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.