Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Review: 16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler

16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler
Series: Standalone
Published: March 4th, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
304 pages (eARC)
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Acquired this book: From the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Warning: May contain spoilers
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Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsIthoughtweretrue

When Morgan's mom gets sick, it's hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn't as far away as she thought...

Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsIthoughtweretrue

Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan's getting to know the real Adam, and he's actually pretty sweet...in a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?

5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need #thingsIthoughtweretrue

With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She's not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend...and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can't imagine living without.

I’ll be honest: I wasn’t expecting to love 16 Things I Thought Were True. It sounded really good, and I’ve heard great things about Janet Gurtler’s books, but I thought it would be something cute and fun to break up the feels-heavy books I’ve been reading lately, along with several books that have left me with a ‘meh’ feeling. And while it was cute and fun, it also packed an emotional punch I wasn’t expecting.

Morgan was a very complex character. She was raised by a single mother who smoked and drank too much, she had two older brothers who were clearly her mother’s favourites, and she had no idea who her dad was. Her mother always refused to talk about him or even give Morgan a hint if he was dead or alive…until she had a heart attack and her guilty conscience forced her to tell Morgan who her father was and where she could find him. Meanwhile, Morgan had been completely ostracized at school and work because of a video her ex-best friend posted of Morgan dancing in boys' underwear. She did her best to hide out, lie low, and not draw attention to herself. In her mind, the only friends she needed were the ones she’d made online.

Enter Amy and Adam. I loved these characters - and Morgan - so much. At first I didn’t think I was going to like Amy; she talked non-stop and said every little thing that came to her mind. I thought she would be obnoxious and annoying, but I ended up loving her. Her blunt honesty was refreshing, and she had this innocence about her that made me just want to wrap my arms around her and squeeze her. Adam was one of those boys who was perfectly imperfect. He was a jerk at work because he needed to be, otherwise people wouldn’t respect him as their boss since they were all the same age. But underneath that, he was sweet and caring, and so good to and for Morgan.

The interactions between Morgan, Amy, and Adam were absolutely hilarious. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much while reading a book. Their conversations were ridiculous and realistic and made me wish I were friends with them. The road trip was definitely my favourite part of the book. Even though it wasn’t the main focus of the story, it had all the elements of a great road trip - food, music, laughter, crazy situations, and meaningful moments. And, like any good road trip book, the characters learned a lot - about themselves and about each other.

The life lessons Morgan learned through the course of the book weren’t always easy. Some of them were painful, and many of them changed her life. I wasn’t expecting to form such a strong connection with the characters, but I did. I felt their triumphs and failures. I laughed with them and cried with (and for) them. These characters and their story will stick with me for a really long time.

Quite simply, 16 Things I Thought Were True was amazing. I ran through the gamut of emotions with this book. I laughed as hard as I cried, and I came away with a smile on my face, despite the tears I shed (and there were a lot of them). This book is a must read for fans of contemporary young adult, road trip books, books that have strong messages of friendship and love, and…well, really just anyone. I know I’ll be recommending this one to just about everyone I know. 

Have you read 16 Things I Thought Were True? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? Have you read any of Janet Gurtler's other books? Are you a big hashtag user on Twitter?

1 comment:

  1. I was already looking at this one but now I will definitely be reading it. :) Sounds like it's going to be a very interesting read. :) Glad to hear you liked it so much.


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