Book Review: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

What I Thought Was True follows Gwen, who comes from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who has a history with Cassidy, a rich kid from across the bridge and considers him one of herher biggest mistakes. After Cass shows up on the island to work for the summer, things between he and Gwen start to change and she begins to question what she thought was true about her friends, her family, herself and Cass.
I am officially a huge fan of Huntley Fitzpatrick. I love her writing and storytelling. It’s refreshing to read a young adult novel where the characters are “real”. I’ve read so many YA books, especially with romances and sometimes I find myself thinking “that wouldn’t happen in real life”. Sometimes the depictions of teenagers is a little out there in the way they act and talk. Huntley Fitzpatrick’s characters and storylines are some of the most accurate and realistic depictions of teenagers that I have read in YA and I enjoy that.

I loved most of the characters in this book. I loved Gwen’s family and how much of a role they played in the novel. Her younger brother, Em has special needs and I loved how that was depicted as well. Some of my favorite scenes are the ones with Cass and Em interacting when he is trying to teach him how to swim. When Cass teaches Em how to swim, which people thought he wasn’t going to be able to do, that showed that just because a child has special needs, it doesn’t mean that they can’t do anything a “normal” kid can do. I loved Gwen’s grandfather. He always gave her good advice and never judged her for anything. I think he was kind of the string holding everyone together at some points. 

I really loved the romance between Gwen and Cassidy. In the spring some things go down that don’t paint Gwen in the best light. Things do not end in the best of ways and Gwen ends up giving herself a not so good reputation. With Cass working on the Island, Gwen keeps running into him and they slowly begin to build a sort of friendship. Their friendship grows into something more and they spend the summer getting to know each other again. I liked that their relationship didn’t have the best start. They had things to talk about and work through before they could really fall in love with each other and I think that it made it more worth it in the end.

I also enjoyed the relationship between Gwen’s cousin, Nico and her best friend, Vivien. I’m not usually invested in side romances but theirs was one that I liked. I thought this relationship was a really good depiction of first love and how most first loves go. Vivien and Nico’s relationship brings up questions that a lot of teenagers have regarding the future and spending their lives with one person. Their relationship makes you look at things a little more differently than you normally do in YA. A lot of romances in YA seem to be the forever kind of love and you don’t really question whether they stay together in the future. Viv and Nic have this moment of wondering if there is something more out there in the world and if there are other people out there that they might be missing out on. They think about whether there is more to the future than just them being together. I think that their relationship rings true for a lot of teen relationships and first loves.

I loved the bond that Cass and Em had. Em called Cass Superman and seemed to really be drawn to him. I never felt like Cass was only being nice to him for Gwen’s benefit, I think he genuinely cared about Em and wanted to be there for him. 

The one character I wasn’t a fan of was Gwen’s father. I didn’t hate him, but I just didn’t like him for a lot of the novel. I feel like he wasn’t really trying as a parent and I think some of his parenting was way off the mark. He bascially tells Gwen to steal things from the rich, elderly woman that she is looking after over the summer. He makes it seem like money is more important than honestly and trust. I also didn’t like how he was about Em. It was almost as though he didn’t matter at times and couldn’t believe that he had a son with special needs. I also could not get over the fact that he had the audacity to bring his laundry over and drop it off for his ex wife to do. I thought that was kind of ballsy but also funny in a way. I also didn’t like how he seemed to look down on his ex wife because of her job. She cleans houses and works hard to provide for her family. She gets help from Gwen and Nic but things are still tight, especially with Em’s medical bills. I just think that she is the mother of his children, he could at least be a little more supportive.

I loved the storylines and the fast pace of the novel. It was a quick read, but I didn’t feel like it was rushed or anything. I loved the writing and the “real” feel of the characters and relationships. I think everything came together really nicely and formed an amazing story. Everything worked well together. I am a big fan and I hope that there is a new release from Huntley Fitzpatrick in the very near future. I gave What I Thought Was True 5 stars on Goodreads and AGAIN, I highly recommend this as well as the other novels by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

Keep reading…Lola

Advertisements Share this:
Like this:Like Loading...