review: “what i saw and how i lied” September 11, 2009Posted by Katie in reviews.
Tags: historical fiction
What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell.
Scholastic // Hardcover // 288 pages.
Reviewed from library copy.
Evie’s family is newly reunited again, after the conclusion of World War II. To celebrate, her stepfather Joe offers to take the family on an off-season vacation to Florida. Evie longs to be an adult, and begins a flirtation with Peter, a fellow soldier from the army. But secrets are being kept and everyone’s agenda is not what it seems. When a tragedy strikes the group, Evie is called upon to remember exactly what has transpired…right as she begins to understand that she really doesn’t know her family at all.
Any summary that I could write about this book could not live up to the actual text. The story is so concise and meaningful all at the same time. Short sentences make it an easy read, but teens who read the words carefully will appreciate the complex nature of the story.
Evie is a character that teens will be able to connect, to her longing to grow up and be an adult. I actually see the book working on two levels. Young teens will be drawn immediately to Evie’s personality. Older teens will be drawn towards the intrigue and thriller-esque events as they quickly unfold. This is not to say that it’s a novel written for younger teens. It’s definitely a story for older teens, and I hope they will be able to look past Evie’s naivety as they read.
The cover is a hard sell as my library, but the title is catchy and even more appropriate after reading the book. For me, this will be an easy booktalk; it’ll only take one sentence. “What do you do when you find out your parents aren’t who you thought they were?” Teens will eat it up, no questions about it.