Monday, September 4, 2017

Vintage Reads YA Review: If the Witness Lied

If the Witness Lied by Caroline B. Cooney, May 12, 2009. 224 pages. Published by Delacorte Press. Source: Borrowed from the library.
Choices do matter and forgiveness is possible.
Jack Fountain knows that what’s happened to his family sounds like the most horrible soap opera anyone could ever write. But it happened—to Jack; his parents; his sisters, Smithy and Madison. And to his baby brother, Tris. What made it worse was that the media wanted to know every detail.

Now it’s almost Tris’s third birthday, and everything’s starting again. Aunt Cheryl, who’s living with the Fountain children now that their parents are gone, has decided that they will heal only if they work through their pain—on camera. The very identities they’ve created for themselves are called into question. In less than twenty-four hours their fate will change yet again, but this time they vow to not be exploited and to discover the truth. 
First Sentence

The good thing about Friday is-it's not Thursday.

You know that exciting moment when you discover that you, unexplainably, missed a release by a favorite author and have 'new' material from them to read, yeah, that was me last month. Seriously though, it was better than I could have hoped for.

  • So, I've been staring at the screen for three hours now just trying to put into words why If the Witness Lied was such a great book! First off, I read the entire thing in a bout two hours because I could not turn away from the tragic story of the Fountain children. They had the worst run of bad luck and I needed to see if they could get through the darkness surrounding the. As much as their sad story pulled me in, it was the mystery behind what really happened the day their father died and the broken relationship between the three older Fountain kids that really made this an irresistible read. 
  • As much as my attention was captured by Jack, Smithy, Madison, and Tris' story, there's not I can share with y'all in my review. Why, because so much of their story, like how they fell apart and went their separate ways, is something that should be read within the context of the book and not in a review. It's so emotionally packed that to really cover it here would, in my opinion, take too much away from a first read. All I will say is this, she really captured the raw feelings that each of them felt and the various ways they coped (or didn't) with what happened. 
  • Even with Caroline B. Cooney being ranked in, like, my top ten favorite authors (I can have as many top favorites as I wish)...I pretty much knew from the beginning what had actually happened and had a good idea how things would play out. The entire story was really well written, and in fact may be one of the best I've read by her, I just am really good at unraveling story plots and seeing how they'll play out. That aside, I really was swept away by the entire story. It had all the elements that make for a good read, especially on a raining day, with all the thrilling turns of events and the emotional turmoil throughout the character arcs. If I had not already returned it to the library, I would probably be reading it again just to reanalyze the story...and because it was that rare kind of epic book that you want to start over again as soon as you finish it.     
Final Verdict: If the Witness Lied- I'll admit it, I did not mind that this book tore my heart to pieces. It was well worth it! It perfectly balanced love (of family and difficult choices) and loss in a way that mixed so well with the mystery of what really happened that day. SO GOOD!!

If the Witness Lied earns

A copy of this book was borrowed from the library. All thoughts are my own.

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