Review and Synopsis:
The Truth About Us by Janet Gurtler follows a teenage girl Jess as she starts to realize how she dislikes how she acts when she parties too hard and does things that her parents would not approve. It is a fun contemporary read that features a satisfying amount of romance and drama that will certainly keep anyone hooked.
The best thing about The Truth About Us is that it is very fast-paced and thus is highly addicting. With the gripping storyline and easy-to-read descriptions, it is almost like a reality TV show. The fast-paced nature of this book definitely helps in drawing readers’ attentions. As a result, it makes a fantastic book that helps readers get out of a reading slump.
Moreover, I really enjoy how Janet Gurtler often incorporates the family members of the characters into the story. There are many Young Adult novels that exclude the parents of the protagonist and thus it is very refreshing to read more about the parents here. Readers have the chance to see more from the perspectives of the parents and see where they are coming from. I particularly enjoy the aspect of Jess wanting her mother to talk to her about something she herself wants to talk about but doesn’t want to start the topic. It is very realistic as I am certain that there are many teenagers who experience similar feelings on a daily basis.
The small problem that one may have with The Truth About Us is the rapid changes that are demonstrated by the characters. Originally Jess portrayed as a party-loving girl who would get drunk and do not care about consequences and make reckless decisions such as buying over-priced dresses. However, she is later portrayed as someone who does not mind volunteering and working with the poor and actually enjoying them within a few pages. This transaction is, of course, essential to the development of the story but it perhaps might be better if it is spread out.
It is one thing to have a fast-paced story that captures the attention of the readers but another thing if it destroys the opportunity to develop things a bit further. The book has a great potential in developing into something more profounding and beyond what it now is.
In general, The Truth about Us is a fun and quick read that is highly entertaining and certainly appeals to a large audience. It may lack some deep messages that often come with a “finding yourself” novel but it still captures the art of growing up of teenagers.