Review: 16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler

16 Things I Thought Were True
Janet Gurtler
Series: None
Released: March 3rd, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Rating: 3.5 stars
Word Rating: I'm a little all over the place, okay?
Reviewed by: Mel

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Heart attacks happen to other people

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

Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan's getting to know the real Adam, and he's actually pretty 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

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.

Parts of me enjoyed this novel, and then there are parts of me that just could not shove away the flaws. This is my second novel by Janet Gurtler, so I guess I had expected more from her, as How I Lost You was quite brilliant. Yet all other things aside, 16 Things I Thought Were True presents readers with several important morals and themes which I believe is to why I still ended up liking it in the end.

Morgan was never the social one when it came to interacting with the other people around her. She thought that almost five thousand followers on Twitter would be enough to keep her company. However her life takes a big turn when her mother is sent rushing to the hospital, to find out that she has a heart condition. If she died, Morgan wouldn’t have a parent left—her dad had run off before Morgan was even born. So when her summer job’s boss and fellow co-worker offer to go on a road trip with her in search for her father, how could she not say yes?

My first problem with Gurtler’s latest was the logic of the main character. Your mother is extremely ill and fragile, and you decide to set off with two people you barely know to find your father that might slam the door in your face. Right. Morgan do tell how you drew that conclusion—‘cause I really have no idea. Morgan was still, however, a good choice of protagonist for this novel. She’s a jerk, impulsive and doesn’t really listen to what comes out her mouth half the time—not exactly the easy to like type. Nonetheless, throughout the book, she did grow onto me and I liked how the author handled her growth as an individual.

16 Things I Thought Were True had a lot going on for just a 300 paged novel. I do believe that it drags down the book as a whole because the author is trying to cram everything into this book. Her mother is in hospital then out of hospital within a matter of pages. The road trip did not last too long at all. Meeting her father felt so insignificant to what I had anticipated. Then there were themes and morals mixed in, which made me, feel that the book was somewhat shallow. Perhaps a longer novel or fewer ideas? Then the author would have the opportunity to go in depth with more of the fantastic plot lines she had. And that ending felt anticlimactic. There was a twist and I was just left there thinking: “….wait…huh?”

What I loved most about Gurtler’s latest is the friendships and Morgan’s way of finding who she was. The answer was in her face the entire time, but the journey was what shaped her more. Amy was honestly the sweetest. I was not a fan of her in the beginning, but her bubbly and excitable personality made it impossible to hate her. Adam was also a pretty likeable love interest and it was great how the romance did not take up the novel—if it did… TOTAL. DISASTER.

16 Things I Thought Were True was a brave new novel by Janet Gurtler that dealt with topics such as death, finding yourself, moving on by leaving the past behind,  lying and how it can come back and make you feel guilty and understanding that it’s completely alright to make mistakes—though remember to correct them in the end. Yes, it’s quite a bucket. But like I said, it's crowded with ideas and happenings.


  1. Too bad this one wasn't done too well, it sounds like it was just a bit too ambitious with cramming too much in. I love how this one is focused around Twitter and social media though and the real repurcussions behind it. Lovely review Mel!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  2. I really dislike it when tons of ideas are crammed into one short story. It makes things confusing and discourages me from reading.

  3. I think this one really sounds interesting, it really sounds like it can be relate-able with the world today!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  4. Mel, we all know that if your mother is ill and fragile, it's a good idea to take a road trip. WHO CARES about what might happen while you're away. It's more important to find the dad you never knew, the dad who probably doesn't care about you since he ran out on you when you were a baby.

    I seriously don't think I'd be able to overlook that even if the themes were really good but I am glad you ended up enjoying it.

    Great Review, Mel!! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  5. This novel sounds really good and I can't wait to read it! Hopefully I enjoy the characters and the setting as much as you did even though the should-be-important parts are quite short. Great review!


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