April 10, 2015

The Truth About Us by Janet Gurtler

The Truth About Us by Janet Gurtler
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 304
Series: n/a
Review Source: Netgalley

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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 Thoughts:
My first thought upon finishing The Truth About Us was “wow!!”. I found it to be a very strong book with an incredibly interesting premise and great character transformation. I think I say this every time I read a Janet Gurtler book, but she does such an amazing job of telling stories that balance friendship, family, and romance. Those are my favourite types of contemporary YA, and I always enjoy what Janet has to offer.

Jess is the main character of this book, and she’s dealing with family issues -- or rather she’s not dealing with them. Bad things have happened and Jess feels ignored, so she just checks out. She acts out and has "friends" who she doesn't really seem to like. Jess is playing this part until she takes it too far and her uber strict dad steps in.

Flynn is someone who is so opposite from Jess in many ways, and yet he's so similar too. There’s a connection there between them that no one else seems to see. Flynn comes from completely different circumstances than Jess, and I think this book is very realistic about how differences of class can matter even now, when there's so much disparity between the two. I understood everyone being concerned about Flynn and Jess, and yet I also raged at how heavy handed people were at trying to keep them apart.

This is the story of Jess and Flynn, but it's also the story of Jess, of her finding her way back to who she wants to be. It’s the story of Jess’s family growing back into place, but especially of her mom trying to move past what's happened to her. I loved how Jess changed as she worked at the shelter, how she learned about the world and connected with people she normally wouldn't. I loved the granddaughter/grandfather banter relationship she had with Wilf, and the sister/brother and friend one she had with Flynn's little brother, Kyle.

The Truth About Us is a truly lovely book that made me feel so many things. It made me feel the butterflies of a crush and the feelings of it becoming something more. It made me feel the anguish over lost friendship. It made me feel disgust at people's horrid assumptions and rage at people thinking they knew everything and trying to control Jess and Flynn.

I highly recommend this book to all fans of contemporary YA, especially to fans of Sarah Dessen, Morgan Matson, and Emery Lord.

The Cover:
Honestly not a fave at all.


Purchase Links:
Kobo | Amazon.ca | Amazon.com | Chapters-Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


  1. Great review. I liked the same things too and felt the same way about the so-called friends and the way people acted like they knew what was best. What do you think about the ending though? In regards to what happened with Flynn?

  2. http://janetgurtler.blogspot.ca/2015/04/when-your-character-does-something.html

    See what you think about this. Yay or nay?

  3. Great review, Ashley! I enjoyed this one, too. Jess's growth was great to watch, and I was like you - I understood the concern over her relationship with Flynn, but I raged at the unfairness of it, too.

    I've been meaning to ask you this for MONTHS, but are you the Ashley Janet thanked in the acknowledgments? :-)


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


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