Lie by Caroline Bock is a compelling short read for all ages. It is in Young Adult (YA) genre. The story revolves around a teenager’s angst at having to choose between her boyfriend and her friends and telling the police (and probably, a jury later) what she knows about the beating of two Guatemalan boys. The crime occurs in Small Town, U.S.A., but the setting could be anywhere.
Killings fueled by hated of an individual’s ethnicity, nationality, race, gender, and religion are nothing new in history. The earliest wars were Holy Wars–religious violence. World War II’s focal point was hatred of Jews (and anyone else Hitler deemed different). The Yugoslav Wars. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ISIS. The list is endless. A week or so ago, an attorney calls for California legislature to pass the Sodomite Suppression Act, urging the legalization of killing homosexuals. Anti Gay Ballot Measure Sparks Calls for Lawyer s Bar Card _ The Recorder. What the attorney (McLaughlin) or anyone that can propose this with a straight face does not seem to understand is that it is a slippery slope. They could be next. Someone else might propose (and get the necessary number of signatures for) a ballot initiative that calls for the death of attorneys…just because…for whatever sick reason.
In Bock’s narrative, the victims are brothers. Their attackers do not know this at the time, believing them to be homosexuals. It is only after the attackers, Skylar’s boyfriend and his best friend, Sean, are arrested and in jail and the media reports that their victims were brothers…and not gay. Bock’s writing is crisp and engaging…and necessary.