Sunday, 30 March 2014

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick: Review

What I Thought Was TrueTitle: What I Thought Was True
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Buy This Book: Amazon  / Book Depository


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.(Goodreads summary.)

I'm actually finding it hard to think of words to describe the disappointment that I feel right now. I was looking forward to this book so much and I am beyond. I read My Life Next Door last year and it instantly became one of my favourite books. So you can obviously understand why I couldn't wait to get my hands on Huntley Fitzpatrick's next book. I was so excited to see what she came up with next and I was certain I would absolutely love it. Sadly, I really didn't and most of the time I was left feeling a little lost.


Gwen needed this lesson. 
This book is set out in a way that had me feeling disconnected from the story. I felt like I had started it half way through, like I'd arrived late to the party and had no clue what was happening. Gwen talks about her past summer a lot and all the mistakes she made, the biggest being Cassidy Somer's. But for the longest time you don't really understand what went on there. The flashbacks mainly taught me that Gwen slept with almost everybody and regretted each and every time. This led me to one important question: why keep making the same mistake over and over and over and over and over again? Learn from it! I started feeling like a horribly judgemental person... But honestly, keep it in your pants woman!

Front seat of a car?
Not even had one date.
At the very beginning, I actually really liked Gwen as a character. I thought she was a realistic female lead for a contemporary romance. She wasn't the virgin girl who's never done anything wrong. But I didn't really agree with many of her decisions. Some of them made me shake my head and want to shout at her. I just think that I couldn't get behind her, especially when she made the same stupid decisions each time and was such an impulsive person. She never seemed to learn from her mistakes, at least for the longest time. I didn't connect to her and I was so upset by that. I was just waiting for Gwen to have an epiphany. I wanted her to realise that guys weren't the problem, she was. I'm pretty sure she didn't have one real conversation with any guy before jumping into bed/front seats with them. You can't then go be miserable about it, that was your decision. Make better decisions!

Cass was a really sweet guy but I wasn't swooning for the guy. This book was advertised as a romance, but for me this really wasn't a romance. Cass was the nicest, sweetest, most wonderful guy... regardless of how Gwen acted toward him. I couldn't buy the romance, even with the flashbacks. I don't feel like I was ever shown that moment where Cass and Gwen fell for one another, developed feelings for one another or had a real connection. Especially in the flashbacks, where they actually began. I was just really confused by the whole thing.

I still love Huntley Fitzpatrick's writing. She gave another great insight into family dynamics and Gwen's family was one of my favourite aspects of the book. She gave me a lot of interesting characters that I wanted to get to know better. It's just a shame I didn't really feel that way about Cass or Gwen. If I am being honest with myself, I found this book really boring. My Life Next Door sucked me into the story, made me want to keep reading until 4am. But this book had the opposite effect on me, I found myself wanting to skip or skim most of it. I am so disappointed, I can't even explain it to you.

3/5 Stars

I struggled with rating this one. My Life Next Door was a 5 star favourite for me, it was hard to realise that I really didn't enjoy this all that much. I wanted to skip past parts at times. I just felt like the flashbacks made the whole thing feel disjointed and it made it hard to get into the story. I wanted to sympathise and understand Gwen as a character, but I just couldn't. I thought Cass was a sweet guy, but he was just there and didn't have any real presence for me. I'll be on the lookout for Huntley's next book and hope I do better with that one. 

Hand me My Life Next Door! I need to weep into it. 



*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Edelweiss in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.

15 comments:

  1. Oh no!! Like you, I loved My Life Next Door. So sad that this one didn't live up to it! :-(

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I know, I was really disappointed. Maybe MLND just set my expectations way too high.

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  2. I still haven't read My Life Next Door. I need to get on that. It sucks that this one didn't do it for you especially with the high expectations. I can understand your frustration with Gwen and her mistakes. I feel like that might drive me insane when I read this too. Thanks for the great honest review :)

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    1. Thanks! I think my expectations were really high, especially because I loved the authors first book so much. But I just really struggled to connect with the characters in this one. Hopefully I will love her next book more :)

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  3. I'm sorry that you were disappointed with this book, I still haven't gotten around to My Life Next Door, so I'm not sure which one I will plan on reading first. I already feel irritated by Gwen's mistakes! Thank you for the fantastic and honest review. :)

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    1. I definitely recommend My Life Next Door, it's such a brilliant book and I loved every page. This one was a little disappointing, but my expectations were ridiculously high because of how much I loved book one.

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  4. So sad that this one was such a disappointment, especially given how much you loved My Life Next Door. I loved it too. It is interesting that the author chose to tell the story with flashbacks. I agree, I usually like seeing how a relationship starts and develops and when you don't get that, sometimes it is hard to feel connected to and care about the relationship. So that's a shame. Now that my expectations are lowered, hopefully I will enjoy it more! :) Thanks for the honest review. ~Pam

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    1. I absolutely adored My Life Next Door, so I was left so disappointed by the fact that I really didn't enjoy this one. I think my high expectations meant that it had a lot of work to do in order for me to like it. I just wish I had been able to connect to the characters more and understand the romance. Hopefully I will love her next book though ;)

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  5. It sucks when a book you want/think/hope you'll love turns out the exact opposite. I also really love My Life Next Door and I've been really excited for this one to release, but now I'm really scared to read it. This isn't the first negative review I"ve seen for it and I really want this one to be good *sigh*.
    Great review :D. Sorry this one disappointed you :(

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    1. Well, hopefully seeing the negative reviews will lower your expectations and you end up LOVING it! I had super high expectations so I think it made it harder for me to enjoy this one. I just struggled with it. Hopefully I will love her next book though :)

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  6. These gifs have me dying everytime, EVERY TIME! That supernatural one *dead* -_-
    STOP IT, BOOKWORM! XD

    Again, interesting review. I have no doubt my reactions would have been similar to yours (In all honesty, I don't think I would've picked this book up) but you still gave it 3 stars, so I guess the prose was great enough to (kinda) pull it through! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Sorry, one more thing - have you read or done a review of Just like Fate, by Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young? If you do (or will), I'd love to read your thoughts. It seems like an interesting book.

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    2. I have Just Like Fate to read, recently got it out of the library and I am really looking forward to reading that one :) I am a sucker for a good gif! I need to spend a lot less time on finding gifs and more time on reading ;)

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  7. Aww that sucks. I had when I'm disappointed in a book I'm beyond excited for.
    I read MLND last month and absolutely loved it. Can't wait till we get Tim's book next year.
    And Mean Girls. <3 Still my fave. :)
    Happy reading!

    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

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    1. I can't wait for Tim's book either. I hope I absolutely LOVE that one. I don't want to be left disappointed again. But I have faith in Huntley Fitzpatrick on this one ;)

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