Book Review: What I Saw and How I Lied
By: Judy Blundell
Narrated By: Caitlin Greer
Published By: Scholastic
Publication Date: October 2009
Audio Length: 6 hours, 25 minutes
Audience: Young Adult - Historical Fiction
On the Writing & Audio:
My first experience with Judy Blundell's writing was Strings Attached, which I loved. I decided I needed to go back and read this book as well. I'm so glad I did. I really enjoyed Evie's story - even though it kept me on pins and needles. Blundell is a master of period pieces. She is able to transport the reader into the past in such a way where you are as immersed in the experience as the characters who are living in that time. The focus of this book is more on Evie and the mystery, but you still learn a fair amount about life in 1947.
What I Saw and How I Lied is at its core a coming of age story. At fifteen, Evie is on the cusp of adulthood, but she still has a lot of youthful tendencies as well. She desperately wants to grow up, but her parents continue to treat her as a child. A trip to Florida will change the family dynamics and force Evie to leave her trusting innocence behind. Its always difficult to learn that people often have a dark side. Evie must accept that people she loves dearly aren't the people she thought they were. Its a truly difficult thing to understand when those we love the most let us down. The family dynamics in this one were one of the elements that kept me listening so intently. I knew that each one of the members of Evie's family (including Evie) were flawed. I wanted to see how these flaws would impact the plot and their choices.
The strongest element of this book is Evie. She is a dynamic narrator that I truly enjoyed. I didn't agree with all of her choices, but by the end of the book I knew that she was something special. Evie has a strength by the end that leads me to believe that she will be okay and that one day she will be one of the people who changes the world.
The feel of this book conjure images of silver screen movies and lazy beach days. I loved spending time in this world and often wish I could take time machine back to experience the past. I don't think I would want to remain in 1947, but it would be interesting to see it first hand. I am a history nerd so books like this are perfect reads for me. The writing in this one is superb.
On the Audio:
Caitlin Greer did a fabulous job bringing this story to life. Her voice is perfect for Evie - it holds just enough innocence. I would highly recommend the audio version of this one. Also, I would listen to other works by Greer without hesitation.
One Last Gripe: I really wanted an answer concerning what happened on the boat
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The experience - I felt transported to 1947 Florida
First Sentence: The match snapped, then sizzled, and I woke up fast.
Favorite Character: Evie
Least Favorite Character: Wally
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.