Lie

Paperback | August 30, 2011

byCaroline Bock

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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 young El Salvadoran immigrants 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.

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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 young El Salvadoran immigrants 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...

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 Islan...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.52 inPublished:August 30, 2011Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312668325

ISBN - 13:9780312668327

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Read from the Book

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. Copyright © 2011 by Caroline Bock

Bookclub 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. Butmost important, both he and Skylar need to figure out why they would followsomeone like Jimmy in the first place.

Editorial Reviews

"Avoiding preachiness, Bock handles the novel's multiple viewpoints exceptionally well, rotating among the painfully believable voices of high school students and adults. Her characters may keep the truth inside, but their story reads like a confessional." -Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)"Realistic and devastatingly insightful, this novel can serve as a springboard to classroom and family discussions. Unusual and important." -Kirkus (Starred Review)"Told in several voices, Bock creates a suspenseful, gripping, and powerful novel that will keep readers on their toes." -Library Journal, Starred Review