Book review: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

About the book
What I Thought Was True is a young adult book by Huntley Fitzpatrick. The book was published by Dial Books on 15th April and it is 409 pages long.
Gwen Castle’s Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He’s a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island’s summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she’ll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen’s dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.
What I thought
Huntley Fitzpatrick’s debut novel My Life Next Door was one of my favourite books during the summer of 2012 so when I had the chance to read this one, I didn’t wait around for long. I haven’t been reading that much of late due to life getting in the way and generally either being too busy or too tired to concentrate. This was the first book that I’ve read in months.
This book was quite hard to get in to. Protagonist Gwen comes from a pretty confusing family. I didn’t really understand who some of the characters were until a fair way into the book. Nic was one of those characters. It was never made really clear who he was but turns out that he’s Gwen’s cousin rather than a brother like I originally though. However confusing, her family were interesting to say the least. Gwen’s mother is in love with romance novels, her dad is never around and her granddad speaks in a mix of English and Portuguese.
The plot focuses on Gwen and her plans for the summer. Normally she would be working the restaurant for her dad and babysitting but this summer her mum lands her a job looking after an elderly lady and it pays well! Gwen always dreads working in the restaurant and having to serve the rich boys from across the bridge… especially one in particular. Turns out, that one boy in particular will be spending a lot of time on the island this year and everywhere Gwen seems to go, he’s there!
The plot was pretty cute for a summer read and it wasn’t too deep which was nice. Gwen has a past and this is sort of discovered in flashbacks. Again though, this aspect of the book was really confusing. There is no clear timeline for the bits in the past and there is no clear definition between the past and the present. I felt like I never really knew what was going on until after half way through the book which was a shame. Some of Gwen’s past actions are what made her into the girl she is in this book so it would have been nice to have been able to understand her a little better.
The love interest in this book is Cass, a guy from a wealthy family but is working as a yard boy for the summer. Cass was super sweet and you could tell from the very start that he was interested in Gwen but we have to wait a while to see what’s really going on between them. I liked slowly discovering what was happening between them and the chemistry was also pretty great!! During their time together we get to know a lot about both characters rather than them just being a romance or a ‘love at first sight’ kind of thing which I hate!

While I liked this book, I didn’t love it. There was too much confusion and I just wish things had been a bit more straightforward. 

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