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The Resource What I saw and how I lied, by Judy Blundell

What I saw and how I lied, by Judy Blundell

Label
What I saw and how I lied
Title
What I saw and how I lied
Statement of responsibility
by Judy Blundell
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In 1947, with her jovial stepfather Joe back from the war and family life returning to normal, teenaged Evie, smitten by the handsome young ex-GI who seems to have a secret hold on Joe, finds herself caught in a complicated web of lies whose devastating outcome changes her life and that of her family forever
Tone
Writing style
Award
  • National Book Award for Young People's Literature, 2008.
  • YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2011
  • YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2009
  • School Library Journal Best Books, 2008.
Review
  • Gr. 8-12 In this sophisticated thriller, 15-year-old Evie grows up quickly when she discovers her adored parents are not the people she thought they were. While on vacation in Palm Beach in 1947, Evie's parents, Joe and Bev, get involved in a shady business deal with the Graysons, another couple on holiday. Meanwhile, Evie begins a flirtation with Peter, a handsome ex-GI who served with Joe and just happens to be staying at their hotel. Evie soon learns that Peter's presence is no coincidence and that he threatens to uncover a terrible secret that Joe has kept since the war. Then Bev, Joe, and Peter go boating, but only two of them return. Evie must sort through secrets, lies, and her own grief to find the truth. Using pitch-perfect dialogue and short sentences filled with meaning, Blundell has crafted a suspenseful, historical mystery that not only subtly explores issues of post—WWII racism, sexism, and socioeconomic class, but also realistically captures the headiness of first love and the crushing realization that adults are not all-powerful. -- Hubert, Jennifer (Reviewed 11-01-2008) (Booklist, vol 105, number 5, p36)
  • /* Starred Review */ Gr 9 Up— In 1947, 15-year-old Evie, her mother, Bev, and her stepfather, Joe, leave Brooklyn for a vacation in Palm Beach, FL, during the off season. There they meet Arlene and Tom Grayson, who lavish attention on the family and convince Joe to go into the hotel business with them. When Peter, an army acquaintance of Joe's, appears, Evie is smitten by his charm and attention. Her budding interest in romance, while protectively discouraged by her parents, is actually encouraged by Arlene, who helps Evie develop a sense of style. Evie enjoys her outings with Peter and interprets her mother's insinuating presence as protective, when in reality Bev is having an affair with the younger man. Joe's jealous distrust of his wife, established while he was at war in Europe, does not obviate the intimacy between Bev and Peter. Evie's closeness to her mother will not permit her to acknowledge the affair even when it becomes impossible to deny. Meanwhile pervading anti-Semitism sours the hotel deal, and the Graysons are forced out of Palm Beach. When Joe insists on one last boat trip, Peter dies during a storm and Joe is accused of murder. It is during the ensuing hearing that Evie learns that adults, even those closest to her, are not always what they seem. Blundell navigates this multidimensional plotline with unique, well-developed characters and insightful dialogue. Yet it is Evie and her rapidly maturing perception of herself and those around her that carry the story. In many ways she becomes the adult in the group, motivated by truth and justice rather than greed or superficial appearances.—Sue Lloyd, Franklin High School Library, Livonia, MI --Sue Lloyd (Reviewed December 1, 2008) (School Library Journal, vol 54, issue 12, p119)
  • /* Starred Review */ Blundell, author of Star Wars novelizations, turns out a taut, noirish mystery/coming-of-age story set in 1947; it's easy to picture it as a film starring Lana Turner, who is mentioned in these pages. When first met, 15-year-old Evie and her best friend are buying chocolate cigarettes to practice smoking. Evie sheds that innocence on a trip to Florida, where her stepfather, Joe, back from the war in Europe, abruptly takes her and her beautiful mother, Beverly, and where Evie falls in love with glamorous Peter, an army buddy whom Joe is none too happy to see. But after a boating accident results in a suspicious death and an inquest, Evie is forced to revisit her romance with Peter and her relationships with Joe and her mother, and to consider that her assumptions about all three may have been wrong from the beginning. Blundell throws Evie's inexperience into high relief with slangy, retro dialogue: Peter calls Evie “pussycat”; Beverly says her first husband “kicked through love like it was dust and he kept on walking.” Readers can taste Evie's alienation and her yearning; it's a stylish, addictive brew. Ages 12–up. (Nov.) --Staff (Reviewed September 29, 2008) (Publishers Weekly, vol 255, issue 39, p83)
  • Spontaneously moving to Florida seems like a dream come true to 15-year-old Evie, her mother, Beverly, and her stepfather, Joe, newly home from World War II. They move into a mostly abandoned hotel in Palm Beach, where Evie meets her first crush, Peter, a war buddy of Joe's. After a deal with a New York hotel owner falls through, Peter dies, and Joe and Beverly become murder suspects. What Evie sees turns out not to be much at all, and how she lies about it takes up a grand total of ten pages. In fact, what she sees are only small, deceptive fragments of a larger scandal involving money that Joe and Peter stole during the war, fragments left for the reader to piece together. Awkward Evie, slowly gaining worldliness through her new surroundings, is interesting to follow, but the book falls prey to too many conventions: The first major plot twist comes at exactly the halfway point, a second plot twist around the three-quarter mark, and the denouement contains just the required amount of symbolism. Disappointing. (Mystery/historical fiction. YA) (Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2008)
Awards note
National Book Award, 2008.
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
289458
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Blundell, Judy
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Intended audience
  • HL
  • 620
Intended audience source
Lexile
LC call number
PZ7.B627146
LC item number
Wh 2008
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 9
  • 12
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Coming of age
  • Family problems
  • Secrets
  • Historical fiction
  • Florida
  • Florida
Target audience
adolescent
Label
What I saw and how I lied, by Judy Blundell
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
284 p.
Isbn
9780439903462
Lccn
2008008503
System control number
(OCoLC)225846561
Label
What I saw and how I lied, by Judy Blundell
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
284 p.
Isbn
9780439903462
Lccn
2008008503
System control number
(OCoLC)225846561

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      85 Literary Lane, Newnan, GA, 30265, US
      33.38561 -84.669793

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