by Huntley Fitzpatrick
(will be) published on April 15th 2014 by Dial Books for Young Readers
finished reading on March 23rd
other book by the author My Life Next Door
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.
Woooooohoooo. This book has officially sealed Huntley Fitzpatrick's status as one of my AUTOREAD YA authors. I LOVED her debut book My Life Next Door to bits (those charming Garretts family! Jase Garrett was my ultimate 2012 book boyfriend. HA) so it set up quite a big expectation for this second book. I knew I was going to love it just by looking at the cover only (dominated with purple! luvs), and I was not wrong. This story of Gwen entertained me as much as My Life Next Door, reading it feels like eating a comfort food. Such a lovely light YA read and a perfect summer book.
The story, indeed, is set up in summer, on a fiction island called Seashell. Gwen's family is not from the rich side, they're struggling to keep the economic aspect of the family balanced by doing whatever works available (Mom: House-cleaning, Gwen: 'Accompanying' an elderly woman). Gwen lives not only with her Mom and lil brother, Emory, who's not autistic but not exactly normal either. Included in the pack are her grandad, her cousin Nic, and her aunt. Gwen's parents are divorced. In short, it's not an easy life our narrator is going through.
On the other side, there are other people at the Seashell Island. These people are from the rich side. One of them is Cassidy Somers, a boy who's currently taking a summer job and lately have been on frequent encounters with Gwen. There's something about Cassidy that rubs Gwen the wrong way... Though we don't know the reasons at first, Ms Fitzpatrick slowly reveals to us the whole 'what actually happened to them' in such a sweet, torturous way. I really like Gwen and Cassidy's romance! SOO ADORABLE. They're from the opposite kind of families (one is rich while one is... well, not), but I think Ms Fizpatrick successfully navigates us through the rich vs kind fiasco in a much better way than other authors who have brought similar case (take example: Kasie West's The Distance Between Us). Their relationship is healthy and constructive, once they've managed to be honest and real with each other (and so cute. so, sooo cute!). Ms Fitzpatrick is the expert of creating such swoon-worthy boys; Cassidy Somers is no less than the super wonderful Jase Garrett, only he comes from a wealthier family ;)
Unlike My Life Next Door, though, What I Thought was True does not only focus big time on the romance of Gwen and Cass, but also exposes us to the complex dynamic of a family (Divorced parents, unnormal brother, remember?) Gwen is a 'real' teenage girl who's trying to make up her mind about her life, about what she wants in life, what she's going to do in the future... She's in the phase of discovering and learning. I love how Ms Fitzpatrick molds such a personality in Gwen, how with all the mistakes that she has made, she's still proud to own herself. Gwen reminds us that as a girl, we have to always put our dignity first, above anything else. We have to be aware of the consequences of our actions. Nic is also going through a hard phase in this story. This guy has to choose between his dream and the comfortable life he has lived his whole life. The friendship side of What I Thought was True also plays an important part of the story, and it was brought nicely through the bond between Gwen and Viv. How far should you be honest in order to keep your loved ones from being hurt?
I recommend this book to you big time! I LOVE IT. Treat yourself with What I Thought Was True if you want an excellent contemporary YA that can warm your heart with vivid summery vibe and terrific romance. Perfect for a sunny day accompanied by some ice creams or cocktails while you're in your sunny dress :) Oh, and if you haven't, My Life Next Door is never a bad choice, as well!
Have you read any of Huntley Fitzpatrick's books? Believe me, she's one of the authors that should be more popular than they already are! Are you interested enough to read What I Thought Was True? Have some summery YA with lovely romance recommendations? Hit me with your words! :)
As always, have fun and read some more,