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What I Saw And How I Lied

by Judy Blundell

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1,4921259,904 (3.76)75
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)
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Showing 1-5 of 124 (next | show all)
Two starts means, "it was okay" and that is what this was. The interesting part didn't really happen until the last 80 pages or so of the book. Not that the rest was uninteresting, but for the title, the cover, the mysterious author and pen name such on the back, and the big golden award slapped on the front, I expected a bit more.

Evie, the main character was strong and interesting but she also sort of bothered me. Mostly in the way that all teen girls at the center of novels who fall in love within a matter of minutes with the hunky new boy. I am not a romance person. It goes against my girl DNA, but its the truth. And teenage girl love mostly makes me want to vomit and shake them to get them to shut up about the color of his eyes or the muscle in his arms etc. The problem for me is that most of the novel was Evie loves Peter and I didn't buy it. The last 80 pages were interesting but the novel left me feeling a bit annoyed and like it was sort of unresolved. I dunno, I didn't hate it, it was a quick read and most of it kept my interest but it wasn't the best thing I ever read. ( )
  banrions | Dec 7, 2021 |
too much language and sex references. ( )
  fancifulgirl | Apr 24, 2020 |
This was truly a great book. Evie Spooner is living with her mother during World War II. After the war, her stepfather returns from war bringing with him many secrets. Her stepfather's former war buddy, Peter, begins to call and try to see them. Joe, Evie's stepdad, whisks the family off to Florida with barely time to pack or say goodbye to friends. Once in Florida, the family finds that Peter has followed them and quickly uses his charms to befriend Evie and her mother, Bev. When Peter goes missing in a boating accident, suspicions land on Joe and Bev.

The setting was what I loved most. Post WWII Palm Beach comes alive with all of the glamour of that era. The "mystery" was great, even though it wasn't too hard to guess the details. ( )
  BookishHooker | Dec 16, 2019 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 124 (next | show all)
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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.
. . . 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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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.

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