Saturday, September 5, 2009

What I Saw And How I Lied by Judy Blundell

What I Saw And How I Lied by Judy Blundell.
Publisher: Scholastic Press.
Pages: 288.
When Evie's father returned home from World War II, the family fell back into its normal life pretty quickly. But Joe Spooner brought more back with him than just good war stories. When movie-star handsome Peter Coleridge, a young ex-GI who served in Joe's company in postwar Austria, shows up, Evie is suddenly caught in a complicated web of lies that she only slowly recognizes. She finds herself falling for Peter, ignoring the secrets that surround him . . . until a tragedy occurs that shatters her family and breaks her life in two.

As she begins to realize that almost everything she believed to be a truth was really a lie, Evie must get to the heart of the deceptions and choose between her loyalty to her parents and her feelings for the man she loves. Someone will have to be betrayed. The question is . . . who?

The story, though very interesting and well written, didn’t really hook me. Everything was paved out, and it was so easy to guess what was going to happen next. At the end of the chapter, I never felt the incredible urge to read the next one, which was disappointing. But in no means is it a bad story.

I can definitely see why it won a National Book Award. Evie, the narrator, was a very easy character to like. Though she’s a lot more old fashioned than teens nowadays, since the story was set back 1940’s, she’s a great depiction of a future-crazed fifteen year old. Her relationship with a much older Peter is something that no matter how wrong it is, you can’t help but root for. This is definitely not a love story; instead, it’s more of a tale of deception. Though I had mistakenly read a big spoiler in another review, the audacity of Bev, Evie’s mother, and Joe’s actions really made me gasp.

I don’t think I would’ve placed this in the young adult genre. I felt as if this was something I would’ve read in high school, but don’t let that stop you from reading! There are no huge surprises, no shockers and huge plot twists- but it’s still a really good story. The writing is simple, which some people like. I’m partial to heavier literacy, but that’s just me. She makes it impossible for you to become confused. It’s an easy read, and to be honest, I even learned a few things about WW II, that I didn’t before- and that’s always a cool bonus!

If you’re only into heavy romance, supernatural creatures and teenage angst- this isn’t the story for you. I think knowing exactly what I was picking up when I did, I probably wouldn’t have gotten it. But I don’t regret it at all- What I Saw And How I Lied kept me entertained, and overall, I liked it more than I thought I would.


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