What I Saw and How I Lied

What I Saw and How I Lied

by Judy Blundell

Paperback(Reprint)

$10.99
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Tuesday, May 28

Overview

This National Book Award winner set during the aftermath of WWII is now available in paperback!

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780439903486
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 01/01/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 383,591
Product dimensions: 5.26(w) x 8.04(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author


Judy Blundell's WHAT I SAW AND HOW I LIED is the 2008 winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. As Jude Watson, she is the author of several titles in the New York Times bestselling 39 Clues series as well as the bestselling Star Wars: Last of the Jedi and Jedi Quest series. She lives in Katonah, New York.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
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.

She lay on the bed next to me. I felt her fingers on my hair and I kept sleep-breathing. I risked a look under my eyelashes.

She was in her pink nightgown, ankles crossed, head flung back against the pillows. Arm in the air, elbow bent, cigarette glowing in her fingers. Tanned legs glistening in the darkness. Blond hair tumbling past her shoulders.

I breathed in smoke and My Sin perfume. It was her smell. It filled the air. I didn't move, but I could tell she knew I was awake. I kept on pretending to be asleep. She pretended not to know.

I breathed in and out, perfume and smoke, perfume and smoke, and we lay like that for a long time until I heard the seagulls crying, sadder than a funeral, and I knew it was almost morning.

We never went to the hotel dining room now. They knew who we were; they'd seen our pictures in the paper. We knew they'd be saying, Look at them eating toast -- how can they be so heartless?

I rode a bike down to the beach instead. In the basket I had a bottle of cream soda and two Baby Ruths. Breakfast.

The sky was full of stacked gray clouds and the air tasted like a nickel. The sun hadn't had time to bake the wetness from the sand. I had the place to myself. Me and the fishermen. Peter and I had watched them surfcasting together. One day, one of them had brought him home. When Alice fell down the rabbit hole, she fell slow. She had time to notice things on her way down -- Oh, there's a teacup! There's a table! So things seemed almost normal to her while she was falling. Then she bumped down and rolled into Wonderland, and all hell broke loose.

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.

She lay on the bed next to me. I felt her fingers on my hair and I kept sleep-breathing. I risked a look under my eyelashes.

She was in her pink nightgown, ankles crossed, head flung back against the pillows. Arm in the air, elbow bent, cigarette glowing in her fingers. Tanned legs glistening in the darkness. Blond hair tumbling past her shoulders.

I breathed in smoke and My Sin perfume. It was her smell. It filled the air. I didn't move, but I could tell she knew I was awake. I kept on pretending to be asleep. She pretended not to know.

I breathed in and out, perfume and smoke, perfume and smoke, and we lay like that for a long time until I heard the seagulls crying, sadder than a funeral, and I knew it was almost morning.

We never went to the hotel dining room now. They knew who we were; they'd seen our pictures in the paper. We knew they'd be saying, Look at them eating toast -- how can they be so heartless?

I rode a bike down to the beach instead. In the basket I had a bottle of cream soda and two Baby Ruths. Breakfast.

The sky was full of stacked gray clouds and the air tasted like a nickel. The sun hadn't had time to bake the wetness from the sand. I had the place to myself. Me and the fishermen. Peter and I had watched them surfcasting together. One day, one of them had brought him home. When Alice fell down the rabbit hole, she fell slow. She had time to notice things on her way down -- Oh, there's a teacup! There's a table! So things seemed almost normal to her while she was falling. Then she bumped down and rolled into Wonderland, and all hell broke loose.

I'd noticed things on the way down, too. I'd seen it all -- the way he took off his hat, the way he lit her cigarette, the way she walked away, her scarf trailing in her hand. Flower petals and a pineapple vase.

Now I had to look at it again. This time without me in it, wanting things to go my way.

So I've got to start from the very beginning. The day before we left for Florida. Just an ordinary day.

Excerpt from What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell. Scholastic Inc./Scholastic Press. Copyright (c) 2008 by Judy Blundell. Reprinted by permission.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

What I Saw and How I Lied 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 143 reviews.
Abagail_Ree More than 1 year ago
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.
aj95 More than 1 year ago
This is a really good book.The title alone is intriuging enough to make you curious about the story. The beginng is is a little slow but then picks up. This story will hold your intrest from cover to cover with its adultry,blackmail and homicide. I HIGLY recomend.
JlE21 More than 1 year ago
Tugging me along with the 1940's, Judy Blundell's novel What I Saw and How i Lied told a perfect tale through an innocent 15 year old, Evelyn Spooner. Joe, her stepdad, helped force the family back into normality with the homecoming from serving in World War II. When the war started following Joe home every night with a strikingly handsome young ex-GI, Peter Coleridge, he decides to uproot Evie and his glamorous, blonde-bombshell wife Bev from their home in Queens to a vacation resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Being caught in the middle of a nightmare of lies, Evie must pick her way through the mess and decide whats truly important too her. I strongly recommend this book for anyone that enjoys a twisted plot and an oblivious main character. This hard to put down novel continued to draw me in until the very end. The ending also was extremely pleasing and wrapped everything up perfectly. Judy Blundells way of describing is simply captivating and makes you feel as if you were right there experiencing everything as it came at Evie. What I Saw and How I Lied is a must read that will keep you engaged until the last page.
Anne_Marie1899 More than 1 year ago
What I saw and How I Lied wasn't as good as I thought it would be. All the reviews online made me interested and excited to read this book, but all in all it was a let down. The first few chapters make you excited to see what's going to happen, but as the story progresses you know exactly what's going to happen and when. I really wouldn't recommend this book to anyone, unless they were going to get it to read from a library... Don't waste your time or money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a brilliant book—these are the reasons why: 1. Evie and the other characters. Evie's the narrarator and you can really feel her; she's awkward, shy, hopelessly naive, lovestruck dumb. The author really managed to flesh her out into a real human being, tangiable and real. Evie in turn does the same for the other characters: Peter, her mother, Joe. 2. This sounds like it was written in 1947. She uses the slang and language of the era, the feel: the glamour, the grit, the hopefulness and the hopelessness. 3. The plot. I honestly got this because I thought I would get a love story. But there's so much more. It's not just a whodunnit, it's a whodunwhat. And there's no happy ending. It ends with Evie, content but not happy, innocence gone, illusions shattered, old and young. It's real.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BEST BOOK IN THE WORLD!!!!! Took a slow start,then the book really pulls you in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When i read all the reviews i was happy to read this book. Although when i started to read this book it started to bore me. I wanted to put it down but i forced myself to read it. I just wasted my money and time on this book. So i don't really recomend this book, but if you want you can risk your time and read it. Just check it out from the library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!!!
alanajoli More than 1 year ago
Billed as a young adult novel, this coming of age story is an incredibly in-the-monent depiction of life post World War II. The mystery element borrows a shade of hard-boiled feel, and the themes--murder, adultery, and questing for truth--have as great a chance to appeal to an adult audience as to the teens the book is marketed to.

For some further discussion, feel free to visit my blog: http://alanajoli.livejournal.com/94298.html
JMLMartin23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is based on a post World War II family from New York who vacation in Florida as a way of Joe, Evie's step-father, safe return home. Evie is a young lady of fifteen, but is treated as if she was still a child. While on vacation Evie meets a young man by the name of Peter. Even though he is other then she is , she falls in love with him and the way that he treats her. He treats her as a young woman and not a child like her parents. After spend time together and getting to know each other Evie learns of a secret that her step father has been hiding since the war.Peter knows the secret and tries to get what is owed to him from Joe, but Joe keeps giving him the run around of stories. After becoming aware of the secret love affair between Evie and Peter the family along with Peter set out on a fishing trip. After the return to shore, without Peter, Evie has to make a hard decision of living with a secret herself and grows up faster then she has ever been treated before. Does she tell what she knows about Peter and destroy her family or does she not say anything and learns how to keep the biggest secret of her life?
jmyers24 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell is the loss-of-innocence, coming-of-age story of fifteen-year-old Evie Spooner living in Queens, New York after WWII. As you would expect of a National Book Award winner, the narrative is well-written with its elements of mystery and suspense tightly controlled. But more than that, all the characters--their dialogue, relationships, and actions--ring consistently true. There are no moments when you think, "It wouldn't have happened that way. She wouldn't have said that. He wouldn't have done that." While the story begins in Queens, where Evie lives with her mother, step-father, and Grandma Glad Spooner, it quickly moves to West Palm Beach, Florida where Evie and parents travel on an impromptu vacation and end up staying in the only hotel open there in the off-season. At the hotel her parents meet the Graysons and quickly strike up a friendship. Mr. Grayson and Joe, Evie's step-father and WWII veteran, enter into a partnership to buy the hotel, which is for sale. Also staying at the hotel is Peter Coleridge, a young man in his twenties, whom knew Joe during the war. Evie, on the verge of womanhood, falls hard for Peter. But there are currents moving among the adults that Evie can't see and, on the final day of their stay, Evie is pushed into a rising and turbulent emotional tide. As a hurricane bears down on the coast, Evie's parents and Peter embark on an ill-fated afternoon fishing trip with unforeseen consequences for all. In the storm's aftermath, Evie must sort through everything she has heard and seen and make a decision that could destroy or save those she loves most. What I Saw and How I Lied is a story with depth and cross-currents that raise questions without easy answers. It's definitely one for your to-be-read list.This review is of the unabridged audio version narrated by Caitlin Greer.
bmiller014 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What I Saw and How I lied is a story that takes place during the aftermath of World War II as 15 year old Evie, her mother, Bev, and her step-father, Joe, go on a vacation in 1947 during the off season to Palm Beach, Florida. Evie will experience her first love, witness post war racism, and come to the realization that people are not always who they seem to be. This book was recognized in 2008 for winning the National Book Award for Young People¿s Literature. Mrs. Blundell will keep readers turning the pages just to see how the suspense, first love, and betrayal that Evie faces will be resolved in this post war historical fictional story.Out of nowhere, Evie¿s step-father Joe decides to take them on a vacation. Evie thinks of this as a trip to celebrate the homecoming of her step-father Joe for returning safely from the war, but soon realizes this vacation will turn into a nightmare rather than a celebration. Deception, racism, love, and death cause this vacation to be a nightmare that will forever alter this family. As the story unfolds, Evie will be forced to decide if the lost of her first love will ultimately lead to the lost of her parents or will Evie take the lessons she has learned from her parents to save them in the end.
ewyatt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Evie's family has just been reunited after her father has returned from war. He was an American soldier. After a strange phone call, he announces that he will be taking Evie's mom and Evie to Florida on vacation. A series of lies unravels and ultimately ends in one character's death under mysterious conditions. A glimpse into life in post WWII America, anti-antisemitism in the US, with a twist of mystery and betrayal.
Kathdavis54 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first time I picked up this book to read it, I just could not get into the story. It sat on my bookshelf for about a year and then it was assigned in one my literature courses. I still found the first part of the story a bit boring, but I had to read the whole thing for a discussion in class. I did not get into the story until about a third of the way through, but once it got going I could not put the book down! As a historical fiction piece, it could be used in a unit about post War World II. Students would be able to discuss racism, change, social structures, and family. I am glad I gave this book a second chance and would encourage anyone reading it to just push ahead a bit and get to the meaty part of the story.
Coopernpeg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mom was a war bride. She and Dad got married right after he graduated from college in 1942. Dad knew he would be drafted so he enlisted. He was sent to another state to wait for deployment. When that didn¿t happen right away, Mom joined him for what turned out to be a brief time. They were together for a few months and then he was shipped out. Mom went home pregnant and alone. My older brother was born in 1944. Dad did not see him until he was two years old. Stories such as this are often told over and over, becoming part of the history and culture of a family. Mom and Dad¿s story was not offered up for all to hear. I only learned the details after much prodding. It was a sad, lonely time for both of my parents ¿ Mom rearing a son by herself, Dad fighting in a war, never knowing if he would see his son or wife again. In this coming of age story, What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell, fifteen year old Evie and her mom had been waiting for a long time for Joe to return from World War II. Bev married Joe right before he left. Evie is her daughter from a previous marriage. When Joe finally returns home, the family members begin rebuilding their lives. Joe opens appliance stores, Bev stays home and cooks roast beef on Sundays and Evie is eager to grow up. In an out of character move, Joe proposes that they go to Florida just as school is about to begin for Evie. They stay in a mostly empty hotel in Palm Springs, not knowing that the ¿season¿ doesn¿t begin until December. There they meet the Grayson¿s, a couple from New York, and Peter Coleridge, who is an Army buddy of Joe¿s. Evie is immediately attracted by Peter but Joe warns her and Bev to stay away from him. Thus begins a story of secrets, lies, bigotry and blackmail. Evie, an innocent teenager who is eager to embrace love for the first time, grows up quickly as she ends up tangled in a web of lies, deceit and a possible murder. The characters and setting are crisply drawn. One can feel the heavy humid air of Florida as a hurricane, a metaphor for the impending disaster in the main characters lives, approaches. One can almost see South Florida and the period clothing, hairstyles and automobiles that the author describes based on her research and interviews. The author¿s use of foreshadowing is an effective tool that adds suspense to the reading. The main character has two sexual experiences, one being more explicit. Neither is gratuitous and both add to the storyline. Although some of the main character¿s actions are not always aligned with her age and inexperience, she is believable. This book is recommended for mature, older teenagers.Although my parents didn¿t relate much of their wartime experiences, I have a better picture of what it must have been like for them as they began to rebuild their lives after my father's return. Everyone wanted to move on but there were issues that people did not deal with so that life could move on. Was it better to pretend problems didn¿t exist? We may never know.
DubaiReader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Coming of age in 40's America. Set in the US just after WWII, this book is narrated by 15yr old Evie Spooner. She is the only child of devastatingly beautiful Beverley Spooner and a loving stepfather, Joe. Joe has a chain of appliance stores, reaping the new-found wealth of Americans after the war, however, it seems there are question marks over how he raised the money for them. Unexpectedly he takes Evie and her mother on a holiday to Florida, a four day drive from their home in Queens. This is an opportunity for Evie to blossom, to experience first love - but all is not as it seems. The young GI, Peter Coleridge, who sweeps Evie off her feet, is formerly from Joe's platoon. He seems to know a lot more about Joe than Joe is happy with. Everything comes to a head as a furious typhoon sweeps the coast, reaping chaos and mayhem over the whole area and irrevocably changing Evie's life. All the characters are beautifully drawn, Evie, a teenager desperate to make the jump into adulthood but in many ways very naive, her mother, a Marilyn Monroe look-alike, the salesman step-father, plus several other guests at the hotel. Unfortunately I didn't feel the court case presented a true test of Evie's allegiancies, though I'd spoil the plot if I explained why. Definitely a good read but not quite 5 stars. The cover is striking - a flyleaf depicting a young Evie from the 40's and an inner cover showing her beautiful mother - a woman of her time.
dharley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It was a little predictable, but still mysterious. I would like to read more from this author.
Kaybowes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Historical mystery of a "family" that is really unknown to each other, finding themselves in a murder investigation that Evie, fifteen, ends up lying to save her mother. The question is: who killed Peter, or was he even murdered?Very well written, good suspense. National Book Award Winner
Unkletom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Despite the rather awkward title, "What I Saw and How I Lied" is an amazingly good thriller that promises to introduce the noir genre to an entirely new generation of readers. It has all the plot twists of "The Postman Always Rings Twice", the sultry atmosphere of "Body Heat", and all tension of "Cape Fear". Add stolen Nazi gold and a killer hurricane to the mix and you have a story that can't miss. Judy Blundell's National Book Award for this effort was well deserved. The main problem that most books written for younger readers have is that they are too predictable. That is not the case with "What I Saw and How I Lied". This book wil keep you reading late into the night to find out what happens next. Comment | Permalink
mountie9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good StuffBloody fantastic YA mystery/suspense novel Heroine is realistic and interesting great character development of main character suspenseful page turner that will keep away from all of your chores, you will not want to put it down Author really knows how to set the scene of the story. You feel like you are right there in post world war II USA I loved the typical selfish and self interest thoughts of the teenage characters. Very realistic in terms of the feelings of teens wanting to grow up in too much of a hurry Heartbreaking at times, as main character deals with the deceptions around her Wonderful insights into the idiocy of the persecution of Jews before, during and after the war Really liked it even-though it didn't have the happiest of endings (see I can like something that doesn't have a happier ever after ending) Hopeful! After reading it you will realize why it won the National Book Award Not So Good StuffMay lead to some interesting discussions with younger readers in regards to sex and extramarital affairs (Ok, had to find something to put in this section) What I learnedDidn't realize there was still so much anti Jew sentiment after the war Don't go to Palm Beach during the fall Learned about Hurricane Holes Favorite Quotes/Passages"Margie and I believed in magazine and movies more than church""Ruthie had European cousins who disappeared into the camps during the war. She was so lucky - tragedy AND curly hair.""I'm glad you saw it Evie" she said " It's a good idea for someone like you to see""Why, I hated seeing it! It made me sick!""That's exactly why"Who Should ReadTeens over the age of 13 or younger teens with more mature tastes Lovers of mystery/suspense novels Lovers of coming of age stories Not for sensitive reader as there are hints of sexuality and violence
missysbooknook on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book in one sitting. Absolutely could not put it down. I was immediately caught up in Evie Spooner's life....Sixteen years old, shares secrets with her best friend, just beginning to get boy-crazy, and longs to be more like her mom. Beverly Spooner is a beauty and has the figure of a pin-up girl. She is constantly telling her daughter not to "grow up too fast". Evie yearns to wear lipstick and dresses like her mom.A sudden spur-of-the moment trip to Palm Beach Florida changes everything. Her stepdad Joe decides they need a vacation, and they head down to Florida. Before the trip, he gets a mysterious phone call....a man wanting to know if he was the same Joe Spooner that he knew from the war. Joe denies it. Then in Florida, the lie catches up with him.Some ugly truths are revealed, and Evie gets caught smack-dab in the middle of them. However, she is transformed in Palm Beach....she falls in love with a man seven years older than she, her wardrobe changes, thanks to a generous new friend that she meets at the hotel...her life changes dramatically. She becomes older and wiser beyond her sixteen years and her loyalty is put to the ultimate test.There were several "Oh no!" moments for me while reading this awesome novel. I can't recommend it enough.
LarissaBookGirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Evie is fifteen years old, still childish in looks and in a great hurry not to be. Evie and her best friend Margie practice smoking with chocolate cigarettes and dream of a time when they will be old enough to wear Fatal Apple lipstick. But most of all Evie wants to be beautiful and glamorous just like a movie star, just like her mother.With the war over and the return of Evie's stepfather Joe everything seemed to be coming back to normal, except for Joe. To Joe business had become more important then friendships, however he still put his family first deciding to take his wife and Evie on a holiday to Palm Beach. Unfortunately it's the off season and there is little choice in were they stay and who they stay with.Peter was a guest staying at the same hotel in Palm Beach, he knew Joe in the war and talks like their old friends, Joe however doesn't remember things that way. The night Evie met Peter she had on her mothers dress and had snuck into a party. Peter had danced barefoot with Evie by the pool and for Evie it was love.When in an instant Evie's life is turned upside down she comes to realise that those she once trusted to protect her now cannot even protect themselves. No longer the shy child, Evie has grown up over a very short time wanting nothing more to do with being glamorous, nothing more to do with being like her mother. When everything she was led believe turns into in a lie, will she be forced to lie herself?What I Saw and How I Lied sees innocence lost and childish ideals pushed aside as the plan and childish Evie evolves into the attactive and mature Evelyn before our eyes. Spurred on by a mystery that may never be solved, Evie must make a choice between doing the right thing and doing the thing that's right. But can she live with herself if she turns her back on the man she loves to save her family; can she live with herself if she doesn't? The war may be over, but its repercussions are still being felt.
meeps1031 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a fairly good book. I read it in a day. It follows the story of Evie who is 15 after the end of WWII. Her step-father, mother, and her travel to Florida on vacation where she falls in love with one of her fathers war buddies. She begins to unravel the lies that surround her family, while attempting to grow up and become her own woman.
CaraLPeacock on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think my 8th graders (especially the girls), would really like this book. It is very suspenseful and keeps you turning pages. It held my attention, though I was a bit disappointed in the end because it was so abrupt.
rvolenti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book won a National Book Award, and I have no idea why. I only finished the book because it was short and a quick read, but I never liked it. It is set after WWII, and it follows a 15 yr girl who falls in love with a 23 yr war veteran who has an affair with the girl's mom while he is also trying to pressure the girl's stepfather to pay back his share of a stolen war lout. Should soap opera enough for you? The girl is stupid, and her point of view and plot are therefore stupid. It is not worth reading, and I think it should lose its award. There are much better books out there.