Set on the beaches of a fictional island located off the coast of Connecticut, What I Thought Was True is the story of a young woman learning firsthand of the mystifying intricacies of love, lust, luxury and loyalty—and how each can change drastically for her friends, her family and herself.

High school junior Gwen Castle is the half-Portuguese daughter of a divorced housecleaner and an off-brand fast-food restaurant owner. She lives in a cramped house on Shell Island with nearly her entire family, all of whom work multiple jobs to help pay the bills. Gwen’s life couldn’t differ more from that of Cassidy Somers, an attractive, wealthy boy and her own personal Kryptonite. Cassidy is the picture of wealth and class—just another one of the stereotypical, WASP-y “summer people” who escape to Gwen’s island to enjoy her beaches for the warmer months. But when he takes a summer job as a lawn boy—work typically reserved for the regulars of the island—Gwen begins to think that there could be more to Cassidy than his family’s money and prestige, and that their random hookup from last year just might have something more hidden within it than simple carnal release.

Huntley Fitzpatrick worked as an editor for Harlequin publishing for many years before penning her first novel, My Life Next Door, which was a RITA Award finalist and a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults title. What I Thought Was True, her second novel, continues on the same path, tempering young love and attraction with the realities of human existence—something writers too often forget when crafting their idyllic stories of young love. It also reminds us how the facets of class and money can alter, sometimes unfairly, our perceptions of people, including ourselves.

 

Justin Barisich is a freelancer, satirist, poet and performer living in Atlanta. More of his writing can be found at littlewritingman.com.

This article was originally published in the May 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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