16 Things I Thought Were Trueby Janet Gurtler (Website, Twitter)
Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. on 2014-03-04
Genres: Adolescence, Family, Friendship, Parents, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: Borrowed From Library
Amazon • Book Depository • 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.
Morgan’s life has taken a bit of a turn for the worse. Her best friend–now her ex-best friend–uploaded a video of Morgan dancing in her underwear onto YouTube, so Morgan’s been a social pariah at school. She’s retreated into herself, her only friends now online on Twitter, and Morgan tells herself that she’s fine with that. But her mother is worried about her, even her older twin brothers are worried about her, and they hold out hope that maybe she’ll make some real life friends at her new summer job at the local amusement park.
But suddenly Morgan’s mother is hospitalized with heart attack symptoms, and facing death, she confesses that she actually knows where Morgan’s father has been all these years. Morgan is already emotional since her mom is ill, but she is furious that her mother has lied to her for so many years. So Morgan decides to set out to confront her father face to face, and she takes a road trip to find him with her boss Adam, who basically invites himself along, and her coworker Amy, who volunteers her car to drive them to Canada. This road trip is a lot of fun and they all laugh, learn, and grow. It’s so good.
Morgan is a typical teenager with her face buried in her phone all of the time, and in the beginning, she’s a bit of a bratty bitch. But it’s understandable since everyone in town knows her from the YouTube video. No one knows that she didn’t post it for attention, so the whispers, the questions, the alienation are just too much for Morgan to deal with on a daily basis. So she focuses on her Twitter followers and her love of Chapstick. Getting to 5000 followers before the end of summer is her goal, and she’s certain that she can make it. But she never expected to make friends with her nerdily attractive boss at the amusement park Adam or the hyperactive, non-stop talker Amy. They are there for her as she deals with her emotions–that are all over the place–when it comes to her sick mom and her reservations with meeting her father.
The secondary characters really shine in 16 Things I Thought Were True. Adam is future doctor that’s cute in a nerdy way, and he’s a hard ass at work, but that alienates the rest of their coworkers. But when Morgan needs to get to the hospital when her mom has a heart attack, he drops everything to take her there. And when Morgan really needs him again, he’s there for her. Their love story really develops in a believable and organic way. Amy is the brutally honest, no filter, excessively optimistic and happy girl that worms her way into Adam and Morgan’s lives in the nicest way possible. She has such a great character arc, and I really don’t want to spoil it since it’s such a big part of the last half of the book. Everyone deserves such a fabulously loyal and great friend as Amy.
I give 16 Things I Thought Were True a 4.5 out of 5. It’s a refreshing contemporary young adult book with an entertaining road trip. The writing is strong and entertaining with great pacing. The characters are realistic and emotionally true while being relatable. I really loved that the families for everyone were present and front and center. While the book is sad in parts, it’s hopeful and fun with great characters and growth.