Since I have read 3 of the NBA finalists already, I thought I would give it a go and read the other two. So, knowing how long I would wait today at the surgical center, I took two books. Good thing as after they had me back in pre-op with IV attached, they let me know the doc would be at least another hour arriving. Grabbed WHAT I SAW AND HOW I LIED by Judy Blundell (Scholastic, November 2008) and began reading. Later this afternoon, once the happy drugs wore off and the pain returned, I turned to books, my drug of choice. I sat and read this one over the past couple of hours. After Evie's stepfather returns from WWII, he reenters life. But Evie sees the changes and the worries. Several phone calls from a supposed friend from the war seem to set Joe off. So, he and his wife and Evie head to West Palm Beach for a break from it all. There, Evie meets and develops an immediate crush on Peter Coleridge, the mysterious "pal" of Joe's who shows up at the same hotel.
From here, the novel becomes part mystery, part romance, all coming-of-age. One review used the term noir and I think it is perfect. From the cover to the setting to the situations in which Evie and Joe and the others find themselves, this could well be a wonderful old fashioned film noir. I can see why the illustrious NBA panel members selected this book among the others. What an interesting collection of books. I can hardly wait to pick up #5, but that has to wait as it is time to take some meds and try to get some sleep before the conference duties take me up to the office at the crack of dawn tomorrow.
Bravo, NBA committee for your selections. I do, of course, have my choice for the winner, but I am thoroughly enjoying each and every other choice.