If I Lie
By Corrine Jackson
Simon Pulse, 2012. 276 pgs. Young Adult
Quinn has grown up in a military community, right near a Marine base, where the townspeople's military service goes back generations. So when a picture of Quinn making out with a guy who is not her boyfriend--shortly before her boyfriend is deployed to Afghanistan--goes viral, she quickly becomes the town pariah, and matters only get worse when Carey, her boyfriend, goes MIA in the middle of trying to save a child. Quinn longs to be able to tell the truth--that she didn't betray Carey and things are not as they seem--but she promised him to keep a secret that she'd have to give away in order to clear her own name. With all of her friends angry with her, her Marine father severely disappointed in her, and with her and the mysterious guy from the photo knowing they can't be together, Quinn's only solace comes in visiting the Veterans hospital and working with George, a crusty old vet, on the Veterans History project where they record stories from other vets, and learning photography from him.
Wow. Jackson does a great job connecting many story lines--Quinn's relationship with Carey, her relationship with the mystery boy, her relationships with each of her parents, and her relationship with George, and the back story behind all of those relationships--without bogging down the pacing of the story. There are some very thought-provoking themes and discussion points. The writing is fluid, the characters are realistic, and the relationships are very, very well written. Some content and language might make it more appropriate for mature readers, but other than that, this is one that I recommend wholeheartedly.