December 10, 2011

What I Saw and How I Lied - Judy Blundell

Young Adult
Pages: 288
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date November 1, 2008

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?

It's not often that you find such a complex book that weaves mystery with historical facts and setting. The book was unbelievably atmospheric, nothing ever makes you doubt the time in which events are happening. Set in the 1940s, this rich tale is written in gorgeous prose and incorporates so many unexpected turns, that I was quite shocked at its resolution.

Evie is a young, naive girl who needs to get some experience into her life, just when her stepfather returns from WWII. They take a trip and she falls in love, and then you'll be so confused and expectant, that you'll need to finish it right away. For me, the first half of the novel felt slow and rather pointless at the time, but then it surprised me so much, that I ended up loving the second half.

A story that brings out and makes you ponder how much you can actually know a person, and how much you can affect their lives. It's so frustrating, or it was to me, thinking about how, when you really think about it, you cannot know what happens--what really happens-- when you're not present. How a lie, a simple lie, can change things and change people. Really, the plot was brilliantly though-out.

Overall, it was a graceful and emotional book about choices that will envelop you in its post-war setting.


  1. Ooh, I've got this one on my summer reading list. Cannot wait to get into it - I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I adore historical YA, so glad you're hosting the challenge again for 2012. ;)

  2. I have had this on my TBR for so long! I really need to bump it up, because it sounds great! I read Strings Attached and really enjoyed it.

  3. I had this book on my to-read list for your Historical Fiction Challenge 2011 and didn't get around to it. I will definitely make sure it's read for the 2012 challenge.


Say something...