Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Girl You Thought I Was” as Want to Read:
The Girl You Thought I Was
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Girl You Thought I Was

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  308 ratings  ·  67 reviews
No one looking at Morgan Kemper would think she had a secret-at least not one that she's deeply ashamed of. To everyone she meets, she comes across as sweet, pretty, and put together. But Morgan knows that looks can be deceiving. For over a year, she's shoplifted countless pieces of clothing and makeup. Each time she tells herself it will be the last, and each time it neve ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published July 31st 2018 by HarperTeen
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Girl You Thought I Was, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Girl You Thought I Was

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  308 ratings  ·  67 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Girl You Thought I Was
Susan's Reviews
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Morgan takes out her anger at her mother's abandonment of the family by shoplifting.

When she finally gets caught, she is required to do community service. She volunteers at a thrift shop and meets Eli, who is recovering from a severe knee injury. Morgan continues to mess up her friendship and her relationship with the "cute boy" by not being honest about her shoplifting and her suppressed anger issues.

Forgiveness is a two-way street, as Morgan ultimately learns, and no one is perfect, least of
 ••Camila Roy••
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it

e-ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

I ended up liking this a lot more than I expected. Having read Rebecca Phillips’s previous book These Things I've Done, my expectations weren't that high. I thought that particular book was average and lacking depth. This one, however, is the complete opposite.

For over a year, Morgan Kemper has shoplifted countless pieces of clothing and makeup. Each time she tells herself it will be the last, and each time it never is. When
Rebecca Phillips
Oct 14, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
So yeah, I wrote a book about a teen shoplifter.

This story was originally meant to be dark and kinda twisty, but it ended up being more about friendship dynamics and how quickly they can change, creating a new normal after your family has been ripped apart, and finding romance in unexpected places.

I hope you all enjoy it!
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Morgan has been having it hard lately, now her mother left home for another man and her sister is away in college the only thing that makes her feel better is shoplifting. But when she's caught and meets Eli at the place she had to volunteer, her secret gets in the way of a real relationship with him.

Phillips is a great writer. This is the third book I read and each of them had not only quality but also meaning; I really like how she focuses on family without it being the only thing, and it's al
Kathy Martin
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Morgan Kemper has a secret. Outwardly, she is smart, pretty, and has a solid group of friends. But inside, Morgan is a mess. She is so angry that her mother had an affair and left the family to go off with the new man. Since her mother left, Morgan has developed a new hobby. She shoplifts. She started small with lip gloss from the drugstore but, with knowledge gained online, now she is stealing clothes from mall stores. She feels guilty but she can't seem to stop.

Then she is caught stealing $186
Enjoyed this one a lot! The voice reminded me SO much of Liz Czukas, a personal fave, that I literally forgot it wasn't one of hers at a couple of points; if you're also a fan, definitely grab this!

I'm psyched anytime a YA does something new, and since I've never seen one discuss kleptomania before (though IIRC it didn't use the word, a choice I am curious about), this was a particularly interesting read.

Longer RTC.
Samantha (WLABB)
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, contemporary, arcs, romance
Morgan had a dirty little secret, which she thought she hid well, and she did, until she was caught. Now Morgan had to battle to preserve her "good girl" image, while earning back her father's trust and fighting the compulsion to steal.

• Pro: Phillips captured those emotions related to Morgan's addiction so well. I experienced her highs and her lows, the adrenal rush, and the guilt that followed. It pained me to watch Morgan struggle, and I was hoping she could get to the root of her problem bef

The Girl You Thought I Was is a standalone Young Adult contemporary romance. But it is also a YA book that deals with a serious issue.

The narrator is 17 year old Morgan. It is Summer Break before her senior year of high school. Morgan has major family drama and now lives with her dad. She has resorted to shoplifting.

The premise of this book was interesting. I liked that we got to actually witness Morgan shoplifting, even though it made me super anxious.

I liked Morgan's relationships with her fri
Amber (Books of Amber)
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ve decided that I love Rebecca Phillips’ writing and I’ve put her on my auto-buy author list. That’s right, it’s official. I loved the book she released last year, These Things I’ve Done, and as soon as I saw that The Girl You Thought I Was was available to review, I had to nab it. And it definitely didn’t disappoint.

Rebecca Phillips has a way of writing characters that makes you fall in love with them. Morgan is a shoplifter, and societal norms say you should hate her for that, but when her
Sarah {Literary Meanderings}

♥ Find my reviews here: Literary Meanderings

- - -

Morgan Kemper is pretty, popular, and has it together—at least from the outside. Inside, she is struggling. Morgan's mom had an affair and left home to be with her new lover. Morgan's emotional upset over this has caused her to develop a case of kleptomania (as we are led to believe). Morgan has a strong urge to steal again and again. It began with small items such as lipstick, but has gotten out of control with Morgan stealing items worth hundred
Jul 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Having never read a book about a main character who has kleptomania was really refreshing. Not only that, but Morgan was a character I could get behind. She makes mistakes, but she has that same fire, that same heart, as I do. I could really identify with her and her struggles. The Girl You Thought I Was is a book about journeys and forgiveness. It's a book that celebrates the joy
Lucy Buller
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-i-have
This review was originally posted on That Book Gal.
I feel like Rebecca Phillips never writes a book that’s easy. Both THE GIRL YOU THOUGHT I WAS and THESE THINGS I’VE DONE tackle tough topics, but they are beautiful and wonderful stories. While dealing with heavy topics, they manage to stay light with really amazing romances and great friendships. However, let’s talk about THE GIRL YOU THOUGHT I WAS.

THE GIRL YOU THOUGHT I WAS features on a young girl who has been caught for shoplifting. It explo
Morgan has a lot to deal with in her life. Her parents went through a pretty nasty divorce (which began with her mother cheating on her father) and she's been struggling to come to terms with that ever since. In order to cope she begins shoplifting.

Morgan is a really easy character to like. She is smart and funny. She has a large group of friends and clearly every one adores her and she feels the same way about them. She's generally responsible and makes good choices. All except this one
May 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
Honestly, I really wanted to like this one - I've been enjoying YA Contemporary more and more of late, and I was excited to read The Girl You Thought I Was by Rebecca Phillips as a break from my typically Fantasy and Sci Fi reads. Unfortunately, I was quickly disenchanted, and as I read, found myself growing to be more and more disappointed by this book and the story Phillips decided to tell.

Now, let me begin by saying that (initially) I really identified with Morgan. Her parents, like mine, are
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE GIRL YOU THOUGHT I WAS by Rebecca Phillips follows Morgan Kemper and her struggles to find herself after she is caught shoplifting a pair of designer sunglasses. The thing is, that wasn’t Morgan’s first time doing it and she can’t help it if it isn’t her last. She knows it’s wrong and she sometimes can’t stand herself for doing it, but it’s become an addiction and one she finally has to face the repercussions of. Now that she’s sentenced to thirty hours of community service, Morgan finds her ...more

After being really impressed with "These Things I've Done" earlier this year, I decided to take the plunge into Phillip's other books. I'm so glad I did. The Girl You Thought I Was follows seventeen year old Morgan Kemper as she's forced into helping out at a thrift shop to fulfill her community service hours after being caught shoplifting.

In all fairness, Morgan isn't the easiest character to like. With her dependency on stealing to
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I enjoyed this book from the start. It certainly had a captivating beginning, with Morgan successfully shoplifting a bikini she wanted. Although I don't condone her actions, I could understand why she felt it necessary to steal/ Her parents' divorce had a huge impact on her and she only felt in control was when she was taking things that weren't hers. The author described Morgan's feelings extremely well - the adrenaline rush, the fear, the guilt and the paranoia.

Throughout The Girl You
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This took me longer than usual to read. I had trouble keeping interested. I think for the most part it was a good book, it just didn't hold me. Morgan is a kleptomanic. Morgan feels bad a guilty after she steals. She gets caught and has to do a 30 day community service. Morgan meets Eli at the place she volunteers.
I like the similarities of how Eli was forced to rebuild his life because of an accident that prevented him from playing hockey. Morgan has to rebuild hers without her mother.of
The one
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
Ehh... It was fine, I guess. I wasn't wowed nor especially displeased with this book despite it's interesting take on shoplifting. ...more
May 22, 2019 added it
Shelves: dnfed
DNFed at 67%
Seems like I am in a bit of a reading slump
Jean Baxter
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
The main character, Morgan, was hard for me to like at first. She was a shoplifter. And I must say that this story was like a tutorial on "how to" which I find a little disturbing. She does get caught which still doesn't kill her desire to keep doing it. I like that eventually through her diversion program she finally sees the error of her ways and is able to control her impulses. I also like that her newly acquired boyfriend is dealing with his own issues, having suffered a sports injury. All i ...more
Originally posted at

Note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Summary: Morgan Kemper appears to be a normal happy teen girl. She has friends and job and gets good grades but Morgan has a secret. Morgan is a shoplifter. When she gets caught she must chose between a deal that will let her off with volunteer work and rehabilitation classes or possible jail time. Morgan take the dea
The Girl You Thought I Was, was a book I went into not knowing what to expect at all. We have Morgan who is a shoplifter and while it's obvious from the beginning she is going to get caught and have to deal with that, I wasn't sure in what direction the story was going to go after that. I liked how the story went through and the direction Phillips took it in. Morgan not only has to deal with the shoplifting problem, and has to do community service for it, she also has to deal with things that ha ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
After Morgan is caught shoplifting, she’s sentenced to community service in a charity thrift store where she meets Eli, the owner’s perfect nephew. Unable to tell her friends, Morgan says she’s volunteering for college applications. At home with her newly single father, she shuns her mother’s calls. Secrets can only stay hidden for so long and Morgan fears her life will implode when others find out.

THE GIRL YOU THOUGHT I WAS is an important introduction to why some people shoplift as a response
Stephanie A.
Jun 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary-ya, otp
Most of this book was so good that it not only exceeded my expectations, I was wondering if this would end up a 5-star surprise. I haven't felt that giddy reading in a long time -- I actually had to slow down so it wouldn't be over too fast. From the heart-pounding opening scene, you're right inside the mind of a shoplifter, almost rooting for her to get away with it because you're so in the moment (and also because a bikini with turquoise beads on the straps sounds beautiful, and simultaneously ...more
Teenage Reads
Jul 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Teenage Girls
Shelves: advance-copy, 2018
The Kemper family was the four of them: a mother, a father, the oldest Rachel, and the youngest Morgan. They lived in a house, had family meals, and generally seem like the typical American family. That was until their mother left. Morgan remembered the day her mother broke her father’s heart, by having an affair with another married man who worked at the same car dealership as them, and he was also her father’s friend. Morgan saw her mother as a monster, with both her and Rachel chooses to
Jack Reynolds
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-s
This is not a belated April Fool’s joke, don’t worry. The feelings for this book are genuine.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first heard about The Girl You Thought I Was. Compared to Phillips’ first book with HarperTeen (which I was wary of until Luke told me it wasn’t that bad), I was drawn to it immediately. Not only did it make me think of some gossip regarding one classmate at my high school, but it also reminded me of, in a sense, This Is How It Happened by Paula Stokes.

So when I recei
jazel l. faith
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firstly, the title and cover are so bewitching.
Second, this is a different genre than what I am used to. Therefore, the fact that I began the book and finished it with ease says a ton.
I focused more on what the story was trying to bring out more than the storyline—the significance of truth, family and friends. The entire book revolves around it, and I loved the way it was brought out. With crime, everything fell apart but eventually became better than what it once was. The tattered family of Mor
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I'll lead with the thing I was most disappointed in first, to get it out of the way. Why did there have to be a romantic element to the story? Could it not have simply been a fantastically straightforward delivery of a girl in crisis- one who is frustrated by the actions of her mother, feeling the weight of living with her father while her sister is living a better life in college and working that is really surviving and not living though the father is doing his darndest, and who steals. Then sh ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
This book had an interesting premise that basically I felt was left unexplored. The main character, having issues with shoplifting, should have developed into a lot more conversations, realizations that this was symptom and not the problem.

The back and forth with both her parents sounded true to me, although, once again, we have a main character who keeps everything bottled up and rarely says what she is REALLY thinking. I wish author's would stop doing this. I know it advances the plot line but
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • How to Disappear
  • Stay Sweet
  • Throw Like a Girl
  • Love in English
  • Better Than the Best Plan
  • This Is My Brain in Love
  • Cold Day in the Sun
  • Camp So-and-So
  • I Hate You, Fuller James
  • Unmaking Hunter Kennedy
  • It's Kind of a Cheesy Love Story
  • The Game Can't Love You Back
  • The Lifeboat Clique
  • Now You See Her
  • The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls
  • The Secret Recipe for Moving On
  • A Kiss in the Dark
  • Let Me List the Ways
See similar books…
Rebecca Phillips is a copywriter by day and a TV-series-binger by night. Oh, and sometimes she writes novels. Rebecca lives in beautiful Atlantic Canada with her family, which includes a spoiled senior-citizen cat.

Learn more about Rebecca's books by visiting her website:


Related Articles

When it comes to whiling away the dog days of summer, nothing is better than a good book. Or two. Or three. Let’s say ten! We’re getting...
30 likes · 7 comments