Single Sundays: #16thingsithoughtweretrue by Janet Gurtler

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.

Review:

I’m not a Twitter user but I do like looking at the hashtags people use (watch Jimmy Fallon’s Hashtag videos on Youtube! They are hilarious!). So when I saw the title of this book, it intrigued me and it’s been awhile since I read a coming of age book so it seemed like a good match.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I feel like Janet Gurtler hit the nail on the head a few times with how young people use social media. I hate when people are constantly on their phones (if I didn’t need one for school purposes, I wouldn’t have one) and Morgan is a prime example of that; but what I love is that her friends call her out on it all the time. I get that people feel comfortable talking online with people more so than real people (I mean I have a book blog for goodness’ sake!) but I like that this book tries to teach you that there is more to life than popularity and social media so I really appreciated that.

To a certain degree, the book was a little predictable and I had a good idea of what was going to happen. But then there is this curveball that really adds another dimension to the story and I think I wouldn’t have liked the book as much if it wasn’t for that little twist. It was a good move and really cements the message of the story.

Part of the reason I didn’t love this book was because Morgan is a hard character to like at times but that’s probably the intention with a coming of age novel so you can see the character develop. She’s a tad self-centred but she seems to know it and knows she needs to fix it so I can appreciate that. She really does grow as a character by the end so it was nice to see that change. My biggest problem with her was that she didn’t seem like she was 18 years old. Reading it, I would have said 16 years old but I know why she was 18 given the plot of the story.

UPDATE (May 10, 2014): There is a great video out that talks about young people’s obsession with social media and how it is affecting our face-to-face communication. Watch it here!

Conclusion:

It’s a nice coming of age story that today’s teenager will probably relate to in some way. It’s very realistic in its delivery and is well written. While the plot is slow, the book doesn’t take long to read and there are a few chuckle-worthy moments. Readers who enjoy coming of age novels will enjoy this. It’s a definite feel-good read.

Rating: 3.5/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: Young Adult, Coming of Age, Drama, Romance, Realistic
Recommended for: 16+
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person
Similar Reads: Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares (Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants #1) and Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

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