"From the author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions.
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." (Description from Goodreads.com)
What I Thought Was True was a great sophomore book for Fitzpatrick. This book is in a different world from her first and and I'm to understand, a stand-alone. What we have come to love from My Life Next Door with Fitzpatrick's honest writing about teenagers and how the interact with the world around them is fully displayed in What I Thought Was True.
Honestly, it's more than that for me with Fitzpatrick's books. I feel like I'm apart of the world she has created, experiencing right along with the main character. From being worried about money to wondering what really happened that cold, cold, day with Cass to worrying about how her friend thought about her.
Fitzpatrick also excels at developing relationships between her characters. Family members feel true with a give and take, push and pull that all families have. Also featured was friendships and relationships and how the can ebb and change over time and through life-changes.
What really stuck with me was that Gwen and Nic (her cousin and housemate) are trying and working towards a better life. They don't want to become the "help" for the island's rich. They want more out of life. Gwen is faced with questions on how to make that possible with her brother while Nic is faced with a girlfriend who wants to stay on the island. Nic at one point says to Gwen, "do you ever feel like we're one decision away from going the wrong direction." That's not a direct quote but a feel of what he was trying to get across. These two kids are walking a tight rope between making the right decisions to achieve their goals. But they're still kids and learning how the world is effected by the decisions they make. While reading this book I kept thinking, what senior in high school doesn't feel like this? One wrong decision and the goal to move out, go to college, experience life...the pressure of making the right decisions and choices can become a bit much.
I know a lot of reviews talk about the sexuality of Fitzpatrick's books. Personally, I find it refreshing in the YA genre. The teens talk about sex in an very open and honest way. It also doesn't hurt that protection and what can happen if you don't use it are also talked about. More importantly, in this book Gwen does have experience but she isn't vilified for it.
Overall, this book was great from start to finish. Another must-read book for your list! Make sure to check your local library for copies of both What I Thought Was True and My Life Next Door.