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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Book Review: #16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler

Well, I finally finished a book. It only took me 3 months to read 283 pages, so….here you go.

Book Description (From Amazon):
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (March 4, 2014)
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 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.

My Thoughts:
I would love to say that I found this book to be very relate-able, but sadly, it was not. I have to admit I liked the idea of the book more than I liked the execution of the book. And I really wanted to feel some empathy for the characters, but I found that all the main characters were lying about something. That made it very hard for me to really care over much about any of them.

Simple enough story. Morgan is our perspective character. Her mother, who smokes and drinks too much, lands in the hospital with a heart attack. She thinks she’s going to die, so she tells Morgan where to find the name of the man who is her biological father. She decides she wants to confront him, so Road Trip!

The characters are flawed to the point of being broken and are heavy laden with secrets they don’t want to share. Each character starts off as an isolated individual, but even though the characters become closer as events unfold, I find that I really didn't care.

Morgan danced around the house in boy’s underwear while her best friend filmed it. That would have been alright but she posted it on line and the video went viral. Morgan has become grist for the rumor mill, she is no longer friends with Lexi, the girl who posted the video and she’s become a loner. She keeps her distance from everyone thinking it is better that way. With Morgan, I found that she was often acting like a real b***h. She lives her life on twitter with her summer goal of reaching 5,000 followers, phone glued to her hand. She prefers living a virtual life with virtual friends than living in the “real world” and she pretty much shuns everyone around her.

Her father abandoned her and her mother. She never even knew his name. Then she finds out he is living not too far from her home and her mother never told her. She has been steeping in anger her entire life over the father that didn't want her and now she is angry at her mother for keeping her father’s identity and whereabouts a secret. Not able to forgive her mother at the moment, she decides to face down that man that cast her aside.

Adam is her boss at the amusement park. He pretty much acts like a jerk all the time. When he catches Amy, one of the employees, eating popcorn out of the bags to be sold in the concession stand, he goes ballistic. She runs into Morgan in the restroom and tells her what happened with Adam. Morgan gets a song and dance and offers to talk to Adam on Amy’s behalf. Morgan is talking to Adam about the incident when she gets the call about her mom and Adam offers to take her to the hospital. With this unexpected offer, Morgan begins to wonder if there is more to Adam than she sees and if he is really the jerk he appears to be.

Amy is one bottle of bubbly just waiting to explode. She seems to have very few filters and says just about anything that pops into her head. She’s a ball of energy, adding a ditsy personality, and a non-stop talker. She annoys everyone around her. Giving Morgan a real song and dance about eating the popcorn, Morgan feels compelled to be her champion, but there is perhaps more to Amy than she at first lets on.

One moment, one situation brings the three of them together in such a way that none of their lives will ever be the same.


  1. It's tough to enjoy a book when you don't like any of the characters, so kudos for finishing it instead of setting it aside! Doesn't sound like my type of book either, but I'm on a short story kick right now. Hope your next read is better!

    1. I tackled it as a bath book. And once I got close enough to the end, I just plowed on until I finished. But it was hard with all the new shiny books calling my name!

  2. I agree with Alexia in that badly written or unlikeable characters make a book difficult to enjoy but just like you I'd still have to finish the book if for no other reason than I'm stubborn like that.

    1. Well, I do like resolution. I feel a compulsion to see how things will play out. I was also hoping the characters would learn something, be transformed or redeemed. There was closure, but it wasn't enough to really make the read overly worthwhile.