Published by Dial on 15 April 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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Also by this author: My Life Next Door, The Boy Most Likely To
Place(s) Traveled To: Stony Bay, Connecticut // Seashell Island, Connecticut
First Line(s): Nothing like a carful of boys to completely change my mood.
What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick is her follow up to My Life Next Door and while its not a direct sequel it can be classified as a companion as its set in the same area. Of the two books I did enjoy What I Thought Was True more but it wasn’t without its flaws. I do enjoy Fitzpatrick’s writing style and think that, for the most part, she weaves a good story. And I liked how this one didn’t have some random crazy event that happened as occurred in My Life Next Door. What I Thought Was True was more a character driven novel though it stuck mostly to the surface of things when it came to the big issues.
I enjoyed Gwen and Cassidy’s story and liked how Fitzpatrick wove their past and their present together. Things happened a few months ago that tore them apart before they were ever together and Gwen held on to that anger ever since. Though, as an outsider looking in, she did bring some of those events down onto herself with how she behaved with the boys in her life. Gwen wants nothing more then to leave Seashell Island and Stony Bay High and she puts this buffer around herself that no one can penetrate. Rather than try and have a meaningful relationship she tends to sleep around instead and then when there is some backlash of this she just shrugs and says that’s just how island girls are treated. Not to say that Gwen is promiscuous because she isn’t she just makes some poor choices when it comes to guys and that makes it hard for her to see when there is a good one standing in front of her.
This doesn’t absolve Cass in his role in the events of the past either because he really could have tried harder to explain his side of things. But he didn’t and he let Gwen believe the worst which wasn’t good for either of them. As with many YA books a little bit of communication could have gone so far and yet because of their silence we got a book so its a real Catch-22 sort of situation. Surrounding Gwen and Cass are a fun group of side characters that I wish we’d had more time with. There was Gwen’s parents who where involved and crazed and dealing with real world things and I liked how that bled down to Gwen and her cousin Nico. So often parents think they shield and protect their kids from things but they know when something is up. I liked how they were present and flawed and that deep down they both had so much love for Gwen, Nico, and Emory.
Ah, Emory, Gwen’s younger brother was just filled with adorableness and not crazy annoying as most younger siblings are written in books. He was sweet and fun and I loved the scenes he was in. Just as I loved the scenes with Gwen and Nico. Though I didn’t really care much for Gwen’s BFF Vivian. For me, she was a very on the surface character and wasn’t around very much. When she was she was often hanging all over Nico, kissing him, and dragging him off to be alone. When she does something very surprising at the end it just seems so out of character for her and her speech to Gwen on how she judged her ugh…I just wanted to slap the girl. It was nice that she wasn’t a false BFF but she wasn’t a very good friend either. Nico was a better friend to Gwen than Vivian could ever dream.
What I Thought Was True was a quick story and I don’t think I wasted my time in reading it but its not one that I will ever rush to re-read. Its flawed and the characters sometimes bug me and it doesn’t give me those heart-achy feels that I like so much in a contemporary read. Its believable to a point but there are things that I don’t think would ever happen in real life. And many words were wasted in useless descriptions that could have been better used fleshing out some characters or situations. There were just so many various threads that were just sort of left dangling. The story was good but not great but a good way to spend a few hours at the beach with. While I didn’t love it I will be intereted to read any other stories that Fitzpatrick sets on Seashell Island and will most likely read her sequel to My Life Next Door (The Boy Most Likely To, 2015). Fitzpatrick has a nice prose to her storytelling and sometimes you just need that quick and easy read.