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.