Thursday, June 19, 2014
Review: What I Thought Was True
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published: April 15, 2014
Hardcover, 416 pages
5 Gold Stars
(summary from Goodreads)
Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.
Fitzpatrick blew me away with My Life Next Door. Her characters were real, flawed, and couldn't control everything that happened in their lives. They were from two different worlds but that never stopped them from loving each other. It was cute, romantic, and I swooned the entire time. What I Thought was True has some similar elements. The characters are drastically flawed, from two different worlds and as much as they don't want to fall for each other, it's inevitable. But these books are not at all the same. Both stand on their own as very different stories about young love and I loved both in very different ways.
Gwen has lived on a small island all her life. Her blue collar family owns a restaurant and she plans on working there all summer to help pay the bills. When she is offered a job to take care of a summering elderly woman, she takes it up thinking she'll be spending her days reading and relaxing. But that was before she found out that Cassidy Summers has decided to slum it as the yard boy this summer. Gwen is trying to avoid Cass at all costs, but that seems terribly impossible. He's everywhere and he's just as charming as ever. From the very beginning, you know something horrible happened between the two of them, but I did not expect it when it was revealed.
Gwen is not your typical YA heroine. She's stubborn, not overly emotional and has done some questionable things in her past. Most YA books talk about sex like it's the end of the world, by Fitzpatrick takes a realistic approach, in the spur of a moment you may do something that you might regret, but once it's done there's no taking it back. Gwen is not a virgin and she has earned a reputation because of it. This book makes us think of young love in a very different way. Not everyone gets to fall in love with the perfect guy and have a perfect relationship. Some of make mistakes, sometimes love doesn't work out the way you'd like it too. Gwen and Cass certainly have their struggles and the way their relationship plays out made me desperately want them to kiss. The sexual tension was intense and it was perfectly written. But they are not the only ones that were experiencing first love. Gwen's cousin, Nic, who lives with her family, has been dating her best friend, Vivien, for a long time and they are planning on dating much longer. From afar, their relationship looks perfect, but hidden beneath the surface is something not even Gwen can fathom. They were the perfect sub characters and their story was just as important as Gwen's.
This book is full of feels, betrayal, and most of all love. There is family love, especially between Gwen and her portuguese grandfather. Fitzpatrick weaves together stories from a small island that will relate to anyone who reads this. She's quickly becoming a great name in the YA contemporary genre and I can't wait to read more from her!
“I finally get that sometimes we hold on to something - a person, a resentment, a regret, an idea of who we are - because we don't know what to reach for next. That what we've done before is what we have to do again. That there are only re-dos and no do-overs. And maybe ... maybe I know better than that.”
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