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My rating: 3 stars
"From the author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions.
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."
Two years ago one of the biggest young adult contemporary surprises for me was Huntley Fitzpatrick's debut novel, My Life Next Door. I was so amazed with this story that I tried to make all my friends read it, I raved and raved and raved about it. No one should be surprised that her new novel, What I Thought Was True, was on the top of my 2014 wishlist. Unfortunately, tale about Gwen and Cass was nowhere near awesomeness of Samantha and Jase.
Last week you could read Tanja's review for this book (if you missed it, you can find it here) and I have to agree with almost everything she wrote. It was not a bad book, but I expected much more. The best part of the story was humor - I laughed so hard at some parts, especially all scenes with old Mrs. Ellington and steamy romances. Setting is beautiful - island and sea, summer and sand.
I had really hard time relating to characters, Gwen for the most part. I think that my main issue was with how the story was narrated, because in the first half of the book you get partial snippets to the previous events and non of those make her look "good". It's like she is begging you to hate her. Second half of the book - after everything that happen during school year is revealed, is much better and story picks up.
What I Thought Was True could be described as a novel with the identity crisis - it is labeled as young adult novel, but there are a lot of things that make it feel more like new adult. That is probably one of the reasons for all mixed feelings in reviews I read around blogosphere. In one moment it's like you are reading Sarah Dessen or Summer series by Jenny Han and then suddenly you have a feeling as if you picked up a novel by J. Lynn, Jessica Sorensen, J.A. Redmerski or Fisher Amelie.
I maybe didn't like Huntley Fitzpatrick's second book as much as I did first, but I am still a big fan of her writing and I can not wait to see what will she write next.