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Review: #16thingsithoughtweretrue by Janet Gurtler

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

by Janet Gurtler

Genre: YA Contemporary
Paperback: 283 Pages
Publication: March 14, 2014
by Sourcebooks Fire


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.

◆ A copy was provided by Sourcebooks Fire for review ◆

Janet Gurtler writes relatable, imperfect characters and puts them in challenging, thought-provoking situations. This is especially apparent in #16thingsithoughtweretrue where each character is dealing with important issues.

I didn't quite LOVE any of the characters, but I grew fond of them. Morgan's insecurities are something that most everyone goes through, as is her need to feel validated—which she attains through the number of Twitter followers she has. I can also relate to the spontaneous road trip. Last summer, I got a couple friends to agree to go on a road trip with me, so I could visit and get to know my to-be boyfriend better (the story was that I wanted to go ballroom dancing... my dance partner, who'd introduced my boyfriend and me, lives in the same area and told me about the dance). The point of the story? Road trips are a lot of fun, and I highly recommend them. It's a great way to hang out with friends and get to know each other better.

The supporting characters are wonderful as well. There's great chemistry among them, and I love how complex the relationship are. I especially enjoy how Morgan, Adam, and Amy become close friends over the course of the road trip and remain strong even after a certain couple forms within this circle. Usually, I'd be squeeling here over the cuteness of the couple. And they are pretty cute in how they can't get enough of each other during their makeout scenes. What really stands out to me, however, is the trio's friendship and their wonderful banter. It's fantastic and so. much. fun. Amy in particular is a beautiful character

What kept me from getting as into the story as I might've was the writing. It doesn't feel as put together as previous Janet Gurtler books I've loved. Much has to do with how events don't quite seem to flow together and sometimes even feel out of place. There's also the time lapse between certain situations and the lack of appropriate tension build up for certain situations, such as tea with her dad and a certain big event that takes place near the end of the novel. Many issues come up in this book. While it isn't possible to address them all to the same degree, they aren't integrated as cohesively as other books by Janet Gurtler that I've loved.

Overall, this was an enjoyable book about learning to be comfortable with who you are. I recommend #16thingsithoughtweretrue for those looking for a fun contemporary summer read that touches on some difficult issues involving life, death, and illness.

Additional Information

  • N/A

  • Heavy make-out session
  • Talk of masturbation and sex
  • Death and illness

On another note
It was a bit misleading how the synopsis focuses on the road-trip element. It wasn't until about a third into the novel that it gets going, and it only lasts about that long. I also feel like the real changes take place happen around the road trip though it is important in helping Morgan come to terms with a lot of things.

8 comments on "Review: #16thingsithoughtweretrue by Janet Gurtler"
  1. Replies
    1. It's a wonderful read. I hope you enjoy it!

  2. I have this one on my Kindle. I'm glad you mentioned the road trip element because that was something I was looking forward to. I'll still read it but it's nice to have adjusted my expectations.

    1. It definitely would have been nice for me to know going in! It's still a great read. I hope you enjoy, Karen!

  3. This looks like a really cute read! I've actually been wanting to read it for quite a while!

    1. It's a wonderful read. I hope you enjoy it, Natasha! :)

  4. This sounds like a wonderful read!!

    I like that the characters are all interesting and that they're flawed!

    Lovely review :)


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