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"Lie" opens with a real life quote from "The New York Times" article covering the murder of a Hispanic immigrant on Long Island:

"The attacks were such an established pastime that the youths, who have pleaded not guilty, had a casual and derogatory term for it, "beaner hopping."

The term, unfamiliar to most of us, is astonishingly shocking - apparently, there are young men who entertain themselves by assaulting random illegal workers. They do it because they can and because they know their actions will not be reported to the police. Caroline Bock wrote a novel that brings to light and illuminates this reprehensible practice.

At the center of "Lie" is 17-year old Skylar. Her boyfriend Jimmy and his best friend are accused of assaulting two Hispanic youths. Skylar is called to be the prime witness against the boys, but her dedication to Jimmy stops her from telling the truth. Will she find strength to do the right thing? Or will she be silent and cover up for her boyfriend in the name of loyalty?

"Lie" is a complex story and explores a multitude of elements of the crime. What makes it ok for young men to go out on violent rampages and assault people who they know will never go to the police because of their illegal status? Where does the disdain for the immigrants come from? Why would Jimmy's friends feel compelled to follow someone like him?

The novel is written from multiple points of view, adults and teenagers, giving a comprehensive picture of the crime.

"Lie" is an important, discussion- and thought-provoking story.

Book Blurb for LIE

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.

Night Owl Reviews Oct, 2011 4.00