The Truth About Us

Paperback | March 26, 2015

byJanet Gurtler

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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."

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From the Publisher

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 so...

Janet Gurtler lives in Calgary, Canada with her husband and son and a puppy blessed with cuteness rather than brains. Janet does not live in an Igloo or play hockey, but she does love maple syrup and says eh" a lot. Visit"

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.21 × 5.63 × 0.86 inPublished:March 26, 2015Publisher:SourcebooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1402278004

ISBN - 13:9781402278006


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review from This is the Story of My(Reading) Life This my second Gurtler read and the second time I've been pleasantly surprised by how much dimension she adds into what I expected to be on the more fluffy side of YA contemporary. It was definitely cute but also did a really great job showing how obtuse and meddling adults can be. Apparently Jess and Flynn have no right falling for each other. Because apparently coming from different "classes" is still a thing. Gurtler did a good job of making me pissed off a few times throughout the book. It's mind boggling that people still believe what half the adults in this book believe; that just because you don't come from the same walk of life than you can't mix. The Truth About Us also proved how much the adults in a kids life do influence their thinking and behaviour. Even when Jess and Flynn know they can make it work there's still the niggling feelings of what will my friends think. Or my parents. But I really loved how they would tease each other with stereotypical truths. You think it's teasing but you can tell they're really trying to figure out how the other one does live. This could have a totally cheesy other side of the tracks romance, but of course it's not. These are very real characters struggling to push through standards. Jess showed a bunch of growth. She went from this girl doing stupid stupid crap as a cry for attention to a more understanding and forward thinking girl. A girl who fought to get her life back to the way she wanted it. I enjoyed not only Flynn helping her see through the fog but also Wilf and the other fantastic supporting characters. Another hit out of the park for Gurtler.
Date published: 2015-08-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Janet Gurtler is great When I was a teen, there was not near the selection of good teen novels that there is now and even though I am nowhere near a teen, I am not ashamed or embarrassed to be reading teen books. Janet Gurtler is one of my favourite author of teen books. She writes well written books of real characters with relevant issues going on in their lives. This book has young romance but there is so much else going on here. Jess's life looks perfect on the outside. She comes from a nice part of town, she has a lot of money so she must have the charmed life, right? Wrong. This book deals with the real reality that trouble and strife isn't reserved for those that live in poverty, although there is some of that going on too. Jess's mom spends days in bed after a tragedy, her dad and sister are never home, she betrayed her best friend and with her new friends she enters a life of drinking parties, boys and a few pretty stupid acts. After one exceptionally stupid moment, she finds herself at New Beginnings, a shelter for the homeless and others in need of free meals, volunteering for the summer. It's there that she finds her way back to herself. She makes real friendships with people she normally wouldn't come in contact with. She finds there's prejudice on both sides of rich vs poor and she learns who she is and what she's willing to stand up for. I read some reviews that people didn't like Jess. She can't be blamed for growing up rich, she lives what she knows and I admire her conviction and drive and her willingness to look outside the box. And by the same token some of her new friends cared to look inside the pretty packaging and see her potential. The prejudices were wide spread, it was nice that Jess wasn't the only one who learned something about the other side. I do have some reservations about a relationship between her and Flynn, not because of money, but it seemed that maybe their idea of how they view relationships differ. This is a fact paced book with a good message, a lot more substance than just a romance.
Date published: 2015-06-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from unexpectedly good The Truth about Us was a total whim read. I received this book from the publisher during their spring preview and I never really thought about it since then. However last month, I wanted to read something quick and breezy and I decided to try it out for two reason 1) Janet Gurtler is a canadian author, 2) I was in a horrible reading slump and needed a contemporary I knew nothing about. I am so glad I picked up The Truth about Us because it was fantastic! It definitely took me out of my reading slump and now I will be picking up all of Janet Gurtler's books. I actually own Who I Kissed so that will be next on my list. The Truth about Us revolves around Jess, a girl coming from a rich family.. but definitely not a perfect one. It seems like her family is falling apart. Her mother is in her room all the time due to an incident the readers are kept in the dark about. Jess's dad is working constantly, while her sister pretty much moved into her boyfriend's family's house and is never seen at home. This leaves Jess alone all day, or hanging out with her one friend.. who is a horrible influence on her. Jess ends up getting in trouble for something stupid she did (she bought a ten thousand dollar dress online), and her dad finally puts his foot down. Next thing she knows, she is signed up to volunteer at a soup kitchen called New Beginnings. Honestly? Jess is so down to earth, I loved that she wasn't the stereotypical rich kid. Yes, she isn't used to poverty or seeing poverty. Yes, she was uncomfortable during the first days at New Beginnings, but who wouldn't be? when one has only known luxury living? What was more interesting to me was how everyone pretty much discriminated against Jess for being rich. It was so shocking how she was ostracized at times just because she has more money than them. I just feel like only when someone rich discriminates against someone poor does it turn into the issue.. but when the opposite happens… then it is justified. I really do not like the double standards of our world. I loved the friendship Jess strikes up with Whilf, a 70 year old who takes care of the greenhouse he gave to the soup kitchen. I loved their banter together and enjoyed their scenes. As for Flynn, the love interest.. I really really liked him. He had his insecurities and it was so cute seeing them together.. however, I truly did not like the ending… it felt like Janet Gurtler tried to deviate from the typical YA endings, but decided against it in the last minute. This was the one time I was happy if the couple didn't end up together because it felt realistic and appropriate. That is mainly why I didn't give The Truth about Us higher than 4 stars. Still, overall this was such a quick and enjoyable read and I can't wait to see what else is in store for me when I pick up more of Gurtler's books.
Date published: 2015-05-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Clean teen read that faces real-life problems Few YA novels are able to grasp the difficulties and injustices of teenhood while still remaining light and age-appropriate. The Truth About Us tackles painful and sometimes dark real-world struggles—this is no Twilight or Pretty Little Liars—but is still a clean read for younger audiences. Despite its "gripping" content claim, I actually found this a pretty light read. I breezed through it effortlessly; it's one of those books I didn't have to think too deeply about, which is perfect for lounging around with in the upcoming summer months. There are a few things that just didn't click with me, though. My main issue is that I couldn't really connect with the characters, namely Jess (the narrator) and Flynn (the love interest). It isn't that they're necessarily unlikable, but they just seem too flat, too two-dimensional. Gurtler attempts to add emotional complexity and first-world flaws to Jess's ignorant, rather foolish persona, but it seemed rather forced. There are times her compelling vulnerabilities really shine through, but for the most part, her shallow character is randomly peppered with unrelated "insecurities." Half the time, I was irritated by her depressing, undeservedly bleak outlook on life, considering most of her problems could be easily solved if she would just step it up in the maturity game. Jess's past remains a mystery throughout the majority of the first half of the book, which would normally be suspenseful, but quickly became annoying. Throughout, she alludes to two prominent tragedies frequently: the loss of her mother and her best friend (figuratively, not literally)—but when these moments are actually finally revealed, they're very much told, rather than shown! I feel like this rendered the entire conflict void; there was no emotional value or imagery connected to what she kept from readers for so long... an anti-suspense, of sorts. That being said, The Truth About Us isn't completely lacking in redeeming qualities. Many teen romance novels feature a bad boy hero from the "wrong side of the tracks," but with Flynn, it doesn't feel like a YA trope. While his character is also only described on the surface level, I'm definitely impressed with the depth and conviction Gurtler uses to convey the very relevant and very real socioeconomic divide between him and Jess. I also enjoyed how both characters have their own hardships in their lives—whether in the past or present—that raise the stakes in the plot. I have to admit I was disappointed by the romance aspect of this book, but that's because I'm a bit of a romance fanatic. If you're looking for a love story that'll knock you off your feet... The Truth About Us is definitely not the answer. Keep on searching. However, if you want a contemporary teen novel that deals with bigger issues than just the wobbly knees and stomach butterflies, I think you'll get something out of this one. Pros: An easy read; quick to get through -- Surprisingly sentimental (in a good way!) and emotional for a light YA novel -- Interesting synopsis regarding romance obstructed by class difference Cons: Didn't blow me away stylistically -- Some unrealistic, "too fast, too easy" bits, particularly the underdeveloped insta-love -- Jess and Flynn both fall flat as characters -- Jess's past isn't explored as much as I would have liked -- Rushed, stilted ending—overall unsatisfying Verdict: Younger teen audiences will be intrigued by this chaste romance story about what happens when a girl who has everything (at least on the outside), meets a guy who lives the kind of poverty-stricken life she didn't even realize existed. While I had some issues with the superficially characterized protagonists and rather plain writing style, I did appreciate the overall conflict that faces real-life problems about social class, friends, and family, that is accented by tender moments of affection and teen love in between. Rating: 6 out of 10 hearts (3 stars): Decent for a first read, but I'm not going back; this book is decidedly average (whatever that means!). FTC Disclosure: Complimentary copy provided by publisher via tour publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Sourcebooks and Jean BookNerd!).
Date published: 2015-04-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from LOVEEEEEEE! I knew I had to jump at the chance to support my fellow Canadians and what better way than to read their books? Janet is a contemporary author that I have been meaning to pick up now and by joining Jean Book Nerd's blog tour, I knew I had a winner. My expectations were right because I really enjoyed this book and I'm not a huge contemporary fan either. What can I say? It has all the components of a cute story with a dose of the serious, which is ultimately what I enjoy most. Right off the bat there's something Jess is keeping from you and being the determined curious reader you are, you're going to want to know what it is. I wanted to know right away, and I'm really glad it gets revealed in the middle, and not the end, like other books. Janet has this way of writing that makes you forget about reality, and you get sucked up into Jess's story. She's a little spoiled, a little bratty and is incredibly lonely, the ultimate rich girl problem. But there's more to her than meets the eye. Especially when we see her ex best friend arrive on the scene. I loved reading about Jess and her life only because it just seemed so realistic. The portrayals of the rich and the poor. The way both sides can be so judgmental even without meaning to, it's just something people would automatically do because they're not used to it. I love that Jess is a character that is extremely flawed and she doesn't try to be perfect at all. As for the characters? I pretty much fell in love with Kyle, any five year old who is that adorable must be loved. Then there's Wilf! I loved their witty dialogues together. And of course Flynn who seems to be such a jerk at first, but we all know it's his defensive mode. The way Janet portrays the family life is also pretty realistic. A father who works too much and walks away from problems, a sister who is never home and a mother who is trying to handle her own demons. The Truth About Us is more than just a cute contemporary story. It's a realistic portrayal and I highly recommend this one to anyone looking for more substance in their contemporary collection. I'm definitely going to pick up the rest of Janet's books and I will be even more excited to read them.
Date published: 2015-04-14