the eggs arrive smelling like eggs and grease. I can't eat.

"What did you say, Skylar? To the police?"

It was all a mistake. If he had known that they were brothers this never would have happened. A mistake. But I didn't say that.

My father said that the one in the hospital would most likely be out of there before Jimmy is out on bail. Those people, he said, are used to much more physical activity than any of us. They need to get back to work, so they rebound quicker. A few punches from some high school kids are not going to kill someone like that, he added. A few punches.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Lie by Caroline Bock. Copyright © 2011 Caroline Bock. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Title Page,
Dedication,
Epigraph,
Skylar Thompson,
Sean Mayer,
Lisa Marie Murano,
Skylar Thompson,
Lisa Marie Murano,
Tommy Thompson,
Skylar Thompson,
Sean Mayer,
Skylar Thompson,
Skylar Thompson,
Principal,
Gloria Cortez,
Skylar Thompson,
Carlos Cortez,
Skylar Thompson,
Sean Mayer,
Coach Martinez,
Gloria Cortez,
Police Officer Healey,
Skylar Thompson,
Skylar Thompson,
Carlos Cortez,
Lisa Marie Murano,
Skylar Thompson,
Tommy Thompson,
Lisa Marie Murano,
Tommy Thompson,
James Seeger, Sr.,
Skylar Thompson,
Sean Mayer,
Skylar Thompson,
Coach Martinez,
Skylar Thompson,
Skylar Thompson,
Skylar Thompson,
Skylar Thompson,
Tommy Thompson,
Author's Note,
Acknowledgments,
Reading Group Guide,
Copyright,

Reading Group Guide

Inspired by real events, LIE is a gripping and powerful novel about teens and a hate crime. LIE is also story about choices, about peer and community pressure, about bullying and stereotypes in our society, about making the decisions to lie–or tell the truth–and the consequences.

Everybody knows, nobody's talking . . .

Seventeen-year-old Skylar Thompson is being questioned by the police. Her boyfriend, Jimmy, stands accused of brutally assaulting two brothers of El Salvadoran descent from a neighboring town, and she's the prime witness. Skylar is keeping quiet about what she's seen, but how long can she keep it up?

But Jimmy was her savior . . .

When her mother died, he was the only person who made her feel safe, protected from the world. But when she begins to appreciate the enormity of what has happened, especially when Carlos Cortez, one of the victims, steps up to demand justice, she starts to have second thoughts about protecting Jimmy. Jimmy's accomplice, Sean, is facing his own moral quandary. He's out on bail and has been offered a plea in exchange for testifying against Jimmy.

The truth must be told . . .

Sean must decide whether or not to turn on his friend in order to save himself. But most important, both he and Skylar need to figure out why they would follow someone like Jimmy in the first place.

1) Outline on board and have students follow along with their graphic organizer to create a list of all the characters in LIE.

2) Outline the ten characters each with first person accounts in LIE. (Skylar Thompson, Sean Mayer, Lisa Marie Murano, Tommy Thompson, Principal (Plotinsky), Officer Healey, Gloria Cortez, Carlos Cortez, Coach Martinez, James Seeger, Sr.)

1. Why do you think she choices to write them all in first person? What effect does that have on the reader? Now, taking a step back, probe the students on what is the major question posed in the book to all of the characters? What choices and actions are these ‘first person' characters faced with? In doing so the major problems of each character (their internal and external conflicts) should be discussed in broad terms (see homework assignment).

2. Special Note: You may want to take particular time with the character of Sean Mayer. He makes a drastic and dramatic decision toward the end of the novel (Spoiler Alert: he hangs himself after grappling with decision to tell truth about the hate crime or not). Discuss why suicide is not ever an answer to life's dilemmas (his father and Skylar are devastated). Though, his action does influence another. How does his action influence others? Ultimately, it does propel Skylar Thompson toward her decision and action (to come forward in the very last scene of the novel).

3) Key Thematic Point: What essential characters are not included in first person accounts? There are two essential characters, but only seen through the eyes of the other characters: Jimmy Seeger and Arturo Cortez.

1. Why does the writer choose not to give these two characters their own first person accounts? First, Jimmy? [Note: Author's Insight: I chose not to include Jimmy Seeger as a first person character because he has already made his choice. He choose to be a bully and a hater, and in many ways it is now up to others to decide his fate. In addition, I was more interested in the effect of his actions on others, why do people like Skylar, Sean, and Lisa Marie choose to follow him? What are the consequences?]

2. Why does the writer choose not to give Arturo Cortez his own first person account? [Note: Author's Insight: I felt it was more powerful to see the incident through the eyes of his brother, Carlos Cortez, who is an American citizen, but witnesses what happens to his brother, Arturo Cortez, who is undocumented. The irony inherent in this hate crime is that Jimmy Seeger and Sean Mayer do not know which brother is in the United States with legal documentation and which one is. They are making assumptions on racist stereotypes. In the end, vigilante justice, where one takes justice into one's own hands, is wrong. Admittedly, while the conversation could continue towards one about immigration policies in the United States, the intention of the author was to explore the idea of community and peer pressure. How do we make our own choices in life in light of overwhelming pressure to follow what our parents, peers, and community often thinks, even when we understand, or come to understand as Skylar does, that we no longer agree with what everybody thinks?]

3. Do you agree or don't agree with the writer's decision to not include Jimmy Seeger or Arturo Cortez as first person characters?

4. Discuss the setting of the novel. What is the name of the town? (Trick question: the town, a middle class suburban town on Long Island in New York is never named). Why do you think the town is never named? What are the other key settings? When does the action takes place? The timing is present day,

with the action taking place over a week, from a Monday morning after a hate crime has taken place on a Saturday night to the following Monday morning). How does the setting help define the characters?

Customer Reviews

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LIE 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Carlosc647 More than 1 year ago
LIE takes a well planted step into the realm of new contemporary literature. While weaving a very disturbing story that explores a hate crime in suburban Long Island, the author, Ms. Bock, creates from several points of view, a "God View" of the actions, reactions and emotions of the characters in play. Ms. Bock manages to harness the perspective of ten different characters giving the reader a truly realistic feel for the events surrounding the teenagers in question. The reader comes away with a feeling that what he or she just read might actually have been a real incident disguised as fiction to protect the innocent. LIE follows four teenagers, after a night of questionable fun turns tragic. The teenagers responsible for the tragedy then pledge to stay quiet. The reader follows them as they continue to make bad choices and raising hard questions about morality and ethics that many readers will possibly relate to on some level. The dysfunctional Lisa Marie and the conflicted Skylar are two female characters that give the reader pause for thought. The author plays with themes that are traditional, but by no means old. She breathes new life into the genre with her style and well honed prose. Some readers may find the point-of-view switching disorienting or confusing. To avoid this feeling I recommend that when you pick up this book you accept the ride it takes you on. Don't try to impose "rules" that don't really exist. Take the time to accept the work as presented with the understanding that life doesn't play out in neat little linear vignettes. Life is jarring, it jumps here and there. Life is wonderful because it rarely reads dully from point A to point B. Although the story demographic is aimed at younger readers, adults will find plenty of good meat on the sturdy bones of this tale. The exploration of right and wrong along with the revelations made about how lives are impacted by other's actions is handled in a deft manner by the author. In short, LIE is a must read for the discerning reader looking for the best in new literature as well as for the casual reader looking for a read that won't disappoint.
StalkinTheBooks More than 1 year ago
Lie is an utterly heart breaking book about the decisions a group of people make in the aftermath of a hate crime. As someone who had a family member victimized by one, this novel was a very personal and emotional read for me. The novel is told through multiple POV and I don't mean just 2 or 3, but 10. While this allows the reader to see how various town's people are affected by the event, its also about 6 perspectives to many. I felt that some of the impact was lost because your constantly jumping from person to person. I think having Skylar, Sean, Lisa (Skylar's best friend) and Carlos' POV would have been enough for me since all 4 teens have very different views of what happened that night. Skylar and Sean are not the easiest characters to like, but still felt very real and complex. Both do some pretty questionable things in the novel and continually shut out the people who might be able to help them. While I did feel bad for the situation they both find themselves in, I in no way felt that they were victims. All the choices they made regarding Jimmy, let them to where the ended up. Half of the book is them coming to terms with those choices and the difficult directions their lives might be heading in because of them. With all that being said, you still root for them. You want them to move past what's happened and become better people because of it. Of the 4 teens, I felt Lisa was the least likeable character. She lacked depth and cared more about her social status then anything or anyone else. I really didn't enjoy reading her chapters at all. However I also felt that her POV was important and that without it, you wouldn't get to see the incredible pressures teens can place on themselves and each other. I also really wish more time had been spent with Carlos. As the victim's brother, his POV was the most impacting and Carlos home life seemed the most interesting. He gets only a short section of the novel and I felt that his chapters were some of the strongest and most engaging. The simplistic writing style, structure and directness of the story allows for a very quick read. Author Caroline Bock easily gets her message of tolerance across without shoving it in your face. At certain points in the novel some characters, or situations felt rather cliche but I actually think this was done on purpose to show how often we use stereotypes in society. My own personal connection to a story like this, made reading certain scenes very hard for me. For a short novel I often had to stop reading completely. Many years ago I felt many of the same feelings that Skylar and Carlos feel in the novel; fear, uncertainty, anger, loss... Though the novel isn't perfect, I think it does a pretty remarkable job of handling a sensitive topic, like a hate crime, and showing the fallout of those directly effected by one.
CarolineBock More than 1 year ago
Starred Review - Kirkus Reviews: Author: Bock, Caroline Review Date: July 1, 2011 *"This effective, character-driven, episodic story examines the consequences of a hate crime on the teens involved in it. Bock focuses mainly on Skylar, a shy girl, and on her loyalty to her boyfriend Jimmy, whom readers soon learn has beaten a Salvadoran immigrant to death. Although Jimmy's in jail, the police have little evidence against him. "Everybody knows. Nobody's talking," runs the mantra among the high-school crowd that knows full well Jimmy beats up Latinos every Saturday night. The author alternates short chapters written from different characters' points of view. Readers get to know the involved teenagers and their families, as well as the victim, his brother and their mother. By portraying, simply and without comment, the reactions of the various characters, the author conveys the horror of the crime and the devastating effects on all involved, including those responsible. Sean, Jimmy's best friend and companion on the fateful night, can't deal with his guilt but also knows he dare not tell the truth. Lisa Marie sticks by Jimmy with no doubts. Skylar never doubts her love for Jimmy but faces a difficult choice when it transpires that the truth must come from her, or it will not come out at all. Realistic and devastatingly insightful, this novel can serve as a springboard to classroom and family discussions. Unusual and important. (Fiction. 12 & up) --Kirkus Reviews Note: Kirkus Reviews is a noted publishing trade journal. I don't think you want my review of my own book:) Buy, read, judge for yourself.
LauraMoore on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Before I read this book, i had never heard the term "beaner-hopping", which basically a hate crime against mexican immigrants. Yes, I'd be completly nieve if I didn't know that this kind of predjudice exsisted, but haven't ever read a novel regarding hate crimes of this nature, so it immediately intruged me. This book took a while for me to get into but about fifty pages in the pace really picked up for me and a few twists and turns really grabbed me. This story is unique in the fact that it had multiple points of view, not just a few, but more like 8 or 9 which helped tell the story, from different points of interest. I related to some of the characters while others, not at all. I liked Skylar and Sean, but Lisa Marie and Jimmy not so much. Lisa Marie in my opinion was a horrible friend, and I honestly could have skipped her POV completley and probably liked the book that much better. Jimmy just felt under-developed to me, I wish they would have told his point of you, and maybe had some insight into why he did what he did alongside Sean. The ending is what really irritated me, I felt like it just ended up abruptly with her decision to tell the truth, but I wanted to know what happened with Jimmy, if he was convicted, and how that played into their relationship? Did Skylar stay by his side, or did she leave him/or him her? I just felt cheated of too much important questions left unanswered. I did think that this was a pretty decent book, I didn't LOVE it, but I definitely didn't HATE it either. It had a few downfalls, but was a unique topic for a YA novel, and in a generation where bullying is so prevelant, I felt the subject matter to be very important.
SharonLong on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I've seen kids like Jimmy come to the library. Persuasive, street-smart, trouble-makers always with a group of other kids hanging onto their every word. But what if the leader of your high school group commits a horrible hate crime? Would you do the right thing and tell what you know or try to protect him and the life you've created? LIE (which takes place on Long Island and refers to both the Long Island Expressway and the lie that tears the teens apart) is told mostly from the viewpoints of Jimmy's girl Skylar - damaged and fragile from the recent death of her mother and Jimmy's best friend Sean, who is also Skylar's neighbor and friend. Other narrative voices include Lisa-Marie - Sklyar's best friend, who has her own secrets; Sklyar's dad - a hard-working EMT; the victims' mother, Gloria Cortez and her son - the victim Carlos Cortez. The missing voice is Jimmy's, but the strength of the novel is that his voice comes across loud and clear through his actions and the way others see him. It is a disturbing novel because you can see it happening and yet, can't understand the senseless violence we can inflict upon each other.
theepicrat on LibraryThing 5 months ago
To lie or to come clean¿ Skylar Thompson has to decide whether to free her boyfriend Jimmy by keeping silent or speak the truth and face its consequences. To love or to let go¿ Jimmy helped Skylar come to terms with her mother¿s death and makes her feel loved, but how can this Jimmy be the same one who brutally assaulted a couple of immigrants? To make things right or to leave it wrong¿ When Skylar finally makes a decision, will anyone be there to support her?LIE is laid out a little differently from other books in that it weaves the story from multiple perspectives. Everyone has different reactions and mixed thoughts about what happened, and I think it was interesting to note that Jimmy was the only one who stayed silent except through other viewpoints. I can see why LIE had been told via different characters, but I feel that there were too many cooks in the kitchen ¿ and no one seems to stand out enough from each other. For me, it is obvious that hate crime is unacceptable ¿ but I am not sure if LIE truly a undeniably strong message of how wrong it is. It shows a few teens and adults who want to make things right, but it also shows other teens and adults who see no big problems with what happened. After I finished reading this book, I was still left wondering if LIE will make any difference ¿ if it will change the minds of those who see no problems with bullying and targeting those who are different.
megtall on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This book wasn't really meant for me, I suppose. The story is compelling and the concept something realistic. I just felt some of the writing was lacking. Maybe it was a little too choppy in places and I had to struggle to get through it. But, I do think it will be very readable for a lot of teens, and I will still recommend it to my realistic fiction readers.
perchance.cl on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Though the plot is intriguing, Bock's narrative falls short. Her characters lack depth. The emotional pain of each is present, but it weighs them down, keeping them flat. Rather than believable, they all feel more like caricatures.
LanoraTM on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Review: Lie by Caroline Bock tells the story of a group of teens and their reaction to a hate crime that has taken place in their small town. The book switches back and forth between narrators, and gives the audience the perspective of other characters. This method is similar to Jodi Picoult's style; however, teens may been unfamiliar with Picoult since most of her books are geared towards adults. The characters in the book will have you guessing what you would personally do if you found yourself in a similar situation. Teens may find themselves able to relate to Skylar as she has to decided if loyalty to her boyfriend is more important than loyalty to herself. Bock's story is also about growth and acceptance. Personal review (and spoilers): I found this book very difficult to relate to since I have never been in a situation where I had to choose law over friendships. For myself, I find that speaking the truth allows you to move on and heal from a broken situation. However, I did not get that feeling from that book. I am a huge fan character narration being switched around if it works for the book. I felt that Bock wanted to include too much and that too many character point of views were introduced which made it difficult for me to care about any of the characters. I would have preferred of the narration only switched between Skylar and Lisa Marie and read how the story unfolds for them. When I started to read the point of views from the couch and other characters, such as Skylar's father- I didn't care. To me, I found they were secondary characters. I do think that teens may enjoy Skylar as she is somewhat innocent and relatable.
mamzel on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Like a Jodi Piccoult novel, each chapter of this book is told from a different character's POV. This was a great way to tell this tragic story based on a series of hate crimes in the New York area against Hispanics. These attacks were coined "beaner-hopping". Our main characters are high school seniors named Skylar, Lisa Marie, Jimmy, and Sean. We also hear from Skylar's dad, Jimmie's dad, the football coach, and the school's principal. We also hear from the surviving victim and his mother.The story is, unfortunately, a common one. One person, with some unnamed secret, tries to avoid being a target himself by targeting someone else. In this case, Jimmie, whose father exerts great pressure on him to perform well on his sports team, aims his frustration and aggression to Hispanics who are encroaching on his neighborhood. While waiting at a bus stop on a dark street, brothers Arturo and Carlos attract the attention of Jimmie and Sean who are cruising the area in search of a victim. Unknown to them, Skylar is following them with Lisa Marie passed out in her passenger seat. Skylar witnesses the attack but is so under the Jimmie's control that she denies seeing anything. It almost seems that Lisa Marie regrets sleeping through the event and is insinuating herself into the drama by pressuring Skylar and Sean to stay silent.In the end it is Skylar who can set Jimmie free or ensure he goes to prison to pay for Arturo's death. She must overcome the sorrow of the recent death of her mother as well as resist the relentless pressure from Jimmie and Lisa Marie. Readers will hold their breath to see if she will do the right thing.An interesting story line regards the supposed heroism of Jimmie's father who was a fireman and a first responder at 9/11. A whole new picture of him is revealed and it turns out the Skylar's father was an EMT at the scene and never took credit for his really heroic actions. This could seem to indicate that virtue (or lack thereof) is passed down from one generation to another.
Conner23456 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I enjoyed reading this book. It was a powerful book in my eyes. I hope that others will pick this book up when it comes out and read it. Thanks for the chance to win LibraryThing's!
Jadesbooks on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I feel like this book is more about the impact one person's actions can have on everyone around them. One man swung a bat and struck down another man, killing him, all because of the color of his skin and his nationality. Sadly, this is something that we hear about all too often.This book starts with Skyler and her dad speaking to the police about what she knows about her boyfriend Jimmy and her friend Sean's weekend activities. Was she aware that they went out to beat up hispanics on Saturday evening? Through the whole interview she says that she was home, with her friend Lisa Marie and that she did not know anything, but once she and her dad leave she confesses to her dad that she was there Saturday night, when Jimmy and Sean beat up the brothers.From here on, each chapter is from a different person's point of view, and how this hate crime has affected their life and how they are dealing with the knowledge of what was done. There's guilt, remorse, indifference, anger, saddness... all mixed in with trying to figure out how they got to this position, how they ended up having to carry around the knowledge that someone is dead and there's no fixing that. This book was sad, because we hear of this kind of thing on the news and from people around us. It's sad that one person's actions can change so many lives, and that one person can lead others to do things that are wrong and hurtful. This book is something that will stick with me though, because I will remember the story and how it made me feel reading each person's struggle.
kissmeimgone on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This was an extremely good book, one worth reading. One night in June, Skylar Thompson's boyfriend and his best friend go "beaner-hopping". The boys' original plan was just to scare the kids, they never meant for things to go as far as they did. Now when Skylar's boyfriend, Jimmy, winds up in jail, she and his best friend start to question things. Why did they ever follow Jimmy to begin with, and why did they not stop things the night everything went terribly wrong? I defintley recommend this book.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing 5 months ago
For a certain group of teens in an unnamed Long Island town, Saturday night fun includes "beaner-hopping" - assaulting an Hispanic immigrant. One night, it goes too far, and a young man dies. In alternating chapters, the people involved describe their thoughts and actions, and the decisions they make.
Tinasbookreviews on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Im not really sure what to make of this tale of twisted hate and a thousand perspectives, I can say it took a long time to get through, I lost interest and had a hard time connecting to any of the characters. Id say about 100 pages in the book held my attention for a bit, but the various POVs drove me crazy and honestly made the book fall flat from the message it was trying to convey. Instead of character depth and connection, I mostly saw plot driven gimmicks. The biggest issue was the question of WHY? It didnt make any sense to me why not one character in this group stood up for what was right and went along with the "hate-crime".I guess for me I just didnt understand their reason or motives.Needless to say I thought this was choppy and all over the place. Sorry, but not for me.
ShaEliPar on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Lie is an utterly heart breaking book about the decisions a group of people make in the aftermath of a hate crime. As someone who had a family member victimized by one, this novel was a very personal and emotional read for me. The novel is told through multiple POV and I don't mean just 2 or 3, but 10. While this allows the reader to see how various town's people are affected by the event, its also about 6 perspectives to many. I felt that some of the impact was lost because your constantly jumping from person to person. I think having Skylar, Sean, Lisa (Skylar's best friend) and Carlos' POV would have been enough for me since all 4 teens have very different views of what happened that night.Skylar and Sean are not the easiest characters to like, but still felt very real and complex. Both do some pretty questionable things in the novel and continually shut out the people who might be able to help them. While I did feel bad for the situation they both find themselves in, I in no way felt that they were victims. All the choices they made regarding Jimmy, let them to where the ended up. Half of the book is them coming to terms with those choices and the difficult directions their lives might be heading in because of them. With all that being said, you still root for them. You want them to move past what's happened and become better people because of it.Of the 4 teens, I felt Lisa was the least likeable character. She lacked depth and cared more about her social status then anything or anyone else. I really didn't enjoy reading her chapters at all. However I also felt that her POV was important and that without it you wouldn't get to see the incredible pressures teens can place on themselves and each other. I also really wish more time had been spent with Carlos. As the victim's brother, his POV was the most impacting and Carlos home life seemed the most interesting. Carlos gets only a short section of the novel and I felt that his chapters were some of the strongest and most engaging. The simplistic writing style, structure and directness of the story allows for a very quick read. Author Caroline Bock easily gets her message of tolerance across without shoving it in your face. At certain points in the novel some characters, or situations felt rather cliche but I actually thing this was done on purpose to show how often we use stereotypes in society. My own personal connection to a story like this, made reading certain scenes very hard for me. For a short novel I often had to stop reading completely. I felt many of the same feelings that Skylar and Carlos feel in the novel; fear, uncertainty, anger, loss... Though the novel isn't perfect, I think it does a pretty remarkable job of handling a sensitive topic like a hate crime and showing the fallout of those directly effected by one.
ilikethesebooks on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This book has a very important message and powerful storyline, however; I feel like it was not presented in the best possible way. Certain aspects of the writing style seemed to take away from the potential power the story could have.This story is told from nuemorous points of view, which, I can see why the author would choose it. The story line really involves the whole town. In that way, switching points of view, makes sense. However, for me at least, it seemed to take away from the story. I wasn't able to connect to the characters because I wasn't allowed to spend much time with one character before the story switched to the next.Also, the main character, Skylar, did not impress me... to say the least. She just seemed too weak, too damsel in distress. I know she's been through a lot, but there is a fine line between in mourning and pathetic. She was on the pathetic side (in my opinion).I am kind of upset that I wasn't able to get into this book. This book has a lot of potential, I just don't think it reached it. If this book sounds interesting, read other reviews, I know others liked it a lot - I just didn't.
Melanie_McCullough on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Lies can take you a lot of places, but never back.This is my favorite line in the whole book. It speaks to the part of me that knows that even when the truth is hard, lying--and living with that lie--is harder.The story is told from multiple, and by multiple I mean like ten, viewpoints which I thought was going to be disconcerting but wasn't. I actually liked getting to see the story from different angles. To get a sense of how a vicious hate crime affects everyone involved. How a community as a whole can be ripped apart.While I liked Skylar, her relationship with Jimmy is full-on dependence and is borderline abusive. Not physically, but mentally. There's a moment in the story where Skylar convinces herself that everything will be okay once she sees Jimmy. That Jimmy will tell her what to think. I realize this kind of relationship exists in real life, but for me it's still a little hard to swallow.Other than that I spent a lot of the time hating the remaining characters in this story, except for Skylar's father. He had his flaws, but in the end he tried to redeem himself.I enjoyed the writing style in this one. It was sharp, concise, tense, but it was a lot of telling. You spend most of the story inside the characters head as they recall the night the beating took place and consider the consequences. If you're looking for action, look elsewhere.Overall it's worth a read for anyone that enjoys a character-driven, emotional, contemporary novel, but it won't make it to my favorites shelf.
psteinke1122 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This is the story of the aftermath of a hate crime. The setting is Long Island, New York. Those involved in the incident are Jimmy¿a wanna-be military leader, high school senior. Sean, Jimmy¿s best friend, high school senior with a tendency to follow rather than lead. Skylar, Jimmy¿s girlfriend, recently lost her Mother to ovarian cancer, and is lost¿Jimmy is her life preserver. And Lisa Marie, Skylar¿s best friend, secretly in love with Jimmy, and tends to be an ¿athletics¿ groupie. The victims are two brothers, Arturo and Carlos Cortez. Arturo is not in the US legally, but Carlos was born in the States and is a citizen.WOW is really the first word I uttered upon finishing this book. I will be honest, I shied away from this story after reading the synopsis. Hate crimes are ugly. For me they rank right up there, just below child abuse. Not something I want to read about in my spare time¿know what I mean? That said, the reviews I¿d read about ¿LIE¿, were all overwhelmingly positive so I decided to read it anyway.I¿m glad that I did. If for no other reason than to becoming familiar with, and a fan of, Ms. Bock¿s writing. She is talented beyond measure. She crafted such a touching and thought-provoking story¿one where I cried and yelled at the characters, quite often. The story is told from numerous shifting perspectives¿everyone touched by the ¿incident¿. So you, as the viewer, got to see everything unfold from many viewpoints¿which made it interesting, but what made it fascinating was that with each of these viewpoints also came with some of the character¿s history, thus putting the character¿s filter on that viewpoint.It was tough read and I struggled through parts of it, even though it was a work of fiction. The author doesn¿t pull any of her punches. I urge you to read it, better yet, read it with your kids and use it as a stepping stone for some great discussion¿but be forewarned and go into it with your eyes open.
Malbebe on LibraryThing 5 months ago
What can I say about Lie by Caroline Bock other than the fact this is a heartbreaking novel? Lie certainly takes readers on a ride to the truth. This book had me feeling a wide range of not so good emotions. Really this book is not a happy book. While not much happens in this book so much does happen within the characters of Lie. Weird, right? Lie is told from multiple point of views and each character has their own inner turmoil. Lie is about the vicious attack against two Hispanic brothers. The main character, Skylar Thompson, must accept the fact that her beloved Jimmy participated in this hate crime. No one is talking to the police and Skylar is one of the only witnesses who can bring justice to the victims' family. Will Skylar stay loyal to her boyfriend and friend, Lisa Marie, and stay silent about what happened that night her boyfriend and his friend Sean decided to beat two brothers? Or will she be true to herself and tell the truth to give justice to the Cortez family?I have so much to say about Lie, and yet I just don't know how to say what I want to say about it. Lie definitely deals with some controversial and difficult topics like hate crimes and immigration. I just don't understand how someone could hate someone that basically has done nothing bad to the other person and gets beaten or worse just because they are different. Lie truly does takes readers into how Jimmy is manipulative. Readers also find out how he believes so strongly in his beliefs that he is actually doing the right thing by beating those that are either not his race or here in the U.S. illegally. But his logic is totally not the right way of thinking. He basically justifies his actions by saying that it is to protect Skylar and making where they live safer. I don't care what race someone is or if they are legally or illegally in the U.S. no one deserves to be beaten or murdered because they are different from others. While Lie can be slow and somewhat repetitive, because a lot of thoughts are continuously said throughout the novel, it truly is a good read. Lie goes in depth as to how a crime affects the whole community. The word lie also takes on many meanings too in this story. Whatever one does take caution that this book will break your heart and it will stay with you long after you have finished reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I make stupid mistakes everyone does this book shows the effects
pagese More than 1 year ago
I expected this book to make me uncomfortable, after all it's about a hate crime. But, I really didn't expect to dislike the way I did. I think my main problem was with the way people rallied around Jimmy. Everyone seemed to think he was this great guy and there was no way that he could have attacked anybody, let alone kill them. But, it's like they are all delusional to his true character. As the story comes out, we realize that people are great about seeing what they want to see. This story is also a perfect example of how hate breeds more hate. In the end, I disliked Jimmy's dad way more than I disliked him. I actually disliked Lisa Marie a lot too. I couldn't understand her motive for being on Jimmy's side. She didn't even see what really happened. She was down right nasty to Skylar, who is suppose to be her best friend. I think part of it stems from jealousy, but she really rubbed me the wrong way. I also thought this story had way to many viewpoints. Someone new would be thrown in just for a short little section never to be heard from again. It was trying to paint a picture of the kind of person Jimmy (and his dad) was. But, all it did for me was make the story feel disconnected. A let down for sure. It could have been great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
epicrat More than 1 year ago
To lie or to come clean. Skylar Thompson has to decide whether to free her boyfriend Jimmy by keeping silent or speak the truth and face its consequences. To love or to let go. Jimmy helped Skylar come to terms with her mother's death and makes her feel loved, but how can this Jimmy be the same one who brutally assaulted a couple of immigrants? To make things right or to leave it wrong. When Skylar finally makes a decision, will anyone be there to support her? LIE is laid out a little differently from other books in that it weaves the story from multiple perspectives. Everyone has different reactions and mixed thoughts about what happened, and I think it was interesting to note that Jimmy was the only one who stayed silent except through other viewpoints. I can see why LIE had been told via different characters, but I feel that there were too many cooks in the kitchen - and no one seems to stand out enough from each other. For me, it is obvious that hate crime is unacceptable - but I am not sure if LIE truly a undeniably strong message of how wrong it is. It shows a few teens and adults who want to make things right, but it also shows other teens and adults who see no big problems with what happened. After I finished reading this book, I was still left wondering if LIE will make any difference - if it will change the minds of those who see no problems with bullying and targeting those who are different.