Monday, January 5, 2009

What I Saw and How I Lied

I had a lot of things on my to-do list yesterday, and none of them happened. I blame this on Judy Blundell. I woke up with the kids, started reading What I Saw and How I Lied, and didn't stop reading until I finished the book last night.

When Evie's stepfather Joe Spooner returns from WWII, everything seems to be great. He owns three appliance stores in Queens, he and her mom Bev are happy together, and Evie can't wait to turn 16. Then one night, Joe packs the family up for an impromptu vacation to Palm Beach, Florida. While there, a handsome young ex-soldier named Peter appears and befriends the Spooner family. But friendship isn't all that Evie is interested in, and an undercurrent of tension runs between Joe and Peter. Soon everything Evie knows about her mother and Joe is called into question, and she must decide what is most important to her.

Part coming-of-age, part historical fiction, and part crime drama, this 2008 National Book Award winner for young people's literature has something for everyone. The pacing of this novel is superb from beginning to end, and the characterization is excellent, from main players to supporting members of the novel. Highly recommended for ages 14 and up.


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