If I Lie by Corrine Jackson.

* This review contains spoilers*

Seventeen-year-old Sophie Quinn, or just Quinn (by order of her father) lives in a small, military town named Sweethaven. Seriously, you can’t throw a stone without hitting a former or current member of the US military. The residents of Sweethaven respect their soldiers like a roman catholic respects religion. Hardcore.  

Quinn lives alone with her former Marine father after her mom did the unthinkable and cheated. If there’s one thing you don’t do when your man is off fighting for his country, it’s cheat. As far as Sweethaven is concerned, Quinn is Carey’s girlfriend of two years when he leaves to serve in Afghanistan. So when a photo of a scantily clad Quinn wrapped in some random dudes arms, appears on Facebook Quinn is blackballed by the entire town. Think Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s fantastic novel The Scarlet Letter.

The thing is, Quinn and Carey aren’t together. He broke it off with her before he left. Carey loves Quinn, but he’s gay. Of course Quinn freaks when he first tells her. But when she recalls their past together she knows –she’s always known– that things weren’t right between them. At an age where doing it is the done thing, Carey has never shown Quinn any sexual affection. Which is why, after Carey makes his confession, Quinn becomes eager to prove something to herself and sets out in pursuit of Carey’s bestfriend Blake.

Blake and Quinn have always had a strained relationship. Turns out that that strain is actually sexual tension and when Quinn shows up at Blake’s house to tell him that Carey has dumped her, the pair can’t keep their hands off each other. Quinn is suppressing. She’s lost in the moment with Blake and so she doesn’t tell him why Carey has ended their relationship.

When Carey falls in through Quinn’s bedroom window the following day, he’s been beaten black and blue by fellow marines for kissing a dude. He’s due to ship out and terrified of what will happen if it get’s out that he’s gay. He begs Quinn to keep his secret and pretend that they’re still an item. Quinn loves Carey, she doesn’t want to see him get hurt so she agrees to keep his secret and pretend to be his girlfriend. This enrages Blake. He thinks Quinn lied to him about the break up, and when he goes to challenge her about it they end up in another intimate clinch. Quinn pushes him away but not before they’ve been caught in the act by a camera. Blake’s face is obscured in the photograph, unlike Quinn’s.

Carey has already left for Afghanistan when the picture appears on Facebook, leaving Quinn alone to deal with the backlash. And boy is there backlash!

Then Carey goes missing during a mission and life for Quinn gets much worse…

Now, I read a few reviews that amounted to ‘why didn’t Quinn just tell the truth and save herself all the misery?’ And after reading this review you’re probably wondering the same. All I can say is that Corrine convinced me that Quinn’s motives for not fessing up were strong enough to keep the questioning at bay. Corrine never let’s you forget how tightly sewn the fabric of a small town (especially a military town) can be. This story is so well written that I was convinced if I had been in Quinn’s shoes,  I too would have kept my mouth shut for my best friend, regardless of how bad things got.

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About bookishblurb

YA writer. Jedi. Junk food enthusiast. Rumored pink Power Ranger, and avid collector of book boyfriends.

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