Book Review: What I Saw and How I Lied (*National Book Award Winner) by Judy Blundell

Title: What I Saw and How I Lied
Author: Judy Blundell
Genre: YA Fiction
Page Count: 300 pages
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: February 1, 2010

Publisher’s Summary: National Book Award Winner | 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.

My Thoughts: I’m going to be honest: I stayed up all night to read this book. Totally threw away any chance at feeling normal and having any energy left the next day. And was it worth it? Heck yes. I even used the last hour the babysitter was here, when I got done with my work earlier than expected, to finish the book. Again, worth it. This is simply a fantastically-written YA noir mystery, full of lust, lies, murder and betrayal…but oh, so subtly, with all the right hints hidden in all the right, tight spaces. I don’t know how the author did it. Noir? In a novel? YA-style? You betcha.

This historical YA book was delicious. The writing was hypnotic. I actually felt like I was watching a black-and-white movie full of Old Hollywood secrets and glamor. It even gave me that same creepy feeling as reading & watching the original “Lolita”. I felt all of Evie’s emotions along with her: her swooning, if not misguided, first love; the burn of betrayal; the guilt and shame of her mistakes, the earnestness in her heart, the pressures of her family and all of their dark drama.  I can’t wait to see what else this incredibly gifted author has written.

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