Published by Dial Books for Young Readers on April 15th 2014
Also by this author: My Life Next Door, The Boy Most Likely To
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From the acclaimed author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions.
Gwen Castle has never so badly wanted to say good-bye to her island home till now: the summer her Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, takes a job there as the local yard boy. 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.
A magnetic, push-you-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti.
As you can probably tell from my review of Huntley Fitzpatrick’s first novel My Life Next Door, I loved her debut. She continues the trend of solid main characters, strong supporting characters, and a breathtakingly descriptive setting on an island. The book is beautiful and unique to say the least. Although far from being a light read, this makes a great summer read that I definitely recommend.
Gwen is entering the summer before her senior year and she desperately wants to escape from the year that she’s had. Hoping to breakaway from her typical summer of working at her dad’s pizza parlor, she takes on a job of taking care of Mrs. Ellington, an older woman from the island. She then comes face to face with the yard boy: Cassidy Somers, the one boy she’s trying to forget. The rest of the summer consists of Gwen coming to terms with the fact that what she thought was true about the people in her life might not be true at all.
In this book, the characters were one of my personal favorite parts. Gwen was a character that you couldn’t help but sympathize with. She was misunderstood and viewed as “easy” by her peers, but she was simply just misunderstood. It broke my heart that she didn’t see her true value, but she slowly gains more confidence and grows as a person throughout the book. Cass was an amazing and genuine guy, even though I wasn’t sure what to make of him at first. The supporting characters are extremely well developed including her cousin Nic, his girlfriend who is also Gwen’s best friend Vivien, her little brother Emory, and the hilarious Mrs. Ellington. Mrs. Ellington brings humor to the table with obsession with graphic romance novels that she makes Gwen read out loud. All of the characters are complex and easy to relate to.
The book goes through the flashbacks and reveals what really happened between the two very very slowly, but in the end, Cass still redeems himself. The relationship between both of them is obviously tense at the beginning until at least the middle of the novel. However, it does become a lot better and more romantic. I found myself frequently looking back at My Life Next Door and comparing the two main love interests. I didn’t think anyone could be as incredible as Jase, but Cass was certainly just as polite and caring. He treats Gwen and everyone he meets with tremendous respect. He also teaches her little brother Emory, who isn’t autistic but he is definitely different from other kids his age, how to swim which is totally swoonworthy.
What I Thought Was True was a pretty lengthy book, but I found that I absolutely couldn’t put it down. I was drawn in from start to finish. I kept on reading because I wanted to see what it was that Cass did to Gwen that was so bad. I won’t ruin anything, but it turns out that it was more of a misunderstanding than anything else. The flashbacks occurred at random times, some of them seemed rather out of place. All in all, I think this was a brilliantly written book that further proves that Huntley Fitzpatrick in incapable of writing a bad book.