Friday, May 9, 2014

Novel Review: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Rating (Out of 5): ~4-4.5
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dial (Penguin)
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

A magnetic, push-me-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti.

The Cover:

I really like this cover. It's adorable, it's sweet, it's warm. I love the way the couple is shown, their positions, the way the boy is looking at the girl, the way they're touching each other. The setting works very well for the book. The feel of it works well for Fitzpatrick's writing style. It's just a very pretty cover to me, not embarrassing, and very nice to look at it.


  • "Other people’s stories—issues, whatever—are their own.” (Hardback, pg. 133)
  • "You choices matter. […] It’s your whole life. We’re suddenly this close, like Nic said, to the wrong move. Or the right one. It matters now.” (Pg. 236)
  • "More to life than what you are scared of.” (Pg. 310)
  • "God, isn’t it supposed to be the guys who can’t think straight? Whose bodies are screaming at their brains to just shut up because everything feels so good? Or is that another rumor someone started? Without thinking who it was going to hurt. Or just confuse.” (Pg. 323)
  • "'But before that guy from the Coast Guard came to talk at school, I never knew I wanted that…so…there may be other things out there just like that that I can’t see yet.’ […] ‘Not “may be other thing,” Nico. Are.’” (Pg. 329)
  • "'Perhaps, dear Gwen, you could think, instead of what a betrayal it is to be lied to, how rare and wonderful it is when two human beings can tell each other the truth.’” (Pg. 383-384)
  • "That what you’ve always had doesn’t mean that’s what you’ll always get. That what you’ve always wanted isn’t what you’ll always want.” (Pg. 393)


I feel like I can’t accurately review this book. Instead, I kind of just want to link you to other reviews that do it better, because I just can’t. It’s kind of like my feelings are a mix of love, but not hugely over the top fangirly love, more like love where I could re-read and stare and smile, but words just do not happen. Does that make sense? (No?)
So, I think I’m going to keep this short, in an effort to not mix myself up or overdo it.
I love this book. It’s beautiful, the writing is pretty and easy to get sucked into, but not overly so. The way that the issues are handled in the book are kind of perfect. Not over the top, not preachy, but a lot of the time used just like they’re a part of the characters life, which is so realistic. For instance, Gwen’s brother’s problems. Another example: sex. Sex is used as just another realistic, actual part of life, which I love. It’s not used for a lesson, it’s not any more a huge part of life for the characters than it is in real life, it’s dealt with honestly and correctly for the characters. One more example: gay characters. There are gay characters mentioned in this book, but the fact they're gay is merely an afterthought. It's just another thing about them, nothing more important than when a character is straight.
I really like Gwen. I also really like her family—the whole group of them, how they’re there for each other. Her grandfather is great, and her little brother is adorable. I also really like the boy.
The romance is great. I love romance, and the way it develops between the two is fantastic. I particularly like that the two get together, as a couple, before the end of the book, so the reader actually gets to see them together as a couple. Similarly to in My Life Next Door, that’s when some of the best moments between them happen, and I love that we get to see it.
I also really enjoy the friendships. Gwen has a best friend, and she’s really close with her cousin, and the boy, Cass, has a best friend. And there’s some drama there, and it’s awesome. It creates a nice surprise, and a lot of development for all of the characters. I think I might have liked to get to know Cass’s best friend better, because we really only got glimpses of him, but he wasn’t really part of Gwen’s story, so it makes sense. 
This story was rather different from My Life Next Door, even if it had some similarities. But it was just as good. And it’s assured me I was right in adding Fitzpatrick to my automatic buy list. And I cannot wait for her next book.

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