Novel: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick | Goodreads
Release Date: April 15th, 2014
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
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.
YES THE NEW HUNTLEY FITZPATRICK! I’m a huge fan of My Life Next Door, Fitzpatrick’s debut novel, and this one possibly tops MLND. Huntley Fitzpatrick is a master at families, which is something I think should be explored more in YA literature, because it’s such a relatable topic. In WITWT, Fitzpatrick explores a child of divorced parents who got married young and are barely making it. Gwen Castle is the sarcastic, babbling, kind character that I love in YA. She felt so real – her regrets, her fears of people knowing the truth, and her desires to get away from her hometown – they’re all such relatable things that any teen deals with.
I especially connected to Gwen (and many of the other characters in the book) in their struggle to leave their hometown for college and to pay for that move. That’s something I’m going to face in the coming year or two, and so I really understood the feeling of being torn between the two that Gwen was experiencing.
Now for the romance. This was not your regular YA romance. Cass and Gwen have some… not so good history, to say the least, and they’re both still reeling from the hurt of that day. So when they’re thrown together, they aren’t exactly perfectly made for each other. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings for each other! Huntley Fitzpatrick is so good at allowing relationships to grow naturally in a story and not rushing the characters along. Gwen and Cass had to individually deal with a lot of issues before they could work through the ones between the two of them.
That’s another thing I love about Fitzpatrick – she does the deep conversations and hard discussions SO WELL. Her teens are mature people who have real discussions. They talk things through. That seems to be really rare in YA, and I think it needs to be more prevalent. It teaches us how to have those hard conversations but that they are necessary in a working relationship.
So, all in all, I adored What I Thought Was True. It’s relatable, well-written, and the characters are incredible. It was a “I stayed up until 1AM reading” kind of book for me, which always means it’s a winner.