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What I Saw And How I Lied by Judy Blundell
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What I Saw And How I Lied

by Judy Blundell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,4151258,177 (3.79)73
  1. 20
    How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (faither)
  2. 10
    Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher (FutureMrsJoshGroban)
  3. 10
    Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene (foggidawn)
  4. 00
    Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: The language and details -- especially those surrounding race and class -- of historical periods (1947 What I Saw; 1950s Out of the Easy) create the settings for these stories that intertwine mystery, suspense, and a teen girl's coming of age.… (more)
  5. 00
    Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal by Mal Peet (faither)
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Showing 1-5 of 123 (next | show all)
In 1947, fifteen-year-old Evie Spooner travels from New York to Florida with her mother Beverly and stepfather Joe, believing this is a recreational trip. Not long after they arrive, Peter Coleridge shows up: young, handsome, charming, attentive to Evie. He served with Joe in the war, and they claim to be great buddies, but his arrival brings a creeping tension that clues in first the reader, then Evie.

This beautifully crafted book drops the reader into another time and place with original description, accurate dialogue (some of the slang is almost funny), and genuine (not forced) social issues. The prose evokes a dark loveliness that adds to the tension of events. Evie's first-person, retrospective narration provides suspense by slipping in just enough information for the reader to figure things out before she did. The moment that she finally understands all is truly sad.

Certain elements of the resolution left me disappointed, especially after the brilliant set-up and climax. And 23-year-old Peter's flirting-and-more with teenaged Evie has a "creepy" edge to it, even once his motives are revealed. Yes, this nearly wrecked my enjoyment of the book. However, what redeems this element (for me) is Evie's response. She has admired and relied on adults that are neither admirable nor reliable. They have let her down, even used her innocence to help achieve their goals. But in the end, she sees this, and she determines not to be like them.

Overall, despite dissatisfying resolution to some of the character threads, Evie's journey from New York to Florida and back again, from child to young woman, is worth the read. ( )
  AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |
The Second World War has just ended, and fifteen-year-old Evie's stepfather is finally back home. Something has changed and he certainly doesn't seem like his old self, but that could be because of the terrible things he's experienced during the war. Soon it becomes apparent something strange is going on when Evie's interfering grandmother keeps taking calls from someone asking for her stepfather, and when the three of them suddenly take off to Palm Beach in Florida for what seems like an
adventure to get away from it all, a handsome stranger turns up.

Peter Coleridge is a gorgeous ex-GI and Evie soon finds herself falling for him. But it's not long before more secrets emerge and poor Evie's world gets much darker as three people hire a boat during a hurricane, and only two come back, leading Evie into a court of law and about to make the biggest decision of her life.

For what is essentially a young adult coming-of-age romance, the combination of the 1940's themed setting, the usage of appropriate words for that period, and the realistic and quite moving suspenseful plot shrouded by tragedy, certainly surprised me! What happened to Evie, and her struggles to be seen as a young adult and not the child everyone has grown used to, is to me something that teen girls would surely relate to, but it's only part of what makes this book stand out. Other themes include anti-Semitism during post-war America and the terrible treatment of the Jews. These
were not conveyed as lectures, or as chunks where the author shows off her research knowledge, but were subtly woven into the story as things that shocked young Evie when she first understood what was going on in the true style of her character. A great way to educate teenage readers without boring them, and the perfect excuse to pack more into the plot.

Overall: I found Blundell's style of writing descriptive and engaging. The fun and naivety of Evie's voice at the beginning slowly disappears, and as the unfortunate events unfold she conveys the sense of panic and confusion that a young girl in her position would feel; a marvellous way to set the tone for the book's intriguing ending.

Incidentally, Judy Blundell is not new to the publishing world. For younger readers she has written under the psuedonym Jude Watson, Star Wars Episode I Journal Queen Amidala, which if you are a Star Wars fan, like I am, you'll love! Other books under her belt include the Ne
w York Times bestselling series, 39 Clues 6: In Too Deep (The 39 Clues), written for teenagers.

Finally, the book cover of "What I Saw and How I Lied" is amazing. It has dust jacket, which when removed reveals two colour covers. Even if I had disliked this book, I would have insisted on at least giving three stars and a pint of beer to the book designer. ( )
  SassyBrit | Nov 27, 2018 |
seem to have run out of patience for coming-of-age books, and little-girl-voice narrators NEVER appealed.
  lulaa | Aug 26, 2018 |
A well written book for the teen crowd. Set in post WW2 America it has a historical feel, but the historical components are more of a backstory. Evie is a teen who lives in New York with her knockout mother, better than average stepfather and somewhat annoying step-grandmother. Her stepfather has recently returned from the war and is running a successful business when he decides the family needs a vacation in West Palm Beach, Florida. Oddly the resort area is largely deserted in Fall so things seem a little odd. But once Evie meets Pete who has just returned from the war, and has taken an interest in her, she suddenly isn't missing her New York life. The only negatives for her are her stepfather who strongly dislikes Pete for no apparent reason and her mother who also seems to be catching Pete's eye.

Tension mounts as circumstances lead to a death and a trial. Evie is caught in a web of lies and must choose whether she should go along with the lie or lose her family. Evie is a teen finding herself, falling in love for the first time, and figuring out the life she wants for herself. A colorful cast of characters woven through a catching plot make this a satisfying read. Unfortunately, the 1940s time period might make the book less appealing to teens than other more contemporary coming of age stories. ( )
  valorrmac | May 15, 2018 |
I checked this book out from the local library to read with Modern Mrs Darcy Bookclub. All opinions are my own. What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell 🌟🌟🌟🌟 This was a short, light read that will have you in the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens with Evie. After WWII is over and Evie's stepdad is home they decide a Florida vacation is in order for this New York family. Leaving Grandma at home the three embark on an adventure in the heat of Florida in fall. And 15 year old Evie is amazed and then bored until 23 year old Peter shows up and asks her to dance. Then dinners and movies and soda shops. And oh my how in a 15 year old mind can a story be twisted to be so much more than it really is and just how naive their minds work. But after realizing the truth of matters, Evie has the perfect plot to set it all straight. Review also posted on Instagram @borenbooks, Library Thing, Go Read, Goodreads/StacieBoren, Amazon, Twitter @jason_stacie and my blog at readsbystacie.com ( )
  SBoren | May 9, 2018 |
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Dedication
This book is dedicated to Betsy, Julie, and katherine, tall in their saddles.
First words
The match snapped, then sizzled, and I woke up fast.
Quotations
. . . but you do know, don't you, that it's a crime to be sad under a full moon.
I was an adult now, just like her. But feeling grown up? I discovered something right then: It comes and it goes. I was still afraid of my mom.
Being an adut - was this it? Doing the thing you most in your life didn't want to do, and doing it with a shrug?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0439903467, Hardcover)

Summer's ending, Evie's step-father is finally home from the Second World War, and Evie is tired of her glamorous mother treating her like a little girl. Then a mysterious stranger appears; a handsome ex-GI who served with Evie's step-father. Slowly, Evie realizes that she is falling in love with him - but he has dark secrets, and a strange control over her parents. When he is found dead, Evie's world is shattered. Torn between her family and the man he loved, Evie must betray someone. The question is ...who?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:15 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In 1947, with her jovial stepfather Joe back from the war and family life returning to normal, teenage Evie, smitten by the handsome young ex-GI who seems to have a secret hold on Joe, finds herself caught in a complicated web of lies whose devastating outcome change her life and that of her family forever.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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