Book Talk: If I Lie by Corrine Jackson






book synopsis When Quinn is caught kissing someone who isn’t her boyfriend Carey, a Marine who is beloved in her military town, she is pretty much cast out and shamed. Her friends have turned on her. Her own father can’t look at her. Nobody even tried to get her side of the story. Quinn knows that she could free herself from this by telling a secret but she wants to stay loyal to Carey who promises her that he’ll sort it out…until he goes MIA while in Afghanistan and can’t help clear things up.


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Wow. Wow. Wow. I started this unassuming and slim little book that I grabbed from the library and finished a couple hours later with tears streaming down my face — and the ending was NOT the first time that book made me cry. Another underrated contemporary YA to love and shout about from the rooftops. SERIOUSLY. I am finger waggling and all right now. Go get this book if you love contemporary YA. I thought it would be a good and quick read but I underestimated If I Lie entirely — it was really special and the kind of novel that just embeds itself in you from page 1.

1. I initially thought this story was going to be more about the secret that Quinn was keeping: I figured we’d be waiting with bated breath for it to be revealed. I had my guess of what the secret before I started and I was right because we were told on like page 25. That entirely shifted how I thought this novel would go down and made me pretty curious to see how it would all play out. The story is more about how Quinn is dealing with the aftermath of getting caught kissing someone else and not letting it define her while protecting Carey’s secret. We see her getting relentlessly bullied by people who used to be friends, shunned around town and even in her own home by her dad and struggling so hard with whether to clear her name or keep the secret — all while dealing with the emotions of Carey being declared MIA while he is deployed.

2. My heart ached for Quinn: So much of me just wanted to scream “HELP YOURSELF. Tell them!” when I was watching how awful things were for her but I really did get WHY Quinn chose to keep the secret and it made me admire her more. To watch her get relentlessly bullied and shut out by all her friends and the whole town really was just so hard as a reader because I knew the whole story. Her own dad is even treating her differently. Nobody even tried to hear her side. Quinn is just so, so alone and then, just when she thinks it all dies down a bit, the news of Carey being MIA happens and everyone is just so angry at her even more. There was just so much going on — the burden of the secret, her love for Carey and her fear for him, her feelings towards the boy she kissed, the bullying, her absent mother and her father who seemed to resent her for what she’d done and the sins of her mother– and I didn’t know how Quinn kept it together. I was really, really proud of her in the end. I can’t even convey that without spoilers.

3. Oh the emotions! GAH: Throughout this novel the tears flowed like unpredictable red hot lava. I was so surprised because I just didn’t see this being a really emotional novel. It’s not a real long book but every page just conveyed things perfectly that it just hit me real hard. There were sad tears but also kind of tender, heartwarming tears. There was just a lot of emotions coming from everywhere but they crept up on me so subtly. There were some moments with people that just hit me emotionally and then the ENDING. Oh god. I was just a sobbing mess at many different points for many different reasons. I cry a lot with movies and shows but it takes a really powerful book to make me SOB while reading. (I mean, there’s still quite a handful of books that have made me cry). It was just all so powerfully conveyed that I really took all of it hard FOR Quinn.

4. George: YEP. I’m not saying anything more. Just one of my new favorite characters.

5. There was so much to this story and I really appreciated it. It wasn’t just one dimensional but rather there were all sorts of little threads but not in an overwhelming way and it didn’t feel crowded considering it’s a small-ish book. I was amazed at how quickly I cared and how the story just flowed together perfectly and balanced the many elements with an undeniable finesse– family issues, romance, friendships, the secret.

book reviewsIf I Lie by Corrine Jackson is honestly one of my new favorite contemporary YA books. It was an evocative and powerful read that I will treasure for a long time to come. I loved that this story wasn’t just about a cheating scandal but SO MUCH MORE. It’s very layered and very realistic and just about as genuine and complex as they come. Quinn self discovery and channeling of her strength was one of my favorite parts. And George. You have to meet George. So read this one, it will be worth your while! Can’t wait to see what Corrine Jackson does next!




short book reviewIf I Lie by Corrine Jackson

You May Also Like: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller // Speechless by Hannah Harrington


Let’s Talk: Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I’ve never heard of this! I recently have been getting into contemporary and I am loving books that can make me cry. There’s just something about that level of emotion that makes me fall in love with a book so much. I’m definitely adding this one to my wishlist to read in the future.

    • This is def one I’m going to be recommending a lot bc it’s what I love about contemporary YA! Def a solid read I hope you get to! It def will make you cry or at least tear up — both sad cry and like a heartwarming kind of cry at times if that makes sense ?

  2. I’ve been meaning to read this for a while now. I read Touched by Jackson awhile back, and loved it, although Touched is a different kind of story, I think.

    I keep hearing really great things about If I Lie. Also, her name is Quinn, which is my name, and I never come across one with the MC named Quinn. Which maybe is a silly reason to read it a book, but oh well 🙂

    • I saw she had that series! Def seems different! Might have to check it out though!

      And so not silly!! I would so read a book with a Jamie!!

  3. This has been on my favorites list for a while! It was SO well done and I just couldn’t help but feel for Quinn in this story. I loved that how much this book was about, the different relationships etc and yet it’s not 400 pages LOL

    Your review has made me want to go reread it now!! *prepares for the tears* LOL


    • Yes!!! This impressed me so much bc she accomplished so much in so few pages and none of it felt surfacey or, on the other hand, too packed in there.

      I feel like I’ve been reading lots of Jaime approved books lately!! 🙂

  4. This has been on my to-read list for almost a year now! I have looked for it all over the place. It might be time to order it online… I’m really glad to hear someone’s thoughts on it. I don’t usually enjoy super contemporary novels, but something about this one just keeps drawing me back. I’m excited to read it for myself! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I’m really glad that you enjoyed it as much as you did! It’s always nice to find a book that moves you so powerfully.

  5. Wow, what a glowing review, Jamie! Going straight to my TBR – you know how much I love contemps. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this one – just checked GR, and it’s got crazy good ratings. Also, I’m always very impressed when an author can do a lot in a short novel – I’m very long-winded, so I appreciate concise writers. =)

  6. This sounds amazing. I love a book that toys with my emotions—as much as it hurts me! I haven’t read many reviews for this one, mostly because I rarely read contemporary. But I’ve been trying to read a few lately, and if this is on your list of faves? Well, I need to get on it then, don’t I?

    Fabulous review, Jamie <3

  7. Wow – really? I think I need to go get this one then!

  8. I’m so happy you found this one Jamie! I read it so long ago and have, for a while now, been trying to get more and more to read it. I actually have my copy at work as I have passed it on to a bunch of co-workers because I loved it so much. The story was so powerful and really made you think and wonder what you would do in that position. I know people think it is predictable but If I Lie was about more than just the secret Quinn had and I think that was what held the beauty.

    Great review!

  9. RIGHT?!?!?!? I so totally agree. This one just gets ya!

  10. I’ve never heard of this book before, but I’ve definitely added it to my TBR pile. I genuinely enjoyed reading your review because I could feel how much you loved it from the way you wrote. Thank you for giving me another book to read!

  11. I’m glad that you enjoyed If I Lie! It’s such a beautifully written novel, different from my normal reads. I liked it a lot, even though it also broke me into a billion pieces while reading about Q’s pain.

  12. This is one of my favorite books… It completely tore me to pieces when I read it… which I made the mistake of doing at the beach… my husband kept asking me what was wrong… um, nothing, its just this book!

  13. First of all, I’d like to thank you for this blog. You must have spent hours, maybe months on making it, and I can’t thank you enough for that. Your reviews are amazing, and I got maybe 60 books of what you suggested. If I Stay was the first one I read that you suggested and I sobbed for maybe hours. And then I read this GEM. Seriously though… I read it on a car trip, and I thought I’d hate this book, BUT I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. I thought like you that we’d know the secret until the very last page of the book. I couldn’t be more wrong, and I couldn’t be more grateful that it wasn’t the case. Reading Quinn’s, (maybe I should say Sophie :p) struggle through the pages was far more powerful. This book was like someone hit you in the guts. I never read a novel about war before, and every veteran in the story was marked in a different way. And George… oh boy. It made me think of the veterans’ struggles, and also Sophie’s. She teached me a lesson of strenghth and loyalty. How could someone take in so much and still hold her head high ? It makes you wonder, would you keep someone’s secret even if it destroys you, even if you don’t have to, considering the situation ? This book though… Seriously it shattered me.
    Thank you for making me discover this gem, and I look forward to many new reads suggested by you !


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