"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars, points of light and reason. ...And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason, for anything."

~ Edward Cullen

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Review: What I Saw and How I Lied

Title: What I Saw and How I Lied
Author: Judy Blundell
Pages: 281
Rating: 5/5

When Evie's father returned home from World War II, the family fell back into its normal life pretty quickly. But Joe Spooner brought more back with him than just good war stories. When movie-star handsome Peter Coleridge, a young ex-GI who served in Joe's company in postwar Austria, shows up, Evie is suddenly caught in a complicated web of lies that she only slowly recognizes. She finds herself falling for Peter, ignoring the secrets that surround him . . . until a tragedy occurs that shatters her family and breaks her life in two.

As she begins to realize that almost everything she believed to be a truth was really a lie, Evie must get to the heart of the deceptions and choose between her loyalty to her parents and her feelings for the man she loves. Someone will have to be betrayed. The question is . . . who (powells.com)?

I bought this book for one reason...the cover.  Something about the 1940s Hollywood look hooked me and I had to have a copy.  Once I sat down with the book, I read it in one setting (with a newborn so this is an awesome feat).  I also gave this book five stars.  I was thoroughly taken with this book and can't say enough about it.

What I Saw and How I Lied is a mix between a really good mystery and a coming of age novel.  The book hooks you within the first few pages, foreshadowing of events to come:
We never went to the hotel dining room now.  They knew who we were; they'd seen our pictures in the paper.  We knew they'd be saying, Look at them eating toast - how can they be so heartless (pg 2)? 

From there, the story is told through flashbacks.  Evie's family is together again after the war, but one night after a mysterious phone call, Evie's stepfather packs the entire family up and takes them to Palm Beach, Florida.  Immediately, I thought something fishy was up - otherwise, why the made rush, and why the mystery.  What was Evie's stepfather hiding.

Once the family arrives in Florida, Evie meets a young war veteran named Peter.  She almost immediately falls in love with (as did I...Blundell created one of the most enticing male characters in young adult literature).  Peter fought in the war with Joe, Evie's stepfather, however, Joe wants absolutely nothing to do Peter.

From this point forward, the reader is caught in a rollercoast of lies and mistrust.  One thing after another begins to fall apart, and we as the reader, get to experience it first hand.  I personally couldn't turn the pages fast enough.  And once at the end, I wanted to start over again from the beginning.  That is how much this book hooked me.

Blundell has a new book out called Strings Attached about a young girl in 1950s New York.  I can't wait to get my hand on it and read it.  I'm hoping it is just as good, if not even better than What I Saw and How I Lied:

Review: If I Stay

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Pages: 234
Rating: 4.5/5

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands (ifistay.com).

Please explain to me why I wait so long to read books.  I've had this one on my shelf for a little over a year.  Back when I had all the time in the world to read, and still it took me until now to pick it up.  But I must say, I am glad I finally did.

In a single word, this book is beautiful.  It's beautifully written in a way that will catch your attention and will stick with you.  I found myself completely engulfed in the pages, staying up way past my bed time to finish.  I couldn't get enough of it.  The words just seemed to flow off the pages, creating this amazing story that I sunk into. 

I don't want to say much about the actual story because I don't want to ruin it for those readers who have yet to pick it up.  The twists and turns of this book hit you right in the face, like a head on collision.  I don't want to rob anyone of that.  This book is so powerful and intense, it left me shaking.  As I closed the last page, I just sat, thinking of all that I had read wondering what I would have done had I had to make such a huge choice.  Would I have made the right one? 

This book is a rollercoaster.  I suggest a comfy chair, a long afternoon, and a box of tissues when reading!! 

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