What I Thought Was True – Huntley Fitzpatrick Review

  
Before I go on with this review I want everyone to know that I did not hate this book at all. However, I did have a lot of problems with it. 

I recently read My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick and rated it a 3.5/5 stars. Considering it was her debut novel I thought she did very well. I was expecting a similar experience reading this one as I did with My Life Next Door but unfortunately it just fell flat for me.

As usual let me start with the synopsis: 

Gwen Castle lives on an island getaway type of town where the locals all know each other and every summer the beaches fill up with tourists. Instead of working for her father like she does every summer, Gwen takes a job caring for old Mrs. Ellington who suffered a fall earlier in the year and needs extra supervison. Everything seems to be going well until she realizes that her “spring hook up” is staying on the island for the summer instead of staying with his family. Gwen thinks she can just ignore Cassidy Somers but that proves to be very difficult when their paths become more entwined. 

I really wanted to like this book. The premise sounded promising and I was already familiar with Fitzpatrick’s writing style so I assumed it was a no brainer, however I could not connect to it. 

Let me first start with the things I do like:

[SPOILERS] I loved Gwen’s relationship with her younger brother Emory. I think their bond is very sweet and heartwarming and it forces Gwen to grow up a little more than a regular teenage girl. I appreciate that he has a mental handicap that isn’t specified so readers can relate him to a specific identity in their own lives. I think Fitzpatrick has a wonderful way of writing family; making their problems and struggles very realistic and yet their love also, very true and wholesome. I especially loved the roles of all the elderly characters in the story. My family being Portuguese, her grandfather had a special place for me. I loved that he was passionate about his faith and his fishing traditions and he never took anything for granted. I also really enjoyed Mrs. Ellington’s sense of humour and the grandmotherly way she treated Gwen. I found it touching since Gwen lost her own grandmother at such a young age but she still held significance in her heart. 

Now, on to the things I disliked about this book:

To be honest, besides Gwen’s grandfather, brother and Mrs. Ellington, I did not like any of the characters. The characters felt very onesided and two dimensional and I could not relate to any of them. 

1. Gwen: as the protagonist, she really annoyed me. Everything was about sex with her and I found myself getting more and more disconnected from her. Even though she was upset when everyone called her easy, she always put herself out… Like hello? You are being exactly who you don’t want people to see you as. 

2. Cassidy: I don’t understand you at all. You are in love with this girl and you don’t do anything to fight for her after she thinks you hurt her? Okay….

3. Vivian: ……….. I don’t understand people who lead others on the way she did. 

4. Nico: I appreciate his cousin love for Gwen but he needs to figure out his life. 

5. Gwen’s dad: he is a terrible father.  

Also, I don’t understand why Gwen calls her grandmother vΓ΄vo and calls her grandfather grandpa Ben when her grandfather is the one who is Portuguese … That makes no sense to me. 

The entire plot felt pointless and it took way too long for the readers to understand what happened with Gwen and Cassidy the first time.

Overall I just didn’t connect to the characters, the plot fell flat and I found myself not really caring about what happened. 

This is just my personal opinion so I still recommend this book for this who like Huntley Fitzpatrick and her writing style.

3/5 stars

Sincerely, 

B

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Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell Review

  
So, where should I start? 

C has been begging me to read this book for a very long time and I’m happy to say that I finally read it! I can understand all the hype surrounding Rainbow Rowell and her novels now that I have completed one. 

Even though most of you probably already know, I will give you a synopsis: 

The story revolves around a girl named Cath and her experience going into her first year of college. Cath is introverted and deeply passionate about her popular fan fiction that she has been writing for two years. When she moves into campus at her new college, Cath and her twin sister Wren grow apart due to their polar personalities. As if that isn’t bad enough, she finds herself crushing on her crazy roommate’s “sort-of” boyfriend, her dads becoming more unstable and her mother is trying to pop herself back into the picture. 

Rowell does a great job at using Cath as the typical college freshman. She is very relatable and genuine in her new experiences which is a huge reason why I really enjoyed it. I will admit Cath wasn’t my favourite at the beginning but she did grow on me. Her sister however, I always had a problem with. I never really understand her character that much but I’m glad they worked out their differences in the end. I found Cath’s roommate was very similar to Joshs’ first girlfriend in Stephanie Perkins ‘ books but that’s fine. I loved the relationship Cath has with her father. 

[SPOILERS] I gained huge respect for Cath for not letting her mother back into her life without a fight. I’m really happy that was issued. I love that Cath and Reagan people watch in the dining hall; it’s very realistic, as something I think we have all done a few times. The only part I have a problem with (besides Wren), is towards the end when Levi and Cath have that argument about the fan fiction deadline and when Cath is afraid Levi will compare her to her sister. I mean, I thought that Levi understood the way Cath felt about Simpn and Baz and that she needed to finish her story before the actual one ended.. But then that happened and I was kind of confused. Also, I saw some real character development in Cath as the book went on and frankly I was disappointed that she still thought Levi would prefer Wren over herself. Oh well, I suppose we all have flaws. [SPOILERS] 

Rowell has a beautiful writing style that grips readers from the start. Her characters are fun and genuine and distinct. Although I did like Levi, and I completely understand why so many people are in love with him, I don’t think he’s fit to be my fictional boyfriend… Which is good, considering C has called dibs on him for a while. 

I appreciate the way Rowell is able to describe a setting and I can perfectly picture it in my head without feeling like she over described or took too much time that could have been used on plot. I think she is very talented for her ability to do that. She also does this with characters; describing minimal features so readers are still able to visualize the character the way they see them. 

For the verdict, I recommend this book to anyone starting their first year of school, whether is college, university or high school or to anyone who likes contemporary. 

4.5/5 stars 

Sincerely,

B