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Customer Reviews for

What I Saw and How I Lied

Average Rating 4
( 81 )
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5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

A Good Book if I Ever Saw One

This book first caught my eye about a year ago. It sat on my bookshelf, like many other books I have read and thoroughly enjoyed, for a very long time. I picked it up and began reading it and I was blown away. This book was good. There aren't too many books out there th...
This book first caught my eye about a year ago. It sat on my bookshelf, like many other books I have read and thoroughly enjoyed, for a very long time. I picked it up and began reading it and I was blown away. This book was good. There aren't too many books out there that I have found that portrays this period of time (after WWII). It was well-written, carefully planned, and, although the reader did sort of know what was coming for the characters, we still should be able to enjoy the book. Evie reflects us all: although we might not fall in love with an older man necessarily, we do become blinded by love at some point and sometimes, the outcome of that love is devastating. This was a fantastic book and I would recommend it to all of my friends.

posted by Abagail_Ree on December 2, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

Bad...no, Really Bad!

Eww! This book was terrible! It had no plot and was only interesting in maybe, the last 50 pages. I would've put it down so quickly if it wasn't so short. The characters are stupid and pointless. The main character, Evie, falls in love a 20 something year old man, when ...
Eww! This book was terrible! It had no plot and was only interesting in maybe, the last 50 pages. I would've put it down so quickly if it wasn't so short. The characters are stupid and pointless. The main character, Evie, falls in love a 20 something year old man, when she's only 15! So, the romance was stupid. You got no connection to any of the characters. Evie's so eager to grow up, she turns into someone like her mother, who's a total slut! (HEr mom is secretly dating the same man Evie thinks she's dating, and her mom's married to her current step-father!) When something serious happens to her family, she finds out secrets that her dad stole from Jews in the war, and that's how they have the money to live. And, that her mom's a two-timing w***re. Evie herself tends to take after her mom. Just, take my advice, don't waste your time reading this!!!!

posted by kajJK on December 27, 2008

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  • Posted July 8, 2012

    okay i thought this book was really good i found this in my scho

    okay i thought this book was really good i found this in my school library and it caught my eye so i checked it out and i absolutely loved it but one thing i was sad about was peter found dead and the mother being such a slut -.- oh well anyway the book was really great (:

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2012

    Quite good.

    I found this book interesting from the get-go, and it got even better! I enjoyed the saucy-ness of the plot, the sudden twists that lifted the already high rating. If you think that me only giving it four stars isn't enough, keep in mind that i've only ever giving one book five out of five stars, and i read a book every two days and i rate them all. The only thing i didn't like about What I Saw and How I Lied is that it was too short in my opinion and it could've made the realationship between peter and evie longer that a week, so that his death would've had a bigger impact on her emotionally, cause lets face it: she will meet someone else. She can't mope around for the rest of her life over her first realationship. I think any ADULT would agree. Obvisly teens who have just lost there first love would highly disagree, but you'll have alot of boyfriends/girlfriends, so get over it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    Oh haha

    The model for the cover is the same model that is on the covet of some of the clique books

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    I absolutely loved this book! I read it when I was twelve, and a

    I absolutely loved this book! I read it when I was twelve, and a year later, I still love it! I only have one complaint- one of the scenes
    in the book is rather dirty, and another is, but to a lesser degree. Although I had no problems with the 'girliness' of the story, most
    boys would probably not like that. This book is good for anyone 12 and older.

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  • Posted February 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    from missprint.wordpress.com

    Every good book should start with a good story. In the case of What I Saw and How I Lied (2008) by Judy Blundell, it actually starts with two. This is Blundell's debut novel although, under pen names, she has written many other titles. In a School Library Journal article, Blundell said that this was the first book that felt like it was hers. How wonderful then to also have it win the National Book Award for Young People's Literature and receive accolades from all over. (Plus, the book was edited by David Levithan, himself a YA author/editor extraordinaire).

    But that's just the backstory. What I Saw and How I Lied also has an excellent actual story.

    The year is 1947, the place Queens, New York. For fifteen-year-old Evie Spooner, it feels like life has gone back to normal. Her step-father Joe is back from the War, Evie's blonde bombshell mother Barb is back to playing housewife, and Joe's mother is annoying everyone. All everyday, mundane things.

    That changes when Joe announces suddenly that the family is going to take a trip to Florida. When Peter Coleridge, a dashing ex-GI who served with Joe, finds the family, Evie knows that things will never be mundane again. The close Evie gets to Peter, the more secrets she finds--not only Peter's but also secrets surrounding her own family.

    As the events of the novel come to a head Evie has to face these secrets and the lies told to keep them. The more she learns about the truth, and the lies, the more Evie wonders if truth has anything to do with loyalty.

    The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover with its heroine steeped in shadows. It is the epitome of film noir (hardboiled fiction when in written form), a fitting choice since this novel is nothing if not noir.

    The writing here is taut, fraught with tension and even a bit of suspense right from the beginning. Every word here matters. If ever I met someone who suggested that writing was not an art, this book would be part of my argument to the contrary.

    Sometimes novels told in retrospect, which is basically the case here, can be boring because the narrator keeps complaining about the things they didn't know. Evie is made of stronger stuff. Instead of bemoaning the things she missed the first time around, she simply lays out the events as they happened. This makes Evie's perspective on things look a bit naive. At the same time it also gives the book a certain honesty because, like Evie, we learn that everything is not as it seems as the story progresses.

    Blundell also uses a lot of foreshadowing in her novel. In the wrong hands foreshadow is another writing technique that can go horribly wrong. In What I Saw and How I Lied it only adds to the suspense and complexity of the writing--writing that is both poignant and beautiful (while evoking the atmosphere and mood of 1947 in both New York and Florida).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    You don't know..

    As in most books this one pulled me in with its drama and romance. It has so many twists that I just could not put the book down! I finished it in one sitting. While reading you think you know what is going to happen but you don't!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    kool

    i thought it was good.....but some parts of the book were weird..but overall it was a really good book... it would make a good movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2011

    Best book ever :) !!!

    It is the best book i have ever in my life read i read it exactly 25times and 7-10ths of it the first week it came out because its so good i rcemend it for the ages 11+ so glade to help every one so i love you alll love the athors assosate rikki

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2011

    Good

    I enjoyed the book but at the ending she tried to hard. Otherwise the book was well written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2011

    Tries too hard

    Loved the first 2/3 of this book. Then it turns from being a kind of coming of age story to a poorly developed and predictable mystery. Wish the author would have stayed on track.

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  • Posted September 1, 2011

    entertaining, and thrilling- highly recommended

    Great, this book was full of surprises from beginning to end. I liked the fact that it was never predictable. In the beginning of the book you might assume one thing and towards the end you realize everything you thought was a lie. The only thing that I disliked about the story is that it is very cliché, but other than that it is a good book and I highly recommend it. You cannot go wrong when picking this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2011

    Highly Recommended!!!!

    I don't know what all the bad reviews are about!! I absolutely loved this book!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2011

    didn't read it till the end

    i thought this would grab my attention for sure since my librarian recommended it and it had a medal but when i started reading, it was definitely disappointing. i couldn't even read it till the end to find out all the mysteries and stuff. too boring!

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  • Posted August 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Suspenseful and Elegant Coming-of-Age Story

    What I Saw and How I Lied was an excellent novel. It definitely deserved the National Book Award and rave reviews it recieved. The novel is narrated by Evie, a fifteen-year-old girl growing up in the 1940s. It begins with Evie and her family being in the papers for something the reader doesn't know about and then it goes back it time to when it all began. This was a literary technique that Blundell used to her advantage; it made the reader that much more excited to find out what happened.

    Evie lives with her beautiful mother, Beverly, her stepfather, Joe, and her domineering step-grandmother, Grandma Glad. World War II ended two years ago and they're trying to be a happy family now that Joe has returned from the war. One day Joe decides to treat Evie and Beverly to a trip in Palm Beach, and they pack up and leave their home in Queens. Evie discovers that they chose an unpopular time to go to Palm Beach and the hotel they are staying at is the only one open in what seems like a ghost town. Their stay is lasting for an indefinite amount of time, and just when things get boring, Peter Coleridge shows up, a sophisticated army buddy of Joe's that her step-father is less than happy to see.

    Evie has a crush on Peter that soon develops into an illicit romance. Evie wants to be treated more like an adult and be privy to the world of grown-ups, even as her mother tries to baby her. And it is here, so far from home, that Evie starts to learn secrets about her family and life as she knew it begins to unravel. This taut, elegant thriller kept my interest the whole time. Judy Blundell has a way with words and figurative language and all of her characters are layered and dynamic. Evie's desperate wish to grow up faster and her confusion as to what she should believe made her a sympathetic character. The reader is immersed in the fully realized setting of the 1940s, with references to movie stars like Barbara Stanwyk and slogans for lipsticks that were used during the time. With a twist towards end that you can't see coming, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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  • Posted November 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Thrilling Adventure. Awesome look into the 1940's

    What I Saw and How I Lied is a small yet powerful glimpse into the life of a 1940's teenager who simply would like to prove that she is not a baby like her parents treat her.

    Very well-written story, lovely cover that most certainly catches your attention, and a nice book report read!

    I believed I got this through a school book order and it said something about mature content. It's only a kissing scene if I can remember correctly. Nothing obscene. However, the story line is a bit difficult for a ten year old to comprehend, so I'd say ages 12 and up.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent

    I was first intrigued by this book when I read the title. I looked so interesting I just couldn't help but read it. I was definitely not disappointed. What I Saw and How I Lied has mystery, suspense, and drama. The plot is very well written and the love story will capture your heart. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2009

    A web of lies... a collage of secrets...

    The war has ended, and Evie Spooner seems to have it all. She has a beautiful mother, and a rich stepfather. Everything seems fine when the three of them travel to Florida, to start afresh, forever how temporarily. But things darken, and as they say, the plot thickens, when the Spooners meet the Graysons, and Peter. Evie falls in love with Peter, an ex-GI who says she's "irresistible." They continue to meet in secret, because Evie's stepfather Joe will have none of this puppy love. And Mr. Grayson and Joe seem to get a deal together. But everything turns around when it is discovered that the Graysons are Jews, and they are kicked out of the hotel all of them are staying at. And then there is an accident, an accident that causes the death of Peter. Joe is charged with murder, and Evie's mother is charged with adultery. Evie finds herself in the middle of a web of lies, a collage of secrets, and a choice. She can tell the truth, or, she can lie...

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    Great book that kept me guessing and exclaiming the whole time

    Evie is a fifteen year old girl who can't wait to grow up and be like her beautiful mom. Evie's step-father takes them to Palm Beach where she meets Peter, a twenty-three year old that knew her step-father during the war. She falls in love with Peter, and becomes even more eager to grow up. A woman staying at the hotel with Evie helps her. Evie is convinced that Peter has fallen in love with her, too. But when tradgedy strikes and the whole story of what's been going on with other members of her family comes out, Evie doesn't know who to trust, what to do, or what she can believe. A fantastic book that I loved for every second.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2009

    review

    review

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2008

    I was turning the pages almost as fast as the hurricane of lies began appearing in Evie┬┐s life.

    ¿The match snapped, then sizzled, and I woke up fast. I heard my mother inhale as she took a long pull on a cigarette. Her lips stuck on the filter, so I knew she was still wearing lipstick. She¿d been up all night.¿<BR/> In the 2008 National Book Award winner, What I Saw and How I Lied, readers take a step back in time to 1947 and dive into the life of Evie Spooner, a 15-year-old who cannot wait to grow up. She wants to wear bright red lipstick and practices smoking with candy cigarettes. She wants to be beautiful and fall in love. She wants to be just like her gorgeous bombshell mother. Her perfect and happy life comes to a halt when her stepfather receives an urgent call, and packs up the family to Florida, even though the town is remotely isolated and hurricane season is near. While in Florida, she not only meets and falls in love with the wonderful Peter, but also discovers some secrets behind her family. Surprisingly, Peter is a World War Two army buddy of her stepfather, who greatly disapproves of Evie being around Peter, for reasons Evie is not sure about. However, after a boating accident results in a suspicious death and an investigation on the Spooner family, Evie is forced to decide between the loyalty to her family and the man she loves.<BR/> Judy Blundell¿s descriptive of setting is so easy to picture that while reading the book you feel as if you are watching a movie in your mind. Falling in love with the character of Evie is an experience you can never forget. You hope she makes the right decisions but you are dying to know what would happen if she dangerously turned the other way. At points in the book you try to decide what way would you have taken if you were in Evie¿s place, and trust me it is not a very easy decision.<BR/> I was hesitant to read this book because I am not very interested in murder mystery books. I figured it would be some dumb storyline of a detective trying to discover who the dead body was. Nevertheless, the intriguing cover caught my eye, and after I read the second paragraph of the story line on the inside cover of the book, and discovered it was a little about teenage romance, I was hooked. The beginning was slow for me, but then before I could even realize it got extremely exciting and I was turning the pages almost as fast as the hurricane of lies began appearing in Evie¿s life. I read this book fairly quick and am determined to read it again soon and see if I myself can discover the clues to the mystery deep in the text. I recommend this book for any reader who enjoys a combination of a little bit of mystery, a journey for discovering what is true and what is a lie, and remembrance of feelings of falling in love for the first time.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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