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What I saw and how I lied
Judy Blundell
Teen Fiction BLUNDELL

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Blundell, author of Star Wars novelizations, turns out a taut, noirish mystery/coming-of-age story set in 1947; it's easy to picture it as a film starring Lana Turner, who is mentioned in these pages. When first met, 15-year-old Evie and her best friend are buying chocolate cigarettes to practice smoking. Evie sheds that innocence on a trip to Florida, where her stepfather, Joe, back from the war in Europe, abruptly takes her and her beautiful mother, Beverly, and where Evie falls in love with glamorous Peter, an army buddy whom Joe is none too happy to see. But after a boating accident results in a suspicious death and an inquest, Evie is forced to revisit her romance with Peter and her relationships with Joe and her mother, and to consider that her assumptions about all three may have been wrong from the beginning. Blundell throws Evie's inexperience into high relief with slangy, retro dialogue: Peter calls Evie "pussycat"; Beverly says her first husband "kicked through love like it was dust and he kept on walking." Readers can taste Evie's alienation and her yearning; it's a stylish, addictive brew. Ages 12-up. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Blundell, the pseudonymous author of a number of "Star Wars" series books for children, completely surprised me with this story of a girl's loss of innocence. Evie's stepdad is home from World War II and eager to be back with her movie star-gorgeous mother. The family travels to Palm Beach, FL, ostensibly for a little vacation, but Joe's past follows in the form of Peter Coleridge, a handsome young charmer who served with him. Then Peter turns up dead, and Evie's parents are the prime suspects. Now Evie must find her own path between the truth and the lies she learns everyone has been telling. Why It Is a Best: Straightforward language belies the masterly storytelling in this 2008 National Book Award winner for Young People's Literature. Here, our narrator is both unreliable and unflappable. Evie starts out more than a little naOve, and her maturity comes with hard-won experience. Why It Is for Us: At its core, this is a mother-daughter book in which the daughter learns how to make her way in a world where she can no longer trust in the adults around her. Blundell does not shy away from the uglier aspects of the time-anti-Semitism and the tension between men returning home and the women who held down the fort while they were gone.-Angelina Benedetti, King Cty. Lib. Syst., WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Evie
Age: 15
Goes on a trip with her parents to Florida and falls in love with Joe; has a boating accident that makes her question everything.

Stepfather of Evie; come back from a war in Europe;.

Former army buddy of Joe;.

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