The Best Reason To Read The Red Queen Novel

For book lovers or what are commonly called bookworms, reading Idn Sports is one of the hobbies that cannot be bothered by. There are so many types of books that you can read depending on your individual needs.

The goal is to add insight or knowledge so that you can become smart people. When talking about novels, it can be an entertainment. For example, when you are bored or before going to bed, the novel can be the right choice.

A novel is a work written and printed in book form. The number of pages in a novel also depends on the length or shortness of the story in the novel. If there are more, it will take a long time not to spend the story.

There are many things you can get while reading a novel. You can learn from the stories you have read. There are also novels in the form of someone’s real life or the story of someone’s life being novel. There may be some stories in common with the lives of readers. So that it can help motivate readers so that life can be better if you never give up.

There are many more lessons that you can get when you read and understand the storyline. So there is nothing wrong with reading a novel so that we can get broad insights so that it can be useful for us in the future.

Short Description Of Novel Red Queen

I looked at my hands, my arms, stunned as the lightning brushed past my body. My clothes were burned, scorched by the heat of the fire, but my skin didn’t change. This must be wrong. I’m still alive.

The Queen Election event reveals the extraordinary talent hidden in Mare – she is also matched with the silver-blooded prince of the Norta Kingdom.

Maybe you think this story will end sweetly; princess and prince live happily ever after. But, wait a minute. The thing is, Mare is a Red-blooded human.

The lives of Mare and the prince were very different. The two of them shouldn’t be meant to be together. At least, until it is known that there are among the Reds who have specialties, like Mare. So far, the Reds have been oppressed by the Silver People.

Mare hates that his people are treated unfairly. He was fed up with the cruelty of the Silver Men, who drove those he knew to death for nothing. Then it is time for him to start fighting, no matter what. With Barisan Merah, he will carry out a grand plan to demand justice.

Reason To Read The Red Queen Novel

So here are some reasons for you to read this Red Queen novel. Because without knowing the plot you must be lazy to start a story right. If you already know some of the storylines of a novel, you can adjust it to your taste. Certainly in everyone there will be different tastes.

Here’s why to read a novel called Red Queen :

  • Dystopia + Science Fiction

Like most other dystopian novels, Red Queen is set in a time when there is a ruling regime (silver blood) that oppresses a people (blood red). What distinguishes this novel from novels of its kind is its fictional science element, namely the superpowers that run in the blood of the Silver Men!

  • Girl’s Power!

In the Norta Kingdom, the election of the queen was a grand event that was highly anticipated. Eits, the election was not through a beauty contest, you know, but through an ability contest! Yep, the queen candidates from each clan must show off their superhuman strength to get the title of “queen”.

  • Cinderella the Thief?

Mare Barrow, who comes from one of the poorest villages in the Norta Kingdom, is the first red-blooded girl to be matched with a silver-blooded prince. Sounds like a Cinderella story, right? But this Cinderella is not a weak child who is bullied by her stepmother, but a shrewd thief who is willing to fight tooth and nail to protect his family and people!

  • A studded with hot guys!

Now for you girls, you will really like it if there is a story that contains cool guys. Apart from tough girls, this novel is also full of cool guys! Want a classy handsome guy? There were Cal and Maven, brothers and sisters of the silver-blooded princes of the Norta Kingdom. Want a loyal guy who never gives up and a cute, protective brother? There is Kilorn Warren and Shade Barrow from Jangkungan Village. Apart from the four of them, there are still many cool guys that you can choose from in this novel!

  • Romance, Love Triangle or Quadrilateral?

With so many tough girls and cool guys who are still teenagers, love problems can’t be avoided. But no matter how complicated their love story is, there is nothing more complicated than the reader’s confusion about choosing a favorite partner! If the story is like this then it becomes very dramatic right. It’s not only romance you can get.

  • The Endless Layers of Twist Plot!

If you thought this novel was like most other young adult novels, get ready to be surprised. Because there are layers of plot twists scattered throughout the storyline. Be careful, anyone can commit lies, betrayal and trickery!

Advantages Of Novel Red Queen

For the superiority of the Red Queen novel, the author, Aveyard, has confirmed and said that the novel he made will be filmed soon. What do you think ? Especially for all of you who have finished reading the novel and really like the story of this novel, it will be a privilege because you can present it directly along with the picture, thus making the situation even more real.

The film adaptation of the novel has been purchased by Universal Pictures. Reportedly, Elizabeth Banks, who plays Effie Trinket (The Hunger Games), will work on the film.

Considering how cool Elizabeth Banks was when working on the film Pitch Perfect 2, I think the film Red Queen will be really cool too. Moreover, the script writers for Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad also stepped in. Universal Pictures has reportedly recruited Gennifer Hutchison to write the script for the film adaptation of Red Queen.

About The Author Victoria Aveyard

Victoria Aveyard was born and raised in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, a small town known for its incredible traffic jams in the United States. He moved to Los Angeles and earned a bachelor’s degree in screenwriting from the University of Southern California. Currently he is a writer and screenwriter of films. Can be found at

Are you curious? Immediately read the Red Queen series, before you fall far behind. Namely Red Queen, Glass Sword, and King’s Cage. And in the near future its final sequel, War Storm will be published.

Hopefully, this article will be useful and can help you to find a novel reference to read. Thank you and enjoy.

What Reader Are Writing About

WHAT READERS are writing about

“Caroline Bock is back with a page-turner. The clock starts ticking from the first pages and it never eases as we race along the complicated paths that converge for Max, Claire, and Barkley. A great read.” — Meg Medina, author of Burn Baby Burn and Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass.

“Ms. Bock’s thought-provoking novel delves into the important issue of gun violence in our country. The book facilitates a discussion among young people and parents regarding the terror and prevalence of shootings,and also the ease in which anyone can obtain a gun in this country.” — Jenifer Pauliukonis, Maryland chapter leader of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

“Bock reminds us of the struggle to be human, and has us searching for our own redemption. This book should be required reading.” – Lena Roy, author of Edges.

“Caroline Bock has written a compelling YA contemporary that hits a lot of hot button issues — gun violence, pill popping, mental illness — as well as personal issues — loneliness, loss, identity — in a way brings its well-rounded characters together in a believable climax….Before My Eyes is an excellent discussion starter for all the issues raised in the book. The author doesn’t talk down the audience by offering easy answers, but rather, asks questions about why people do the things they do. – The Librarian Writer Blog.

“It is close to impossible to write about the sensational without descending to ripped-from-the-headlines caricatures and shallow sentimentality, but Caroline Bock has done so. Before My Eyes depicts a harrowing event from the perspective of fully realized characters, teenagers whose lives are complicated even before they find themselves at the center of a national tragedy. Hers is an ambitious story that will have you on the edge of your seat even when you know what’s coming.” – Melissa Kantor, author of The Breakup Bible.


“…Unusual and important.”
-Kirkus Reviews,starred review, July 1, 2011
“…Smart…painfully believable…”
-Publishers Weekly, starred review, July 4, 2011
“….Bock’s debut will grip readers searching for complete realism in their fiction.”
-School Library Journal, starred review, August, 2011
“…Suspenseful and thought-provoking…”
-Booklist, starred review, November 2011.

“”You’re going to be sorry when LIE ends…older teens will be riveted as well as adults…It’s a knock out…finely wrought, nuanced truth.”
-National Public Radio review, (WSHU), December, 2011.

“Bock writes with power and a deep understanding of human beings…”
-Bookreporter/Teenreads March, 2012.

“LIE is one of those stories that was really intense yet also gripping, which kept me from being able to put it down. It was short, which was a good thing, because it kind of had me in knots while I was reading…LIE is not one of those books that I hugged when I was finished. But I will say that it is really excellent and I love how it was written. It broke my heart. It fueled my righteous anger. It made me sad, so very sad. It is one that should be read…”

– Into The Hall of Books blog, June, 2012

“I wanted to scream at all of the teens…”
-Unshelved,July, 2012.


“LIE by Caroline Bock is an intensely moving, beautifully written novel. Pulled from violent true events in the newspaper pages, Bock takes us into the hearts and minds of her characters making us care deeply. LIE is a pertinent novel for our times told with the same unflinching honesty and riveting intimacy that once madeTo Kill a Mockingbird such a classic.”
–Suzanne Weyn, author of The Bar Code Tattoo.

“This book had me holding my breath…Bock creates characters who you not only want to believe but want to believe in.” Jennifer Brown, author of Hate List.

“What a book! Bock ratchets up the tension in this tightly wound story of racism, power, and one very compelling lie.” –Barbara Moon, Young Adult Services, Suffolk Cooperative Library System (Suffolk County, New York).

“Eye-opening. Caroline Bock skillfully guides her story over society’s most jagged edge—a hate crime.”–Paul Volponi, author of Black and White, Rikers High,
and Crossing Line.

“What happens when racism becomes a game and a group of teens feel compelled to protect this crime? In Caroline Bock’s gripping first novel told from several points of view, love and morality clash. With daring emotional honesty, Bock creates a brilliant portrait of a town haunted by danger and anguish, but where decency and humanity struggle to prevail.”
–Pamela L. Laskin, Editor, Life on the Moon: My Best Friend’s Secrets; author of Visitation Rites

“It only took me a moment on the Internet to find the murder that Caroline Bock’s novel LIE is based on. Told in several voices, Bock let’s us watch a hate crime and see all who wind up suffering because of this horrible event. I was holding my breath by the end, hoping one of the point of view characters would be able to do what was right. This is a strong, well-told, sorrowful story based on facts. LIE broke my heart.”–Carol Lynch Williams, author of The Chosen One.

“A sensitive and engaging novel dealing with difficult choices facing young adults today…” — David Opatow, director (retired), Freeport Memorial Library in Freeport, NY, April 2012.

LIE won The City College of New York
Writing for Young Adults Award
by a graduate student
May, 2011

KIRKUS REVIEWS – STARRED REVIEW – Review date: July 1, 2011

This effective, character-driven, episodic story examines the consequences of a hate crime on the teens involved in it. Bock focuses mainly on Skylar, a shy girl, and on her loyalty to her boyfriend Jimmy, whom readers soon learn has beaten a Salvadoran immigrant to death. Although Jimmy’s in jail, the police have little evidence against him. “Everybody knows. Nobody’s talking,” runs the mantra among the high-school crowd that knows full well Jimmy beats up Latinos every Saturday night. The author alternates short chapters written from different characters’ points of view. Readers get to know the involved teenagers and their families, as well as the victim, his brother and their mother. By portraying, simply and without comment, the reactions of the various characters, the author conveys the horror of the crime and the devastating effects on all involved, including those responsible. Sean, Jimmy’s best friend and companion on the fateful night, can’t deal with his guilt but also knows he dare not tell the truth. Lisa Marie sticks by Jimmy with no doubts. Skylar never doubts her love for Jimmy but faces a difficult choice when it transpires that the truth must come from her, or it will not come out at all. Realistic and devastatingly insightful, this novel can serve as a springboard to classroom and family discussions. Unusual and important. (Fiction. 12 & up)—Kirkus Reviews.

Book Reviews by Young Adults
Sneak Peek Reviewers Club June 15, 2011
BOCK, Caroline. Lie. Griffin. September 2011. Pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-312-66832-7.

Gr 7 Up-The police are questioning 17-year-old Skylar Thompson. Her baseball and football star boyfriend Jimmy was accused of assaulting two immigrants, and she was the prime witness. Skylar is trying to keep quiet for Jimmy because she believes he’s her savior. After all, he was the only person who helped pull her out of depression when her mother died. However, one of the immigrants, Carlos Cortez, demands justice, and Skylar wonders why she started protecting Jimmy in the first place. Sean, Jimmy’s best friend and accomplice, was also at the scene, but he’s out on bail and has offered to testify against Jimmy. He must decide whether or not to turn against his friend in order to save his own skin. As the book progresses, each character begins to ponder why they started following Jimmy-were they really trying to save him or themselves?

This book was, indeed, eye opening. Told in several voices, Bock creates a suspenseful, gripping, and powerful novel that will keep readers on their toes. In the beginning, it was like a puzzle. Everyone kept quiet about everything, yet there were always small clues leaking out. As the novel progresses, both Skylar and Sean change into new people, questioning what is right and what is wrong.

This book is definitely a great read for high school students. There’s a lot that students can relate to and Bock does an impressive job of being in the shoes of a teenager struggling through life. Definitely a great read.-Jenny C., age 16.

Click on AN INTENSE REVIEW from Fringe Magazine in Boston.

Before My Eyes

Someone is falling in love…
someone is popping pills…
and someone is hearing a voice
and has a gun.
But no one wants to see
what is happening right
before their eyes.

“In the opening scene of unflinching thriller Before My Eyes—reminiscent of the shooting at Gabby Giffords’ political rally in 2011—a gunman pulls out a weapon at a Labor Day campaign rally for New York state senator Glenn Cooper.

Who is the target? What is the motive? And how will the crowd react to and fare the tragedy? …The thought-provoking story broaches such topics as recognizing signs of mental illness, caring for the mentally ill, gun control and the difficulties of each… a rich opportunity to start a dialogue on these issues that continue to plague America.

Caroline Bock is a successful short story novelist. According to the reviewers, this novel has a rating of 8.5 out of 10.

I wish Before My Eyes was a book of pure fiction, one that was set in a far-away fantasyland that didn’t mirror reality in the slightest. But, it’s not. Before My Eyes, by Caroline Bock, is a story that comes at a poignant time. Bock’s fictional story feels close-to-reality as it weaves a tale of first romance, infatuation, and illness with a story of parents and their children and how they can do right and wrong by them.

It’s a story of bravery and cowardice and misunderstandings. It’s a coming-of-age story based around one very focal point, a town shooting, committed by a young, schizophrenic man named Barkley.

The reader not only sees inside of Barkley’s head, feeling both horror and a shred of sympathy as we read the thoughts of someone who has struggles with a disease he’s not even fully aware he has, but we see the thoughts of a girl he becomes attached to, Claire, and the thoughts of his co-worker, Max. His co-worker shares the same romantic feelings that Barkley has for Claire, weaving a complicated tale.

Bock switches from POVs effortlessly, never missing an important detail. The novel takes place during one summer and pieces from each character make up the timeline; we see Claire struggle to raise her little sister and come to terms with her mother’s stroke.

We see Max struggle to quit a prescription drug problem and move past bullying ex-best friends and join a new circle of misfits before high school begins. And we see Barkley struggle the most, he wants to do what he thinks is right and rid the Earth of “pollution,” forever giving in to the dark voice he hears in his head.

The character’s paths cross multiple times, each time bringing up new emotions. Barkley wants to protect Claire from his master plan. Max saves Claire from drowning one day at the beach. Claire talks with Barkley over the Internet, he comments on her poetry, published on her blog. It’s not until Labor Day, that their paths’ cross one final and fatal time. The story both begins and ends with the Labor Day shooting at a political event, and the early introduction of the climax shapes the story to become a more character-driven, intense read.

This book is a true life story and was made into a short novel by Caroline Bock. This novel also has its own charm for its readers. So don’t miss the excitement of the novel. This novel is perfect for accompanying you when you are feeling tired, it can also be useful during free time, even before sleeping. This novel can also be a good friend.

“Every one of Bock’s fragile characters hides an unflinching inner backbone of steel. Impassioned and moving.” – Elizabeth Wein, bestselling author of Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire.

This novel is also very suitable for those of you who are in love with someone. So it can be used as a valuable lesson in the future. What’s more, this short story is a real life story of someone.

BEFORE MY EYES A thought-provoking young adult novel for ages 14 and above and adults of all ages.

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About Me

About Me :

I AM THRILLED TO BE LEADING AN UPCOMING WORKSHOP AT THE WRITER’S CENTER in BETHESDA this July— Start Your YA Novel Now. If you live in the DMV area, please consider joining me, or any of the other terrific workshops at the Writer’s Center! More at


Three years ago, I moved to Maryland after living my entire life in New York, including many years in Long Island, where my young adult novels: LIE and BEFORE MY EYES, are set.

Prior to focusing on my writing, I led the marketing and public relations departments at Bravo, IFC cable networks and IFC Films. Notably, I was part of the executive team that launched IFC and IFC Films.

As a graduate of Syracuse University, I had the distinct honor of studying creative writing with Raymond Carver and poetry with Tess Gallagher and Jack Gilbert. In 2011, I received my MFA in Fiction with honors from The City College of New York,

Going back to the beginning: I was born in the Bronx, and brought up in New Rochelle, New York by a remarkable father who raised four children alone after my mother suffered a stroke when I was four-and-a-half years old. I’ve always loved to read more than anything, and that’s how it all started.

This is a brief history, but what really counts is the work:

Fiction :

Before My Eyes : St. Martin’s Press, 2014.

LIE : St. Martin’s Press, 2011.

Nonfiction :

Confessions of a Carb Queen : co-author with my sister, Susan Blech her memoir on binge-eating-Rodale, 2007.

Spirit of Service contributed 52 short essays, HarperCollins, 2009.

Screenplay/play :

Scenes from a F&#cked Up Life teleplay sold to: IFC-TV.

Confessions of a Carb Queen film rights to: Sony TV.

Molly Brown commissioned one act play, 2013.

Short stories and poetry have been published or are forthcoming in Akashic Press, Gargoyle Magazine , Fiction Southeast, 100 Word Story,Ploughshares, Prometheus, Vestal Review, and Zero Dark-Thirty. Contributor to The Washington Independent Review of Books.

Recent honors :

Short Fiction published in several recent anthologies including: Abundant Grace (Paycock Press, December 2016) and District Lines IV (Politics & Prose press, January 2017)

Nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Literary Award in poetry

Winner of The Writer Magazine 2016 Short Story Competition judged by Colum McCann for “Gargoyles and Stars.” The short story was published with an interview in the March, 2016 issue of The Writer and is now available on line:

First Runner Up 2016 F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Contest for “No Mercy”.

How to contact me:

“Like” my Facebook page-Caroline Bock Author
Follow me on Twitter @cabockwrites
Follow or be my “Friend” at Goodreads

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT RIGHTS AVAILABLE FOR LIE and BEFORE MY EYES, including foreign rights, please contact:

Rachel Sussman
Chalberg & Sussman
rachel at

To contact me directly: cabock8908 at

Most of all, thank you for reading!

Teacher/Student Insights


“Before My Eyes, by Caroline Bock, takes the reader through the last few days of summer from the perspectives of three narrators: two teens and a mentally-ill young adult. Bock skillfully weaves together the topics of schizophrenia, gun violence, family issues, and typical adolescent angst while at the same time providing a compelling story. Though the reader gets a glimpse of the book’s climax in the first few pages, the end plays out in an unexpected way when unlikely heroes emerge. As a retired Professor of Education, I believe Before My Eyes would be an excellent book for an 11th or 12th-grade English class, and since it provides a realistic portrayal of schizophrenia, it might even be a good choice for an AP Psychology class. Whatever one’s reason for choosing this book, the reader will not be disappointed.”—Edmund Sass, Ed.D., Professor Emeritus of Education.


Summary: Before My Eyes is a powerful young adult novel about a fateful summer’s end in the fictional Long Island town of Lakeshore, New York. Following on the path of her acclaimed debut young adult novel, LIE, Bock brings forth complex characters in nuanced, descriptive language, layering relevant contemporary themes: Gun violence, mental illness, prescription drug abuse, and internet risks with timeless themes of love and hope. Before My Eyes captures a moment when possibilities should be opening up, but instead everything teeters on the brink of destruction.

Before My Eyes unfolds in the tightly woven first person narratives of Claire, Max and Barkley. Claire has spent the last few months taking care of her six-year-old sister, Izzy, as their mother lies in a hospital bed. Claire believes she has everything under control until she meets a young man online who appears to be a kindred spirit. She is initially flattered by the attention but when she meets Max, the shy state senator’s son, her feelings become complicated. Working alongside Max at a beach front food stand is Barkley. Lonely and obsessive, Barkley has been hearing a dangerous voice in his head. No one—not his parents, not his co-workers—realize that Barkley is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

What is seen/unseen, concealed/unconcealed, and ultimately known/unknown layers this richly metaphorical text, and along with the deeply felt characters, makes Before My Eyes a novel that teens and their adults will be eager to read, discuss, and analyze.


The setting is critical to understanding how the author of Before My Eyes structured the text in order to build suspense and develop multi-dimensional characters. Here is insight into the setting:

Place: The fictional town of Lakeshore is on Long Island in New York, about thirty miles east of New York City during the end of a simmering hot summer. The majority of the novel takes place in Lakeshore and at its town beach along the Atlantic Ocean on the southern shore of Long Island. In New York, state parks, most notably, Jones Beach State Park, are open to all for a modest fee. However, as is commonplace, there are more exclusive ‘town’ beaches where one must be a resident in order to use a beach, and that is the case with this setting. This exclusive town beach gives the teens the illusion of safety and security.

Time: The novel opens on Labor Day Monday at a community park in Lakeshore at an event for state senator Glenn Cooper, who is running for re-election and is the father of Max Cooper. Barkley, suffering from what we will soon understand to be paranoid schizophrenia, is outside the tent—a gun concealed in his sweatshirt. Max is inside the tent. The foreshadowing is there in the text—there is going to be tragic confrontation—but who are these two young men? And who is the girl, Claire, that they are both waiting for? After these two short opening chapters, the novel will flashback to the Thursday prior and follow our three main characters—Barkley, Max and Claire—back to this fateful day, and one day beyond for a total of six critical days in the lives of these three teens. Day and times are marked at the head of each chapter in order to give the reader a sense that every moment of life is critical.


Three first-person points of view comprise this novel: Barkley, Max and Claire. One of the central metaphors of Before My Eyes is the idea of what is seen/unseen. These characters are each hiding things—often from their parents, their friends, and themselves. To extend the metaphor of what is seen or not seen in the novel, a student should analyze these complex characters by looking closely at textual details. Here is a short description of each character:

BARKLEY — is a twenty-one year old drop out from community college, a would-be filmmaker and environmentalist. He is also suffering from undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenia. He is obsessed with Claire. His parents do not “see” what is happening to him, though they know something is wrong and are in conflict with him over his behavior and what to do to help. Special note: most of the scenes between Barkley and his parents happen with Barkley behind his closed bedroom door, and his parents pacing on the other side. No one “sees” that right before his or her eyes, Barkley is losing touch with reality.

MAX –is about to turn eighteen as the novel opens. He is the son of New York state senator Glenn Cooper and his campaign manager and wife, Debbi Cooper. He has spent his summer working at the Snack Shack at the town beach and obsessing about a missed penalty kick in the last soccer game of the year and the seemingly unattainable girls in bikinis on the beach. Notably, Max has a dog, King, a blind dog, who plays a pivotal role in the action of the novel.

CLAIRE— seventeen-year old Claire has been taking care of her six-year old sister, Izzy, short for Elizabeth, ever since her mother suffered an aneurysm earlier in the spring. Her father is barely able to cope—emotionally or financially—with his wife’s rehabilitation so he does not “see” the sadness overcoming his dreamy, lonely daughter. On line she meets “Brent,” who is in truth “Barkley,” but she doesn’t “see” this until it is almost too late.


A wide cross section of research and outside sources were consulted in order to develop realistic, complex characters.

The novel was inspired in part by a true event: on January 8, 2011, U.S. representative Gabrielle Giffords and eighteen others were shot during a meeting at local supermarket Six people died, and many others were injured by Jared Loughner, a 22-year old Tucson man.

In addition, key outside sources and research was utilized to write this novel.
The novel was reviewed by Dr. Frances Bock, PhD, a neuropsychologist, and by David Blech, a nurse practitioner with experience working with psychiatric, particularly young male schizophrenics. Both are close relatives of the author and offered a careful reading of early drafts of the novel in order to help shape Barkley’s story. In addition, many books and websites regarding mental illness in teens, most notably the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), were consulted.

Research on gun violence and gun control in the United States, a controversial subject under much debate in our society, was also critical. The websites of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violenceand Moms Demand Action for Sensible Gun Control were also researched for key points on gun violence and young people. And while a novel is by its very nature not a work of journalistic balance, but a subjective story of people and their actions,also considered was the other side of the debate, those that advocate for gun rights: The National Rifle Association.

Ultimately, the background research done on this novel should only serves to enhance the character’s lives and situationsl this research, hopefully, lends to the richness and complexity of Before My Eyes.

1.QUESTIONS FOR CLASS DISCUSSIONS AND ACTIVITIES :Analyze how these complex characters—Barkley, Max, and Claire— develop over the course of the novel? How do they interact with one another? How do they each contribute or develop the overall theme of the novel?

2.In particular, is there a point in the novel in which one can express empathy for Barkley (i.e. it is both implied and inferred that he has been bulled throughout high school and that he has been exhibiting signs of mental illness for several years)?

3.What inferences can be drawn by the opening two chapters of the novel? How does does the opening create suspense and foreshadowing? How does the reader infer the mental states of Barkley and Max at the beginning of the time, citing specific textual references.

4.How does the title, Before My Eyes, describe a central metaphor or idea in the text? How does it emerge and shapes the text through the characters and what they see or hide, what they conceal or reveal, to their parents and peers? Suggested activity: Have the students closely analyzed each of the main characters and create a chart or character map that cites specific textual references on what is seen/not seen or unconcealed/hidden or unknown/known by parents and peers.

5.Claire writes poetry—several poems are included in her sections in the novel. What are the central ideas in the poems and how do they relate to the larger themes of the novel? Suggested activity: have students write their poems inspired by the novel and/or building on the metaphor of what is seen/unseen about them or their world. (Special note to teachers from the author: I was the editor of my high school literary magazine, Opus, at New Rochelle High School in New Rochelle, New York and referred to back issues to remember how it was to write as a seventeen year old, and to write Claire’s poetry.)

6.The novel ends on a Tuesday afternoon, with the reference that the next day, Wednesday, school starts. Suggested activity: In a creative essay, which builds on textual references and analysis of each character, have the students describe what happens on that Wednesday either writing in the character’s point of view or writing an analytical essay about what should or could happen.

Special note on the first print edition of Before My Eyes: Erratum, an error in printing or writing.A quote attributed on p. 169 to Lewis Carroll, “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream,” is in fact attributable to Edgar Allan Poe from his poem, ”A Dream Within A Dream.” I trust the publisher will correct this in subsequent print editions.




Summary: As the novel opens, seventeen year-old Skylar Thompson is being questioned by the police. Her boyfriend Jimmy stands accused of brutally assaulting two Latino brothers 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 quiet? Since her mother died before the start of her senior year in high school, Jimmy has been everything to her. She never had a boyfriend before Jimmy, and everyone in the school wanted to be his friend. He was the star of the football and baseball teams. He was a Scholar-Athlete. It was Jimmy’s idea to go “beaner-hopping” and beat up random Latinos from the neighboring town. Everybody in school wanted to be part of it. Now, as her best friend Lisa Marie instructs, “everybody knows, nobody’s talking.”

But Skylar is realizing the enormity of what has happened— and what she has been involved with over this past school year. She struggles with whether to protect him or to do as her best friend Lisa Marie says— to say nothing. As :Lisa Marie says, “Everybody knows, nobody’s talking.”

Jimmy’s accomplice on that fateful night, Sean, is facing his own moral dilemma. He must also decide whether or not to turn on his friend in order to save himself. Eight other characters, four teens and four adults, weigh in on why this hate crime happened in this Long Island town and what should happen next. Most importantly, both Sean and Skylar, as the central characters, must figure out why they followed someone like Jimmy in the first place.

This novel is inspired by real events, notably the murder of Marcelo Lucero of Patchogue, New York in November, 2008, a murder perpetrated by young people who were out “beaner-hopping.”

Central Themes:
One of the central themes of LIE is a multi-layered exploration of why people follow those who are acting without regard to consequences, without regard to the law, without regard to other human beings. Another central theme is the internal psychological struggle of the characters, primarily Skylar and Sean, to understand their own motivations and to come to terms with their personal moral dilemma about their participation in this crime. Ultimately, LIE is realistic contemporary fiction, setting out the story of a two young people facing the choice of whether to tell the truth— or lie.

Setting and Geography:

Time : Present Day. The action takes place over a week in the character’s lives.

Location : An unnamed suburban town on Long Island in New York. Long Island is east of New York City and has one main expressway that runs west to east– the Long Island Expressway, locally called the L.I.E. Yes, the title can be interpreted as a play on words. Please note in several instance the teen characters want to escape their suburban town; however, when they do drive off — they drive east. Here’s the geography lesson: Long Island is an island — and if one drives east one can never leave the island — one only hits the Atlantic Ocean. Conversely, several characters struggle with the idea of driving west, which is towards New York City. Metaphorically, the characters do not give themselves permission to leave and expand their view on the world.

Point of View : Ten distinct points of view comprise LIE –all of which contribute information about the community and the inciting incident — the assault masterminded by Jimmy on two brothers, Arturo, the undocumented older brother born in El Salvador, and Carlos, younger and American-born. There are five teen points of view and five adult points of view, and within that a mix of white and Latino characters.

Questions for Class Discussion and Activities:

1.LIE has 10 distinct points of view. However, one point of view is missing — Jimmy’s. One of the central themes of the story is how someone like Jimmy, a popular Scholar-Athlete on one hand, a controlling bully and biased individual on the other, influences those around him. Why do people follow people like Jimmy? Ultimately, what does it take to stand up to him? And how is dramatic irony and suspense developed by knowing Jimmy only through the eyes of others, particularly his girlfriend Skylar and his best friend Sean? How do Skylar and Sean’s responses vastly differ? Activity: Write a scene in one character’s point of view. Bonus: Write a scene in Jimmy’s point of view.

2.LIE has a shocking turning point about mid-way through the novel. Why is this incident necessary? How does it change the trajectory of the plot and the characters?

3.LIE is set on Long Island, home to original post World War II suburban communities. An exploration on the growth of suburbia and its historical divisions among racial and ethnic groups, may be one way to explore LIE. Information on the rise of suburban communities can be found at the National Center for Suburban Studies based at Hofstra University on Long Island. Activity: Explore how geography affects the character’s decisions in LIE? How does the setting/sense of place impact the plot or outcome of the novel? Could this novel be set anywhere in the United States and why?

Other texts that may be used to contrast and compare with LIE could include Sherman Alexis’ The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, which explores about the divisions between American Indians and whites in his northwestern community.


“Summary: Jimmy saved Skylar’s life. Or at least, that what she would say. After her mother died and her dad drifted away to work in the city, it was handsome and funny Jimmy, the new boy in town, who drew her back into the world. But now Skylar is in an impossible position. You see, the girls don’t tag along when the boys go out ‘beaner hopping’ on Friday nights, jumping Latinos to scare them away from town. Usually it’s nothing serious, just some stupid fun. But when Skylar’s boyfriend Jimmy takes it too far and picks up a baseball bat, a Salvadoran man is left dead on the street and a small town on Long Island spirals into disbelief. And as the police begin to ask questions, the words of her best friend echo in Skylar’s ear: “Everybody knows. Nobody’s talking.” If Skylar shares what she knows about what really happened, her whole world will fall apart.

As this breathtaking debut novel alternates points of view between Skylar, her friends, her father, and other members of the community, including the victim’s younger brother, a clearer picture begins to emerge of what exactly happened that night but the question remains: How could such smart kids participate in such a senseless, violent acts. This is realistic fiction at it’s finest, a gripping page-turner with gut-wrenching twists and turns that will leave you stunned.

Who will like this book?: Readers who like intense stories that don’t shy away from difficult topics. People who like books that have multiple characters telling the story. Nicole, Teen Librarian (reprinted from the Fairfield Public Library Reader’s Advisor for Teens website)

Author Workshops/Talks to Libraries/Schools/Groups : I am available for workshops and talks. “You truly engaged our students through your workshop, and it was fascinating to listen to students add their characters and perspectives to your novel. Many of them reported that they felt they were looking not only at the situation your book portrayed from a different point of view, but they were also looking at writing from a new perspective. I am delighted that your workshop and your interaction with the students went so well.” – Stephen Collier, Wheatley High School, Curriculum Associate for English and Language Arts (K-12), in East Williston, New York after a two-hour Caroline Bock creative writing workshop for ninth and tenth graders on “Character Building.”

Additional Thoughts For Educators:

St. Martin’s Press has produced a Teacher’s Guide to LIE –available at no charge at

A PBS documentary ‘Light in the Darkness’ about the community of Patchogue, NY where the murder of Marcelo Lucero took place, and which in part inspired this novel, was produced in 2011 and is available on DVD. Numerous newspaper articles on the Marcelo Lucero case are available to support student research (google: New York Times or Newsday, the local Long Island newspaper).
One extraordinary high school English teacher, Glenda Funk, has independently put together a lesson plan based on LIE. Find it at: – look for the August 21, 2011 entry.


Lastly, If you are interested in more information or if you or your students have questions regarding BEFORE MY EYES or LIE, please email me at


Everybody knows, nobody’s talking. That’s what’s being passed from friend-to-friend as seventeen year-old Skylar Thompson is being questioned by the police in her nice suburban Long Island town.

Her boyfriend Jimmy, baseball and football star–a, Scholar-Athlete –stands accused of brutally assaulting two young.El Salvadoran immigrants from a neighboring town, and she’s the prime witness along with Jimmy’s best friend Sean.

But when Skylar and Sean begin to appreciate the enormity of what has happened, especially when Carlos Cortez, the victim’s brother steps up to demand justice, they must figure out why they followed Jimmy–and if they will lie to protect him.

LIE was Inspired by true events, most notably the murder of Marcelo Lucero in November of 2008 in Long Island by a group of teens. READ LIE today – available in trade paperback and ebook editions.

Book Summary

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.




Produced and directed by independent filmmaker.

Heather Smith on you tube.

Interested in more on what inspired LIE? Go to the nonprofit organization Not In My Town and look for the documentary, whichaired on PBS in September of 2011 on Marcelo Lucero, “Light in the Darkness”