Several months ago I was browsing at Barnes & Noble and came across “What I Saw and How I Lied” by Judy Blundell. After reading the description I thought it sounded interesting and sent myself an email home on my Blackberry so I’d remember the title and author. Fast forward several months and I found myself browsing a blog (it’s killing me I can’t find the blog where I saw this so I could link to the review!) that had a favorable review of this. So, I decided to put it on reserve at the library.
Inside Book Flap:
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 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 loyalty to her parents and feelings for a man she loves. Someone will have to betrayed. The question is...who?
It was interesting reading a novel about the timeframe just after WWII – I just don’t come in contact with much media that dwells on that time in history. I thought this book moved along very well and it certainly kept my interest. However, I had a hard time suspending belief that a 23-year-old soldier would shower affections on a nearly 16-year-old teenage girl. Granted this perception was from the 16-year-old’s point of view so it was a bit warped, but overall it was just sort of creepy and not believable for me.
Nonetheless, there were enough twists and turns in this YA book to have made it worth my while to read. That's probably why it was named a National Book Award winner in young people's literature. It was a fast, easy read that was a nice departure from some of the "heavy" books I’ve read lately.
Worth reading? Yes, if you like YA
Worth buying my own copy? No
Recommend to friends? No (I don’t think most women my age would like it.)
Stars: 3 out of 5