Friday, August 7, 2009

review: if the witness lied by caroline b. cooney

In a short period of time, the four Fountain children lost both of their parents. Before their father died, the former stepsister of the children’s mother had come forward to live with the family claiming she wanted to help. Now that their father is dead too, Cheryl has set up the house how she wants it and alienated the children to the point that one lives with her godparents while the other sister has enrolled in boarding school. Only Jack and toddler Tris remain in the unhappy house. As their father’s birthday passes and the anniversaries of their parents’ deaths approach, the children feel a need to come together. That’s when they discover Cheryl has been lying to them; the three teens haven’t agreed to be involved in the TV show Cheryl has planned, but that’s what she tells them knowing they haven’t had much communication in the last year. Now the question is, if Cheryl is lying about this, what else has she lied about?

This is a good story, but it requires quite a bit of suspension of disbelief. It’s just a little too much to believe that everything would happen as written. I don’t want to do spoilers, but I can say that I sincerely doubt the media would’ve been interested in the story (that is, until the protesters showed up at the house, but they could’ve only known to protest if the story had been picked up. I also doubt anyone would actually protest what they are said to protest; if anything, people protest the exact opposite!). Cheryl’s motivation is more than a little sketchy. In the end, things just don’t quite add up.
ARC Review

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