Study Guide

What I Saw and How I Lied Tone

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What I Learned

The book's title may be What I Saw and How I Lied, but the tone takes on a what-I-learned feel by being rather reflective and thoughtful about what Evie sees and how she reacts to the events around her. Because of this, the whole tone of the book is observational as Evie continues to take in more information to process, and form her own opinions about.

We get her first observations of Palm Beach, the Graysons, and Peter Coleridge—all told to us in careful detail and accompanied by a sense of newness and novelty from innocent Evie. She also carefully describes what it feels like when the people around her are in sour moods, and she recognizes that things aren't going well:

I don't know when it happened, but things started to turn, just a little bit, like when you smell the bottle of milk, and you know it's going to be sour tomorrow, but you pour it on your cereal anyway. (16.56)

The tone also evolves over the course of the book as Evie learns more about the world and about her own feelings—we're along for the ride as Evie figures out her own feelings regarding injustice, romance, and even complicated family issues. But the reflective and thoughtful elements remain steadfast, even as Evie wises up to the world.

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