Study Guide

What I Saw and How I Lied Coming of Age

By Judy Blundell

Coming of Age

When What I Saw and How I Lied opens, Evie is still more of a child than a real teenager—she doesn't know much about sex, still wears little girl dresses with lace collars (like a porcelain doll), and is thrilled by family vacations instead of rolling her eyes at the idea. But when she and her family take an ill-fated trip to Florida, she starts to grow up and see the world as it really is. Evie discovers romance, sexual yearning, and even learns that her parents aren't the shining heroes she always thought that they were. It's a rough ride, but so it goes with growing up.

Questions About Coming of Age

  1. Why does Evie's relationship with her friend Margie change by the end of the book?
  2. What's the deal with Evie's feelings for Peter? Do you think she's experiencing real grown-up love or just puppy love?
  3. Why does Evie's mom insist on dressing her as a little kid when she's almost sixteen?
  4. How does Evie's sense of identity change over the course of the novel?

Chew on This

At the beginning of the novel, Evie feels inferior to Margie because she is the younger and more naïve friend. By the end of the novel, though, Evie has matured and outgrown her friendship with Margie.

It isn't so much that Peter sees Evie changes during the book—what really changes is how she sees herself. He just follows her lead.

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