Friday, 19 October 2012

Review: If I Lie by Corrine Jackson


  If I Lie
  Author: Corrine Jackson
  Publisher: Simon Pulse
  Publication date: August 28th 2012.
  My rating: 3.5 stars

 

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.

If I Lie is a book which puts you in a stupor of emotions that my feelings are all over the place about how I feel about this book. On the one hand it’s gritty, raw and Jackson’s writing left me in a huge mess. The unexpected blows kept chipping away until at some points I couldn’t take any more.

Quinn’s life is hell right now; she’s been tagged the school slut for cheating on her boyfriend Carey before he was going to be deployed to Iraq. Carey was the school hero; no one could ever say a bad word about him, and now he’s MIA. So everyone at school comes down that much more on Quinn, it’s her fault end of. Her father acts like a drill sergeant around her, always cold, sticking to a strict schedule at home. He doesn’t even remember Quinn’s a vegetarian anymore, continually serving her meat dishes. Quinn knows why he’s like this, he expects her to turn out just like her mother who also bought the family reputation down.

Quinn honestly doesn’t deserve this sucky life, if people knew the honest truth about why she did cheat then I’m sure they would take back every bad word and insult said about her. But Quinn was such a decent person she decided to keep her promise to Carey, sticking out being ridiculed and teased for months after Carey had left. Judgements made about her that were totally underserved and heartbreak, over losing the boyfriend she loved and the one she could never have.

Jackson’s writing was just incredible; the story she weaved was so delicately thought out and elegantly written. It is hard to believe this is her debut novel, with the amount of inner turmoil I suffered reading this you would think Jackson had been a published author for years. For me those are the best novels you can find, ones that can get under your skin and can leave you reeling afterwards.

Jackson also deals with tough real life issues so well; a large amount is focused on the army life how difficult it can be leaving loved ones behind, losing loved ones in battle and adapting back to life when coming back home. Jackson was able to illustrate how tough of a process it could be. Also the issue of having no one to turn to, Quinn was totally abandoned when everyone found out she cheated, even her best friends didn’t wait to ask her what really happened. They were just quick to pass judgements. Quinn could have spiralled out of control, she’d lost her boyfriend and her best friend and was made the school scapegoat. But she battled on, and that’s what I truly admired about her. She didn’t stay at home and mope away, but continued to go to school and try to hold her head high, for she had every right to do.

My favourite relationship which emerged from this story was the one between George and Quinn. Quinn had initially been forced into helping out at the VA hospital but ended up forming such a close bond with George. He was honest, blunt, but most of all could see the real Quinn, when everyone else dropped her and despite hearing all the gossip he was the same George through and through.

But on the other hand, there were the actions of the characters which really aggravated me and thus bought my rating down. The story slowly eases you into the back story of several characters, so part way through I really thought I got to know them so well, but then some of the things they did made me want to yank my hair out. Even though I didn’t like this as my emotions would quickly change from one extreme to another, the character flaws were done so well, that I often didn’t see them coming.

I have to hand it to Jackson, If I Lie is a poignant story (the way I clutched my kindle over the two days I read it would give a clear indication of how much I was captivated). And yet again I’m pleased to say If I Lie was one of the few book to surprise me with its ending. I’m hoping, actually pleading it ended this way so that we can re-enter Quinn’s complicated world once more.

Thank you to Leanne for reading this with me, you can check out her awesome review out here.

14 comments:

  1. Ohh, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this one as much as you would have liked to. It sounds pretty interesting, and I want to know what the secret Quinn's keeping is! Great review!

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  2. Wonderful review, Jasprit! While I loved this one, and almost felt guilty for even thinking about giving it anything less than 5 Stars because of the subject matter, I can definitely understand why this one would have been a tad bit disappointing. It's almost too much for one story, isn't it? It tinges on unrealistic in that sense, but I still loved Quinn's voice and GEORGE! :D I'm still thrilled you liked this one, dear, and Jackson certainly is a promising debut author. She has another novel coming out this year, so I'm excited to get my hands on that one too! :)

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  3. Lovely review! I read this book myself and I enjoyed it alot!

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  4. Incredible review Jasprit!!!!!!!! I'm glad you enjoyed it despite some small aggravations. Love you last sentence so much, its perfect. I really hope to dive into Quinn's story again someday too. George and Quinn's relationship was my favorite too.

    :0

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  5. I really want to read If I Lie!!! I heard great things about it and also read awesome reviews on the book. Quinn's story sounds heart-breaking yet beautiful! Glad to hear that Jackson's writing is incredible and poignant ;)

    Awesome review, Jasprit ♥ Glad you enjoyed it!

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  6. I absolutely adored George and Quinn's relationship as well Jasprit, it was my favorite aspect of the story. I was definitely an emotional mess after reading this one too, and I was just so angry and hurt for Quinn at the way she was treated when she was clearly as worried about Carey being MIA as everyone else. But she couldn't express any concern to anyone lest she be scoffed at or verbally abused. I'm glad you enjoyed this one overall even if you did have a few issues here and there!

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  7. Does your Kindle have fingerprint indentations? I have been eyeing this one for awhile but I have to be in the mood for a gut wrenching roller coaster ride. I am curious about the actions that irritated you. I guess I will just have to read if for myself! Happy weekend!

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  8. Wow. Sounds amazing, Jasprit! I already feel attached to Quinn, based on what you've said about her. Sounds like a gut-wrenching story. My Kindle is stuck on the home screen *wails* making me temporarily unable to read the books I hadn't purchased via my Kindle for iPad (*fingers crossed it gets fixed soon*). I'll be sure to check this out soon though, surprise ending and all xD

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  9. I've heard so many things about this book! It sounds quite moving and I'm glad you enjoyed it despite a few areas. Lovely review as always! :)

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  10. Wow. If I Lie sounds so emotionally devastating. I have an idea about the big secret. I must read it to see if I'm right. Gorgeous review!

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  11. Great review jasprit! I feel like a need to read something that will put me through the emotional ringer so am adding this to my TBR list right now :)

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  12. Great review. While this sounds like an interesting story it's also quite frustrating at times. It's a pity it let you down with this but I'm glad to see you enjoyed it overall Jaspirit :)

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  13. Jasprit, I LOVE your review! You pinpointed my exact thoughts about this book; why I had rather mixed feelings about it and why it didn't really resonate with me on an emotional level. But George, oh, I could never forget him and that tragic ending! *sob*

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  14. Ummmm....I'm still not sure how I felt about this one but I didn't like the ending at all! I was really upset actually because I enjoyed the rest of the book. Good review!

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