Tuesday, April 14, 2015

ARC REVIEW: The Truth About Jack by Jody Gehrman

Title: The Truth About Jack
Author: Jody Gehrman
Publisher: Entangled Crush
Published: April 14th 2015
Format: eARC | Pages: 192
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Publisher
★★★ (3/5) Stars!

Jody Gehrman | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Dakota McCloud has just been accepted into a prestigious art school. Soon she'll leave behind the artists' colony where she grew up―hippie dad, tofu since birth, yurt―and join her boyfriend and best friend on the East Coast. It was the plan…until Dakota finds out her boyfriend and best friend hooked up behind her back. 

Hurt and viciously betrayed, Dakota pours out her heart on a piece of paper, places it in a bottle, and hurls it into the ocean. But it doesn't quite go where she expects…

Jack Sauvage finds the bottle washed up on the shore and responds to Dakota's letter. Except what if his straight-laced life doesn't jive with the free-spirited girl he’s only seen from afar? As Jack creates a persona he believes she’ll love, they slowly fall for each other with each new letter. Now Jack is trying to find a way to make this delicate, on-paper romance happen in real life…without revealing his deception.

I received a copy of this book, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this sway either my review or my rating!

I've been feeling the need to add a lot more Young Adult into my life. I've sort of gotten into this rut that's filled with nothing but New Adult and Adult. Not that there's been anything wrong with it, I've read a lot of great books. But sometimes you just need those sweet and sometimes cute romances. The ones that remind you of first loves and discovering yourself. I've been trying to open myself up to more opportunities to throw one or two YA books into the reading schedule every now and again. So when I saw The Truth About Jack and that adorable cover I wanted to see what it was all about. The plot had me very curious, I mean, a girl who grew up in a hippie, artist colony, a message in a bottle, a bit of deception and betrayal? It just sounded too intriguing to pass up.

This book started out very strong. I was finding it all kinds of cute and fun. I was really enjoying both Dakota and Jack's characters. Dakota does come off very much as a free spirit, very artsy, pretty much one of those types of people that others tend to gravitate towards. Very open and calming. Jack couldn't have been more opposite. He comes from a very well known, well off family. He's musically talented, brooding and very shy and withdrawn from everyone. I feel like a lot of it is brought on by himself on purpose to keep people at a distance because of things he's suffered through and a small part from his family, his mom really pushes him and is crazy overprotective.

When it came to the relationship between the two I did tend to enjoy the story more when Dakota and Jack were connecting as themselves. The whole idea of the message in a bottle and the fake persona seemed like a fun and interesting twist at first but once I started reading it, it just felt very wrong. I mean I fully understand why Jack went about this the way that he did, it doesn't mean I agree with it but I understand. Even he struggled with feelings of guilt and coming clean.

While the book started out strong, I felt towards the end it started lacking for me. There are quite a few confrontations near the end between Dakota and different characters and they never really felt real to me especially one of them with her supposed best friend River. On top of that, everything just came together in the end way to easily and sort of cheesy to boot. Dakota had been lied too, more than once, by the person she saw as a best friend and basically a sister and the guy she was dating and cared about and she made a huge fuss about keeping liars out of her life, and yet Jack's lies weren't even a thing for 24 hours before they were forgiven? I guess I would have liked to seen her put up a bit more of a fight, had a bit more conflict. Maybe that's just impulsive teenage love I guess?

Bottom line? I loved the beginning. It was all kinds of adorable. There were plenty of swoon worthy moments between Jack and Dakota and I felt like they had a very genuine and sweet connection. I did mostly have fun even though the ending was a bit frustrating for me and left me feeling some very mild disappointment. I'm still glad I gave it a shot.

Thanks Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book!

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