What I Thought Was True – Huntley Fitzpatrick

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.

Review

This is one of those books that fills you with joy until you burst. It’s definitely sweet, but it covers pretty heavy material. Fitzpatrick’s way with words is absolutely Dessen-esque. 

There was a love/hate, self-destructing relationship. But it wasn’t annoying at all. I read a spoiler about (view spoiler) in a review before reading, so I really expected something to happen with Gwen’s parents. I was surprised (in a good way). This book was FRESH. It didn’t fall for the usual tropes or clichés. It was a lot more realistic, too. I liked how people reacted to situations; I liked how everything was handled. People weren’t overly dramatic. In fact, people often care more about their own issues than anyone else’s (as stated in the book). People dealt with the cards that were handed to them.

I thought the story would be all about the relationship. I’m so glad that another big part was friendship. And family, too. The nature of obligation and choice. Mental illness. The devil is in the details. A particular scene that stuck out to me was when Gwen drove away from Hoop’s driveway, watching him sit there as he smoked. It rang so true that she could picture him there for the rest of his life as the world spun around him. It brought up questions on freedom, motivation, and complacency. Settling for the life you’re supposed to lead versus gunning for your goals at all costs. Man, Nic and Hoop really foiled each other well. 

Character-wise, I looooved Ms E. I really liked Cass. I’m glad we got to at least UNDERSTAND everyone, even if they made mistakes or were designed to be somewhat disliked (looking at you, Spence and Henry!). Gwen herself was perfectly flawed. 

I was smitten with the setting. It seemed so, so beautiful. The descriptions were vivid. I could perfectly imagine the colour of the sky and the heat on their backs. 

For the most part, this book was a delicious, cute read. The epilogue made the book for me (it wasn’t unique or special, really). You don’t realize how much the little moments add up until you reflect upon them. Suddenly, their summer of day-to-day life became one of fond memories worth remembering. That’s pretty much how I felt about the book, too—nondescript until you look back on it with dearness.

Related Reading

  • The Truth About Forever – Sarah Dessen
  • The Distance Between Us – Kasie West
  • This Lullaby – Sarah Dessen
  • Rules of Summer – Joanna Philbin (except this book was done WELL)

Rating: 5/5

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