The Truth About Us – Janet Gurtler – Sourcebooks Fire – Published 7 April 2015
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.
It’s hard to find the right word to describe this book. Touching. Beautiful. Moving. Surprising. None of those adequately cover how great this book is. I had a huge grin on my face for most of this book. And yet it grabs you with its honesty.
At the start, Jess, who appears to be a careless party girl, got on my nerves. Where was this book going? By forty pages, I was beginning to really like her spunk. She obviously has a story of which we are slowly given small pieces – something happened to her mother and her family is falling apart, hence why Jess pushes the boundaries. But by page 60 I loved her. Her softer side, her loneliness and desire to fix things – or just figure them out. After a party session gone too far, Jess’ dad decides her punishment will be volunteering at a soup kitchen, New Beginnings. But far from being a punishment, New Beginnings offers Jess a chance to reflect on her life and finally face the truth.
The romance is amazingly sweet and perfect in this book. The secondary characters are realistic and feel like an extended family. It’s funny, snarky and clever. And Flynn. Swoon. But the man for me? Kyle, hands down. (No. Don’t worry. No love triangle here. You’ll understand when you read it.) And you should. Read it, that is. The only problem I had with The Truth About Us was that I wanted more. More of Jess’ time at New Beginnings. More snark with Wilf. More time with Flynn. Just more of this highly enjoyable and loveable book. I loved it!!!! This was the first book I have read by Janet Gurtler – it won’t be the last.
Ages 13 and up. Social issues. Friendship and relationships.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.