Jaime Arkin's Reviews > What I Thought Was True

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2014, read-in-2013, ya, stand-alone-books, on-my-real-shelves, recommend-forever
Read 2 times. Last read November 27, 2013 to November 28, 2013.

What I Thought Was True is my second Huntley Fitzpatrick book, and to say I had high hopes for this book would be an understatement. I mean, you all know my love and adoration for My Life Next Door right? Let me just get this out of the way… You need to go into this book as you should each and every book… not letting previous books by the author influence your expectations of the characters and events that are about to happen. ( I mean, unless it’s a series LOL)

What I Thought Was True was an amazing read for me. Which of course means this is going to be a hard review for me to write.

Gwen Castle spends her days working hard and imagining the day that she will be able to escape the island she lives on. Her blue collar family spends their days toiling in the family restaurant and cleaning houses for those a bit more fortunate than her and the summers are their busiest times. But you also find out pretty quick that Gwen has a few secrets of her own… and they involve rich boy Cassidy Somers. She was sure, with him living across the bridge in Stony Bay, that she wouldn’t have to worry much about him, but he chooses this summer to get a job as the island ‘yard boy’ and no matter what she does, they can’t seem to avoid each other.

From the get go, you know that something horrible happened between them, but I wasn’t at all prepared for what it actually was.

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But Ms. Fitzpatrick creates some amazing characters in this story. From Gwen, who you can’t help but feel a bit of sisterhood with, to Cass who has all the charm and charisma you would expect, to her determined cousin Nic and his girlfriend Vivien… they all play integral parts in this amazing story and I promise they will jump off the page and into your heart.

There are so many layers to this story that for me to try and explain them all would make this review incredibly long, but I’ll touch on a few things that you will find here …

Fitzpatrick explores first love and how it’s not always exactly as we expect it to be. Gwen and Cass definitely have their struggles, but when you as the reader get the full story, it’s easy to see why. These two are young, and they struggle with miscommunication and shitty friends and rumors and parents and feelings of low self-worth. But we also get a second story about first love… not just with our main characters but this one is about our secondary characters of Nic and Vivien.

She also gives us a story filled with the complex dynamics of family and the expectations that they have on you and how that can affect decisions. Gwen doesn’t have what some would call a typical household. Her parents are no longer together, yet her mother does her father’s laundry and her grandfather lives with her and her younger brother and her cousin Nic. It makes for an interesting story and some unique interactions. Add in the fact that her brother has special needs and this also impacts everyone and everything adding just one more layer to an already complex story.

There is also something to be said for a boy with dimples. If you’re looking for swoon, you’re definitely going to find some here. As I said above, Cass is charming and charismatic and he knows how to throw Gwen off with just a smile. Throw in swimming lessons with her little brother and I was swooning right along with her.

What do you think, Gwen? Want to come check out my form?”

He flashes the dimples at me.

Oh dear Lord.

I wrinkle my nose, toss my hair back. “I couldn’t care less about your form.”

“Right,” Cass says. “I can tell.”


But Cass isn’t all confidence…

”Does this ability to map things mean you never get lost?”

“I get lost.” He said firmly. “Like now, I can’t tell what you’re thinking. About me.”


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If you’re looking for a light summer read… this isn’t it. Instead, what you’ll find are strong, intriguing characters with depth and layers. A story that encompasses so much more than just falling in love… one that touches on heavy topics and family issues, feelings of shame and the divide between those who have more than enough and those that are barely scraping by. A story of forgiveness and moving on and a story about being at that pivotal point in life where you’re not quite a child, but you’re definitely not quite an adult.
I should stop now right?

If you haven’t already, make sure you put this book on your ‘to be read’ list. Who am I kidding, if you read MLND you already have it there, but those of you who don’t… do it now. And then go read My Life Next Door!

Thank you to my lovely sister Erin for allowing me to read the copy that she won from Huntley Fitzpatrick.

And Ms. Fitzpatrick...

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This review will post to Fiction Fare closer to release.
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Reading Progress

September 12, 2012 – Shelved
November 13, 2012 – Shelved as: 2014
November 27, 2013 – Started Reading
November 27, 2013 –
page 63
14.93% "Ohhhh I see you Breakfast Ahoy!!! Lol"
November 27, 2013 –
page 132
31.28% "Casssssssss I still don't know exactly what to make of you lol"
November 28, 2013 –
page 153
36.26% "I was in a bunk bed with a boy who drank strawberry daiquiris. Lol"
November 28, 2013 –
page 222
52.61% "I get lost, he said firmly. Like now. I can't tell what you're thinking. About me."
November 28, 2013 –
page 226
53.55% "OMG WHUT *flails* my heart hurts"
November 28, 2013 –
page 293
69.43% "He's just drying my hair. With a towel. This should not feel so... Amazing."
November 28, 2013 – Shelved as: ya
November 28, 2013 – Shelved as: read-in-2013
November 28, 2013 – Shelved as: stand-alone-books
November 28, 2013 – Finished Reading
September 28, 2014 – Shelved as: on-my-real-shelves
January 2, 2015 – Shelved as: recommend-forever
August 7, 2015 – Started Reading (Audio CD Edition)
August 7, 2015 – Shelved (Audio CD Edition)
August 8, 2015 –
21.0% (Audio CD Edition)
August 14, 2015 –
57.0% "oh Cass....." (Audio CD Edition)
August 17, 2015 –
72.0% (Audio CD Edition)
August 18, 2015 –
92.0% "viv still makes me angry" (Audio CD Edition)
August 18, 2015 – Shelved as: favorites (Audio CD Edition)
August 18, 2015 – Shelved as: audio (Audio CD Edition)
August 18, 2015 – Shelved as: read-in-2015 (Audio CD Edition)
August 18, 2015 – Shelved as: swoony-boys (Audio CD Edition)
August 18, 2015 – Shelved as: stand-alone-books (Audio CD Edition)
August 18, 2015 – Shelved as: ya (Audio CD Edition)
August 18, 2015 – Finished Reading (Audio CD Edition)
July 15, 2016 – Shelved as: reread (Audio CD Edition)

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Irene (new)

Irene Looking forward to your review :)


Claudia B. Jealous is not a strong enough word to describe my feelings right now. Lol.

I seriously can't wait for it to be released. I've read MLND about three times now.

*sits patiently waiting for April*


message 3: by Jen (new) - added it

Jen Ryland Can't wait to read thsi!!!


message 4: by Kate (last edited Mar 09, 2015 03:08AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kate McMurry Thank you for your excellent review. I agree with you that this book has a lot of plot layers: romance, coming of age, family drama, secrets and lies. The concept of who will be responsible for who within Gwen's family, in what way, and how much makes for a unique dynamic. I also felt this YA novel had a very strong sense of place, which stands out a lot among YA, which mostly seem to have generic settings of high school and drunken parties. It was wonderful to read a book that didn't have a single scene in a high school, and the one party scene was a standout as unique among such scenes.

I just tweeted your review. :)


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