Author: Janet Gurtler
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Book reviews need to be relevant and up-to-date, in my opinion, which is why I’ve been consistently trying to review books that have only been published in the last few months or so. Fewer people will have reviewed them, I think, so my opinions hold more weight. At least, that’s what I’m going with.
But as I don’t have unlimited funds for purchasing new books, I have had to become more creative about where I get my materials. I discovered that my public library allows me to search for ebooks by their publication date – so I downloaded a few that looked interesting and were published recently. That’s how I ended up enjoying #16thingsithoughtweretrue by the lakeside over Memorial Day weekend.
A brief summary from the author’s website:
Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsIthoughtweretrue
When Morgan’s mom gets sick, it’s hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn’t as far away as she thought…
Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsIthoughtweretrue
Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan’s getting to know the real Adam, and he’s actually pretty sweet…in a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?
5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need #thingsIthoughtweretrue
With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She’s not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend…and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can’t imagine living without.
Morgan, the main character of the book, is caught up in the Twitterverse, which I think is something many of us in the current day and age can relate to. But this book is, at it’s core, about how she managed to branch out from her corner of the internet and make live human connections. Her emotions and concerns about her ailing mother and her unknown father felt real to me, but the story really got going once she took off on a road trip to Canada with her boss Adam and her coworker Amy in order to find that previously unknown father.
Road trip novels can be hit or miss for me, and this one was definitely a hit. All three characters were funny and engaging, and their escapades were ridiculous but not beyond the point of believability. In truth, I fell completely in love with Amy’s character. She stole the show for me, and I actually found her much more likable than Morgan. And there’s one plot twist – well, you’ll see if you read the book.
The most disconcerting thing about the book, however, is its intense shifts in tone, from comedy to grief to romance to comedy again. I felt like it was trying to pull me in too many directions and couldn’t decide what kind of book it wanted to be. While this can be reflective of life, it made digesting the story difficult at times.
All in all, it was an enjoyable read, if an emotional rollercoaster. The characters shone brightly and I think the novel has a great heart. If you like road trip books with substance, this one’s a winner.
4 out of 5 stars.