By: Melanie | February 19, 2014 | (26) Comments

Review: 16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: March 3, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, YA
Pages: 304
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Heart attacks happen to other people

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

Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan's getting to know the real Adam, and he's actually pretty 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

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.

My Review

Parts of me enjoyed this novel, and then there are parts of me that just could not shove away the flaws. This is my second novel by Janet Gurtler, so I guess I had expected more from her, as How I Lost You was quite brilliant. Yet all other things aside, 16 Things I Thought Were True presents readers with several important morals and themes which I believe is to why I still ended up liking it in the end.

Morgan was never the social one when it came to interacting with the other people around her. She thought that almost five thousand followers on Twitter would be enough to keep her company. However her life takes a big turn when her mother is sent rushing to the hospital, to find out that she has a heart condition. If she died, Morgan wouldn’t have a parent left—her dad had run off before Morgan was even born. So when her summer job’s boss and fellow co-worker offer to go on a road trip with her in search for her father, how could she not say yes?

My first problem with Gurtler’s latest was the logic of the main character. Your mother is extremely ill and fragile, and you decide to set off with two people you barely know to find your father that might slam the door in your face. Right. Morgan do tell how you drew that conclusion—‘cause I really have no idea. Morgan was still, however, a good choice of protagonist for this novel. She’s a jerk, impulsive and doesn’t really listen to what comes out her mouth half the time—not exactly the easy to like type. Nonetheless, throughout the book, she did grow onto me and I liked how the author handled her growth as an individual.

16 Things I Thought Were True had a lot going on for just a 300 paged novel. I do believe that it drags down the book as a whole because the author is trying to cram everything into this book. Her mother is in hospital then out of hospital within a matter of pages. The road trip did not last too long at all. Meeting her father felt so insignificant to what I had anticipated. Then there were themes and morals mixed in, which made me, feel that the book was somewhat shallow. Perhaps a longer novel or fewer ideas? Then the author would have the opportunity to go in depth with more of the fantastic plot lines she had. And that ending felt anticlimactic. There was a twist and I was just left there thinking: “….wait…huh?”

What I loved most about Gurtler’s latest is the friendships and Morgan’s way of finding who she was. The answer was in her face the entire time, but the journey was what shaped her more. Amy was honestly the sweetest. I was not a fan of her in the beginning, but her bubbly and excitable personality made it impossible to hate her. Adam was also a pretty likeable love interest and it was great how the romance did not take up the novel—if it did… TOTAL. DISASTER.

16 Things I Thought Were True was a brave new novel by Janet Gurtler that dealt with topics such as death, finding yourself, moving on by leaving the past behind,  lying and how it can come back and make you feel guilty and understanding that it’s completely alright to make mistakes—though remember to correct them in the end. Yes, it’s quite a bucket. But like I said, it’s crowded with ideas and happenings.

~Thank you Sourcebooks Fire for sending me this copy!~

3 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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26 Responses to Review: 16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler

  1. Shai W says:

    I think I’ve seen this one before, but I’ve read How I Lost You last year and it was pretty good. I will add this to my to be read list. Thanks for the review melanie

  2. Nara says:

    Yeah, the decision to just kind of abandon her mother and go on a road trip seems pretty illogical to me too…especially since the mother is a single mother…
    Seems like a book crammed with a lot of subplots and things! Might read it when I’m feeling like something a bit messy haha
    Nara recently posted…Review: Panic by Lauren OliverMy Profile

  3. I always have a problem with books with bad pacing. I think it’s fine to set boundaries in your novel… you don’t have to put everything; just put enough to provide good character development and to move the plot along. Sorry you didn’t love this like you expected you would!
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…Review: Amulet of Elusion by Katie Lynn JohnsonMy Profile

  4. This book looks and sounds very busy with too much going on for my liking. You’re so right though, if my Mum was in hospital, I wouldn’t go searching for anyone, I’d be sticking around for her! Definitely lacking in logic. I think from the sounds of things i may just avoid this one as I don’t think I’d be as generous with my rating as you were. Still, fantastic review, really lays everything out easily for me! Well done Mel! 😀
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Five Friday Favourites #2 – Favourite Bloggers You FollowMy Profile

  5. Hmmm, sounds like there is too much going on here, not sure if I’ll give this a go. It does sound interesting though, and the character logic definitely sounds offputting. Lovely review Mel! BTW I’m so glad your original font is back, it’s not Midnight Reads without it 😉
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Cress by Marissa Meyer Review: Meet Rapunzel the Awkward Cyber HackerMy Profile

  6. Aimee says:

    Although I’m not a fan of cramming information into just one novel, I do think that I’ll like the friendships in this book. I haven’t read anything by this author yet, so I might enjoy this one more since I won’t be expecting much. 🙂 Great review, Melanie! <3
    Aimee recently posted…“Waiting On” Wednesday: Say What You WillMy Profile

  7. I’ve heard good things about this author but haven’t read anything by her yet. I do like the road trip aspect of it 🙂
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (105) + Book Looks (41)!My Profile

  8. Tanja says:

    I have heard great things about this author but still haven’t read any of her books. I’m glad you enjoyed this one despite some issues and I love books that teach and talk about important moral issues. Great review, Mel 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (#83)My Profile

  9. It’s a shame that the road trip took up such a small proportion of the narrative. I do love strong friendships and not having read this author’s previous work I likely won’t face a few of the disappointments you did, Melanie, but I’m not sure it’s for me, particularly if it feels too long and lags. Thanks for such an honest, helpful review, though, dearest! 🙂
    Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings recently posted…Young Adult Mini-Reviews: Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey & The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse AndersonMy Profile

  10. Lily B says:

    I heard this one was interesting but it sounds like it could have benefited without having everything crammed into one book.
    Lily B recently posted…ARC Review: While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth BlackwellMy Profile

  11. Totally agree about the ending! It was definitely anticlimactic, but I never caught the lapse in Morgan’s judgement. But I can definitely see how you thought it was a problem because I’d also be super worried about that kind of thing if I caught it. I’m glad that you liked this one overall, though, and I also loooooved Amy, because she was so nice and a total sweetiepie! Fantastic review, Mellybean! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany SchmidtMy Profile

  12. Hmm, I am curious as to why she would leave her mother and it sounds like the author didn’t provide a solid reason. I am glad you liked parts of this. Wonderful review!
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Lost Lake by Sarah Addison AllenMy Profile

  13. Giselle says:

    Morgan doesn’t sound like the kind of person I would have a lot of patience for. I read a book not so long ago with the same thing, something tragic happens and they just go off to a party. I can’t remember what it was though but I had the same annoyance. Having a short book is a tricky balance like tat too. You don’t want to make it have too little like most short books have, but too much makes it a bit overwhelming. I find Jennifer Brown is excellent with short books all of hers are 280-330 pages and they’re all so good! I do have this one for review so I’ll likely give it a try. Glad to know what to expect!
    Giselle recently posted…Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria ScottMy Profile

  14. To be honest, the book doesn’t really sound like something that I’d enjoy. I’m glad there were good parts, but I think the MC would drive me crazy too with some of her choices. I can’t imagine leaving my sick mom to go find a dad I don’t know. I understand the LOGIC of wanting a parent if you lose one, but I’d still want to be with my mom while I could if she did pass.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Unique Find: Celebs Go DisneyMy Profile

  15. Hmm, I feel indifferent about this one. Probably not my kind of read. At least you liked it mostly.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Excerpt & Giveaway: Lost in Us by Layla Hagen (Book Blitz)My Profile

  16. Rachel says:

    Wonderful review, Melanie. Nice to see you enjoyed the characterizations even thought the plot seemed a bit crammed to you. 🙂
    Rachel recently posted…Review: Anything to Have You by Paige HarbisonMy Profile

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