Set in 1947 New York and Florida, fifteen-year-old Evie has a glamorous mother she wants to be and a war veteran stepfather she adores, and she's the perfect age for falling in love for the first time. When her stepfather's past returns to cause problems in the present, though, someone dies, and Evie is left in the difficult position of defining her own concepts of love and loyalty.
Besides the story, which is certainly interesting and heartbreaking enough, the writing style is also wonderful. A few examples of some of my favorite lines:
It's crazy how you can go from not being bored to being bored out of your mind in about the time it takes to ties your shoes.
I realized that there was something worse than not being asked to dance. It was being asked to dance by the wrong boy.
I didn't believe Peter meant what he said. I didn't wonder why a rich man's son would be so mean and feel so bitter.
I'd answered every question, I'd thrown mud at a good boy's reputation, I'd lied, I'd been called a whore. But it was that one man's wave of contempt that finally made the tears come.
Although winner of the 2008 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, I want to note that I consider this to be one of those books likely to be more appreciated by an adult than an actual teenager. I think we all have those pivotal moments, though often not as dramatic as this, that change our lives and how we see those around us, but I don't know that you usually fully see the moments as they're actually happening in the way you do when you're looking back on your life.
Learn more at the author's site here.
My overall personal rating of What I Saw and How I Lied is an A.