I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Truth About Us on April 7, 2015
A powerful and gripping contemporary YA from the author of I'm Not Her that's "Just right for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jodi Picoult."-Booklist
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.
Jess is from the rich side of town. From the outside, her life may look perfect so she does her best to uphold that image. On the inside, she knows that it’s definitely not. She lost her best friend a few years ago and now she spends all her time with Nance, a girl who drinks a lot and doesn’t mind Skyping and flashing boys all the time. Nance even gets Jess to join in with her, even though Jess knows she shouldn’t. After buying a $9,999 dress online, Jess is forced by her father to work at the volunteer shelter for the entire summer.
At the shelter, Jess runs into Flynn, who just happened to have given her a ride with his buddy after her drunk walk of shame home after flashing guys with Nance. By Jess’s father’s standards, Flynn is definitely someone she should stay away from because he’s not rich and lives in the run-down side of town. Before they know it, the two of them are falling in love with each other.
As soon as I started reading The Truth About Us, I had a feeling that it would be a new favorite, and I was right. I felt so bad for Jess and wanted to know what was wrong with her family, and I liked how Gurtler didn’t tell us about what happened until a bit of a ways in. I wasn’t too impressed with some of the choices that Jess had made, though she definitely grew and became a better person throughout the book and I loved witnessing that. I really liked how she went against her dad’s orders and I hate how stuck up he was when he kept judging Flynn. What a person has doesn’t contribute in any way to what kind of person they are.
Flynn has a 5 year old brother Kyle who constantly pulled on my heartstrings; he was the most adorable little child who was obsessed with Thomas the Train and loved helping out at the shelter by cutting cakes. The relationship between Flynn and Jess was one of the most real relationships that I’ve ever read about. They had actual struggles like a real couple does and I didn’t think that it seemed like insta-love at all. I also really loved Wilf, the old guy who ran the greenhouse at the shelter. He became such a good friend to Jess, which I liked because it’s not often that young teenagers will have a friendship with a much older person. It was touching because they both had a connection through plants, as they both loved growing them. Wilf always talked about his deceased wife, Rhea, and how he always fought for her, which was something that I think really helped Jess fight for Flynn. This book is one that I’ll definitely be recommending to others and I will be reading Janet Gurtler’s other books!