Monday, 13 February 2012
"What I Saw and How I Lied" by Judy Blundell
Betray your family or your first love... what would you choose?
Evie can't believe her luck when she meets Peter - a handsome, mysterious ex-GI who served with her stepfather in the war. But when she falls for Peter, she finds he has dark secrets, and a strange control over her parents. When a shocking death occurs, Evie's world is shattered. Torn between her family and the man she loves, Evie must betray someone. The question is... who?
This book took me AGES to read. I think it was because I was trying to take in every word and every phrase and every sentence, to try and make it add up in the end, because I found that the littlest things were essential to the plot, and appearances were very deceptive.
This book intrigued me right from the start. The first chapter opens to Evie in a hotel room with her mother. Why are they there? What has happened? What is going on? And then the story bursts right in on Evie's family: Joe, her stepfather, Beverly, her very attractive, glamorous mother, and Grandma Glad, her battleaxe grandmother. They all live in Gladys's house in Queens, New York, and what follows is a startling, yet thrilling story.
Evie was a great character. She is possibly one of my favourite book main characters in a long time. Yes, at first, she was naive, but aren't all fifteen year olds? I fell for Peter just as Evie did; he was charming and wonderful and just so incredibly handsome. Evie kept me at a distance, but purposefully, as Judy Blundell clearly didn't want to give the plot away. The plot twisted and turned and there were many surprises along the way, and the massive plot shock in the middle made me reel. The final pages were emotional, but I loved reading Evie's character development, the way she had to grow up, the realizations that she made about the adults around her, and the way she discovered the truth that had been there all along, but that maybe she'd purposefully overlooked.
I understand why she lied. I understood her motivations and her realizations and her loyalty not only to her family, but to Peter also, and the ending blew me away.