ARC-Book Review! One Blogging Reader’s Review after reading ‘The Truth About Us’ by Janet Gurtler.
(This review will also be posted on Amazon.com and Goodreads.com)
Title: THE TRUTH ABOUT US
Author: Janet Gurtler
(Review based on ARC copy – early review)
Publishing date: April 7thd, 2015
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The Synopsis for ‘The Truth About Us’:
A powerful and gripping contemporary YA from the author of I’m Not Her that’s “Just right for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jodi Picoult.”-Booklist
The truth is that Jess knows she screwed up.
She’s made mistakes, betrayed her best friend, and now she’s paying for it. Her dad is making her spend the whole summer volunteering at the local soup kitchen.
The truth is she wishes she was the care-free party-girl everyone thinks she is.
She pretends it’s all fine. That her “perfect” family is fine. But it’s not. And no one notices the lie…until she meets Flynn. He’s the only one who really sees her. The only one who listens.
The truth is that Jess is falling apart – and no one seems to care.
But Flynn is the definition of “the wrong side of the tracks.” When Jess’s parents look at him they only see the differences-not how much they need each other. They don’t get that the person who shouldn’t fit in your world… might just be the one to make you feel like you belong.
My ‘Blogging Reader’s ARC-Review’ for ‘The Truth About Us':
This is my first time reviewing the work of author Janet Gurtler. The Truth About Us is a captivating and emotional YA novel about trying to find yourself by hiding behind a false lifestyle. Even for a YA genre novel, this read was still very enjoyable and a wonderful coming-of-age story. Readers will get to enjoy this story from the main female character’s P.O.V.(point of views), Jess.
When Jess’s strong and successful mother experienced a horrendous ordeal, it changed not only her mother’s life but also it changed the dynamic of their family. Being told by their father not to speak of it and to basically bury it, left teenaged Jess an emotional mess. She tried to deal with it by throwing herself into parties, getting drunk out of her mind and dating a boy that she really wouldn’t have went for soberly. This change of persona put a huge wedge between her longtime best friend Penny and brought her closer to her party friend Nance. Her life began to spiral out of control until her father had enough. He signed her up to volunteer at a local soup kitchen that was on the other side of town away from the posh and luxurious part of town where Jess and her family lived.
Jess would push her limits and not in a good way. On her way home after hanging out with Nance, she ends up taking a chance by taking a ride from a stranger named Braxton Brooks. He seemed harmless but his passenger friend was the one that catches Jess’s attention. This dark haired, handsome guy, who definitely looked like he had no interest in her was the one that she was attracted to. Too bad he definitely looked to be from “The wrong side of the tracks.” His name was Flynn.
When Jess begins working at the soup kitchen, she hates it. But when she realizes there is more beyond the privileged lifestyle she is accustomed to and learns that everyone has a story, she begins to grow beyond what she could’ve ever expected. Making unlikely friends, she begins to change little by little. Then, Jess comes across the very attractive stranger she never thought she’d see again and her life begins to take a completely different path. Flynn is not everything she assumed he was. He was more. As they get to know each other, their lives begin to evolve into something else. Coming from two different worlds and backgrounds, others around them begin to interfere with their growing friendship because of those differences.
Will their family and friends drive a wedge between Jess and Flynn? Why is Flynn always giving Jess mixed signals? Will Jess be able to fix her mistakes or will she always just be the rich little party girl? And will Jess’s family always be distant from each other and will her mother ever be the same again? This story was beautiful and rich with interesting characters. The Truth About Us flows great and is well-written which makes the story amazingly good. Regardless if you read Young Adult novels, this one can still be enjoyed by those who prefer New Adult novels as well because the story has fascinating qualities. If you’re looking for something nice to read, give this one a chance. It’s worth checking out.
MY BLOGGING READER’S STAR SCORE FOR ‘THE TRUTH ABOUT US’ 4 out of 5 stars:
How I imagined the characters of “The Truth About Us”:
★★★MEMORABLE QUOTES & LINES FROM ‘THE TRUTH ABOUT US′★★★
Jess’s thoughts & Flynn’s words: They don’t go to my school. But they would get me home by curfew. Besides, rapists and murderers don’t give out their names. I won’t lose my phone privileges. I’ll stay out of trouble. A swoop of adrenaline bungee jumps up and down in my gut as I consider my options.
“You’re not actually going to accept a ride from perfect strangers?” Flynn asks.
I glare at him. That’s an even bigger challenge.
Jess’s thoughts: I wish every day for my mom to be back. The mom I used to know. I don’t blame her for the way she is now; how could I? But still. I miss her.
Jess’s thoughts: My cheeks burn remembering how Penny and I swore we’d be mature teenagers, not girls who cared too much about makeup, clothes, and boys. We swore we’d never do stupid things just to be popular. Like drinking or smoking. One of us was wrong.
Flynn and Jess: “Maybe you convinced me not to judge a book by its cover.”
“You don’t like my cover?” I ask, trying to keep my voice light. But it sounds husky in my ears, husky and slightly desperate.
“I don’t have to tell you you’re beautiful,” he says.
You don’t? I think. Yes, yes, you do.
“Because you are. But you’re good people too, Jess. Even if you don’t know it yet. I can be completely honest with you. I can be myself. And I really like that. I don’t have that with many people.”
It’s nice, to be seen with fresh eyes that don’t have all sorts of preconceived notions about me. In some ways I feel like he’s looking inside. At the real me. And amazingly, he seems to think I’m okay.
Jess’s thoughts: I remember what Mom used to say about Dad before she retreated into her shell.
“We don’t always choose the ones we fall for. Sometimes the chemistry chooses us.”
Is that what this is? Chemistry? Because it feels wonderful. And also scares the shit out of me. It’s more real than anything I’ve felt lately. And dangerous. I like it.
Wilf to Jess: “You’re going to be all right, no matter what you did to land yourself in this place. In some ways, I suspect that my Rhea had a spiritual hand in it. Bringing you here. I’ve no doubt she’s up there, an angel, looking out for me. I think she wanted us to meet. The daughter I never got to have. Or maybe the granddaughter of the daughter I never got to have.”
Jess’s thoughts: The glow on his face dulls my fear that maybe everyone is right about us. His mom doesn’t approve of me. Stella doesn’t approve. Nance doesn’t approve. But when he smiles, it doesn’t matter what other people say.
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