Nook Book, 422 pages
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Published by: Dial (Penguin imprint)
For fans of: Chick-lit, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, YA
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.
Seeing as I'm a huge fan of contemporary stories, knowing that I had not read a book by Huntley Fitzpatrick just wasn't working for me. So when her sophomore novel What I Thought Was True, hit stores, I KNEW I couldn't miss out on reading this one too.
"'Who knows what goes on in families, hon. Other people's stories are their own."
The number one thing I liked about this one was the way I related to it. In case you didn't know, I'm originally from Galveston Island, Texas. Of course this means it's a beach. I found it so interesting that all the things Gwen talked about, I knew about as well. The causeway, the way they looked at people that weren't originally from the island, just everything. All that made it the perfect summer read. Then there was the fact that her brother had an unidentified illness that seems like autistic, but isn't. My little sister is now 18 and has been battling that same thing her entire life. Although there is a ten year age difference between them, I could still see so many of those characteristics in Emory that I saw in my sister. It made me love the little boy even more!
"'Embroider it on a pillow. Spray paint it on a wall. Just never forget it. Don't be a sucker. Screw them before they screw you."
I also loved the realism of the story. I know I once said that Morgan Matson was the queen of realistic fiction, but after reading passages like: "We sail in silence until the sunset turns the sky streaky Italian ice colors: raspberry, lemon, tangerine- all against blue cotton candy." you can't help but think Fitzpatrick is ALSO the Queen because I mean, the imagery guys.... It was like she included every little detail just to make sure it was realistic. Like she wanted to be sure we would feel like we were actually there. And trust me, everything about her writing style made me feel as if I was sucked to Seashell Island and was watching all these events in person. Her imagery, the way her words flowed, everything was just beautiful.
"'Still, its good to know that this exists- true love- in my world. And not just in Mom's books."
But unfortunately, there was something that I didn't care for. And of course it was something that couldn't be overlooked. It was the plot of all things. I liked that in the end things were not what I expected and I still was surprised when I saw everything play out. But I didn't like that it felt rushed. Like just to make the story end. Now I know the story is already long (this edition is 422 pages...), but what would a few more pages have done? And that epilogue just seemed like it was tacked on because she knew it was a little rushed.
"'Maps are the key to everything,' he says absently. 'Gotta find your direction."
Along with that, comes the reasoning of why Gwen was acting that way. I'm all for feminism, but sometimes you go too far. Sex without any type of feelings is your choice, but be smart about it. Especially if you're doing it while drunk, with someone who gets around a lot, or if you yourself get around a lot. Make sure you always wrap it iup. No sense in spending one night with someone and then getting rid of them, only to realize that you dot something else you have to keep. And that's what I was most upset with Gwen about. Although she was doing all that she wanted to do, her actions could've come with consequences and I just think Fitzpatrick should have explored those more.
"'Can't deal with the truth if no one tells it, right?"
My first book with Fitzpatrick definitely made me wonder why I never read her first one. After reading just the first page I ordered My Life Next Door from Amazon. Although it wasn't completely perfect, I plan to read everything else by her. Her amazing imagery is too amazing to miss out on.
Overall, I give this