What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

Evie can't wait to grow up. She can't wait to be a part of that glamorous world of movie stars smoking cigarettes, and wearing bright red lipstick. She wants to be just like her sophisticated mother, Beverly.

It's right after the war (WWII) is over, and things are starting to get back to normal. Her stepfather Joe is home, and her mother is happy again. They decide to take a trip to Florida, all three of them. They meet a lovely couple, the Graysons, and the five of them are joined by an old war buddy of Joe's, Peter.

Oh, how Evie admires Peter. How she longs for his approval, for him to see her as a woman. She borrows dresses from her mother, starts to style her hair differently, and when the three of them go out-Evie, Peter, and her mother-she knows that it is because it would be improper to go without an escort. She is convinced that she can win Peter over. He gives her hints that he likes her too, but only vague ones.

Mr. Grayson and Joe have reached an agreement, they are going to buy the hotel they are all staying at, and Evie's life will change forever. Until that horrible night when the Graysons are discovered as being Jewish, and kicked out of the hotel. It isn't the first time Evie has witnessed discrimination against Jewish families, but it is the first time it has happened to her friends. It seems that all their plans will fall apart. Even Joe and Bev are fighting, making accusations, she has to get out of there...

She goes to where Peter is staying. He tells her the truth about why he's been hanging around her family. It turns out that Joe did something in the war that wasn't entirely on the up and up, and Peter wants a cut. With the deal with the Graysons falling through, where will the money come from? She and Peter kiss, and things start to get more serious...suddenly, her mother bursts in and brings her home.

The day they are set to leave, Peter, Joe and Bev take a trip out on a boat, in a storm. Only Joe and Bev make it back. Could her mother and stepfather be involved in something even more sinister? Great mystery, won the National Book Award in 2009 for outstanding YA fiction.

"'Tell me what you did. Tell me,' I said, very slowly, because just then I realized it, the whole obvious truth of it right in front of my face, 'what you and Joe did. Together. What happened? You say I'm good. I don't need good. I need to know things. I need to know why Joe drinks so much, and why he hates you. Why he wants to move here. Why he wants to get away," (Blundell pg. 144, 2008).
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If you liked this, check out:
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Blundell, Judy. (2008). What I Saw and How I Lied. Scholastic Press: New York, NY.

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