What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

Summary: 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. Grades 8-12. --Jennifer Hubert

My review: I love it when a YA historical-with-suspense makes waves. Since I adored Jennifer Donnelly's A Northern Light and Christine Fletcher's more recent Ten Cents A Dance, I knew there would be something for me in What I Saw and How I Lied.

The suspense and story were solid, and the atmosphere strong, but Evie's character and experiences wrapped me up and pulled me deep into the story. I ached for her, and, being on the "other" side of teenagerhood, I winced and prayed that somehow she wouldn't have to go down the road her parents were taking her. What I Saw and How I Lied is a deeply emotional journey about making very tough decisions, like when to forgive and what is forgiveable.

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