I received this book for free from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on March 4th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Raincoast Books
Buy on Amazon
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 sweet...in 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.
As a Canadian I am always quick to jump behind any Canadian authors that I can find. Sometimes hastily getting a book based on those grounds has bitten me in the butt but I have come to know that getting a Janet Gurtler book (who is not only a Canadian, but a fellow Albertan) is always a safe bet. #16thingsithoughtweretrue did not disappoint. While it wasn’t a perfect novel, it managed to bring out all the feels from me and had me ugly crying for the last few chapters.
Morgan doesn’t come across as the most likeable character in the beginning of the novel. She is very standoffish and likes to get lost in a virtual world on her phone rather than have one on one contact with real people. It becomes apparent early on that she was at one time a much more personable person but was wronged by her best friend Lexie when she put a video of Morgan dancing in men’s underwear to LMFAO’s Sexy and I Know It online. The video quickly went viral and had people laughing at Morgan wherever she went in the town of Tadita. I liked reading a novel about how a viral video had affected someone, it’s a very important issue these days with everything that is on the news about high school and the forms of bullying that go on online. I think the person Morgan had become in the aftermath of that was very realistic. She had this hard shell that she had put up to protect herself from the taunting and from possibly being hurt again but we are never left to believe that she is that cold on the inside because her emotions are palpable throughout the novel.
Helping bring this light side of Morgan to light is everything that is going on in her family life. Right at the beginning of the novel her mother is admitted to the hospital with heart trouble and it rocks Morgan’s world. Not only is she worried about her mother, but her mom (who doesn’t think she is going to make it) tells her her father’s name which is shocking because Morgan had believed he was dead. This sets into motion the plot at the heart of the novel which is Morgan going on a road trip to Canada to meet her biological father. Of course a young girl can’t go on a trip like this alone so by luck of the draw she happens to find two people from work who are willing to go with her and one of them even has a car. Amy and Adam (her companions on the trip) where important characters in their own right. I really fell for these two, they had me laughing just as much as they had me feeling bad for what was going on in their lives. The secondary characters here are expertly developed which served to immerse me in the story even more because I came to care about so many people.
My only complaints about the novel are that a few of the revelations that come about in the story just seemed really unnecessary. It seemed like Morgan had a knack for meeting people who lie to her right off the bat and keep it going for as long as they can. The lies that she’s faced with were just silly and didn’t really serve a purpose in the story in my opinion. They felt like cheap ways to attempt to keep the story interesting but that wasn’t necessary at all because the pacing was spot on and the story would have definitely held its own. Maybe there was supposed to be a deeper meaning enforced by these people’s need to lie to her, but I just didn’t feel that it was effective at all. I was also a little bothered but the use of the term wi-fi (getting nitpicky here, I know) but it really bugged me. While on the highway Morgan kept referring to how she was in a dead zone and didn’t have wi-fi, well duh you are on a highway! I’m not sure if Gurtler was meaning to say that she just didn’t have service, or if there are actually highways out there that have wi-fi but I just couldn’t figure out why Morgan would ever think she would have a chance at having wi-fi on a highway.
Those two small issues definitely didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the novel all that much and I think that this is a definite read for any contemporary fans out there. Filled with great characters and a story that grabs you and doesn’t let go this is one you should definitely grab when it hits shelves.
4 Hot Espressos
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