Sunday, May 31, 2009

Book Review: What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

*Sorry for the random blank post that was up for...an embarrassing amount of time. We went on a short camping trip, so I didn't notice for a while*
What I Saw And How I Liedis exactly what Evie tells us in this book, beginning with her family's fateful trip from New York City down to Palm Beach, Florida. Evie meets Peter, a man who served in World War II with her stepfather, and from that moment on, none of their lives will ever be the same.

I was rather surprised by this National Book Award winner. I really liked the post-World War II setting and the noir film feel, but I found myself hating the characters. Evie was just stupid in a teenager-who-hasn't-got-a-clue way (which isn't to say I wasn't when I was one). Her parents are both idiots when it comes to her and themselves. I definitely hated Peter who really was a "heel" in my opinion. While the story was interesting and the mystery elements were excellent, I just really couldn't love this book, mostly because of all the stupid things the characters did. That said, it was really well done and the writing was beautiful - it isn't terribly difficult to see why it won an award.

A Northern Lightby Jennifer Donnelly (which I also hated but thought was very well written :)
It also reminded me of the movie Casablanca, mostly for the Bogie references (and all the smoking).

s-factor: !@

Some scattered throughout.

mrg-factor: XXX
Two scenes in particular that are pretty descriptive.

v-factor: none
(though as a side note, there was a lot of smoking and drinking)

Overall rating: **

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