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What I Saw And How I Lied
What I Saw And How I Lied
Author: Judy Blundell
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 il...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780439903462
ISBN-10: 0439903467
Publication Date: 11/1/2008
Pages: 288
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 18

3.9 stars, based on 18 ratings
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Members Wishing: 1
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed What I Saw And How I Lied on + 167 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I read this book in one sitting. Absolutely could not put it down. I was immediately caught up in Evie Spooner's life....Sixteen years old, shares secrets with her best friend, just beginning to get boy-crazy, and longs to be more like her mom. Beverly Spooner is a beauty and has the figure of a pin-up girl. She is constantly telling her daughter not to "grow up too fast". Evie yearns to wear lipstick and dresses like her mom.

A sudden spur-of-the moment trip to Palm Beach Florida changes everything. Her stepdad Joe decides they need a vacation, and they head down to Florida. Before the trip, he gets a mysterious phone call....a man wanting to know if he was the same Joe Spooner that he knew from the war. Joe denies it. Then in Florida, the lie catches up with him.

Some ugly truths are revealed, and Evie gets caught smack-dab in the middle of them. However, she is transformed in Palm Beach....she falls in love with a man seven years older than she, her wardrobe changes, thanks to a generous new friend that she meets at the hotel...her life changes dramatically. She becomes older and wiser beyond her sixteen years and her loyalty is put to the ultimate test.

There were several "Oh no!" moments for me while reading this awesome novel. I can't recommend it enough.
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reviewed What I Saw And How I Lied on + 5 more book reviews
Definitely a page turner! An interesting take on WWII and the treatment of Jews. There are too many references to sex for my Catholic school library to include this, but high school students and adults would really enjoy it.
reviewed What I Saw And How I Lied on + 30 more book reviews
I am normally not the one to pick up young adult literature, but What I Saw peaked my interest since it was such a departure from Judy Blundell's famous series. (She penned the Star Wars books under her pen name, Jude Watson)

It is hard to sum up What I Saw without giving away the whole book, but here is a purposely vague outline. Set in 1947, What I Saw is narrated by Evie Spooner, an awkward 15-year old, living with her mother, Beverly, and recently-returned-from-war stepfather, Joe. Joe Spooner is a soldier turned businessman who married Beverly despite his mother's advice; Beverly Spooner was only too happy to find some stability after raising Evie on her own. As for Evie, she languishes in the shade of her mother's gorgeous looks, and yearns to grow up despite Beverly's attempts to keep her as a child for as long as possible. Am impromptu trip to Florida seems like the ideal family vacation, until unexpected events disrupt their lives and change them forever. Hidden discontents are brought to light, secrets uncovered, betrayals recognized and Evie is propelled into adulthood by the lies around her.

What surprised me about What I Saw was how much meaning Judy Blundell was able to pack into this quick read. She masterfully created the 1940's setting - from the prejudices and the notions about the right vs wrong behavior, to the full-skirted dresses cinched at the waist. Blundell also excelled at getting across Evie's longing - for love, for acceptance, for being treated as an equal - and her strong resolve when her world comes crashing around her. And of course, it's the suspense that kept me reading into the wee hours of the night. Each sentence felt like a glimpse of the final outcome, but not quiet, and kept me wondering how the story would turn out.
reviewed What I Saw And How I Lied on + 962 more book reviews
After her stepfather Joe returns home from serving in the Second World War, 15-year-old Evie Spooner believes that things can now return to normal. No more rationing, no more faking, no more worrying with her beautiful mother Bev if he will be in a particular battle on a particular day.

However, things from Joe's war past seem to come back to haunt him, and he spontaneously moves his family down to a hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. There they befriend the Graysons, a wealthy-looking couple, and Peter Coleridge, a handsome young man who knew Joe from the war. Joe doesn't seem to like Peter, and Evie can't figure out why. She certainly likes him very much, as they go out to town together with Bev and occasionally have romantic encounters.

But something is seriously wrong with this group. Lies, betrayals, and hatred arise, culminating in a devastating event that forces Evie to choose whether to be loyal to her parents or be just. Bev can't hide Evie behind a makeup-less face and childish dresses anymore; it's time for Evie to grow up and face the complex adult world.

Judy Blundell packs so much into this small but giant book. Issues regarding anti-Semitism, family loyalty, love, growing up, and lying all come up, among others. While I thought Evie seemed over-the-top naive sometimes with relationship tensions that are obvious to readers, Blundell does a fantastic job of making her grow up through the book. WHAT I SAW AND HOW I LIED is by no means perfect, but it's a good read if you're looking for a historical suspense coming-of-age story.


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