4.13.2015 | Monday

The Truth About Jack

category: Book Reviews

The Truth About Jacktitle: The Truth About Jack
author: Jody Gehrman
published: 15 April 2015
genre(s): contemporary, humor, romance
pages: 192
source: NetGalley
format: eARC
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | BookBub | Goodreads

rating: four-stars

the blurb

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.

my review

The Truth About Jack is the latest from Jody Gehrman, author of the Audrey’s Guide books.  It is told from the altering points of view of Jack and Dakota, two teenagers with very different voices.

The author is great at creating complex characters, characters with their own stories and issues and little quirks.  There were many moments that a character behaved in a somewhat questionable way, but there were other moments in the history of the character that would ecplain it, turing the questionable behavior into something more sympathetic.

Jack’s character is the epitome of this.  There were moments when he came off as more than a little obsessive, a little stalkerish, a little to instalove.  But, in reality, he was a bit on the dysfunctional side.  He had had some issues with his family, with school, with life, and it left him isolated and insecure.  There were times when I just couldn’t get behind him as a character… until something was said that reminded me of the things he had been through.  Then everything fell into place and I just wanted to hug him and root for him.  Dakota, too, had been through her own fair share of drama recently and was just as scarred as Jack, albeit in a different way.  She had been betrayed and it left her with trust issues that aren’t helped along by more lies.

Dakota and Jack are such completely different characters, from totally opposite ends of the spectrum.  He is privleged and sheltered, while she grew up in an artists’ colony with much more freedom than most.  The one thing they share is a love of creativity, Jack in music and Dakota in art.  The altering points of view really underscored the differences, and the similarities, between them.  I don’t think that the story just couldn’t have been told nearly as effectively with any other form of narration.

This is a book that had happy moments, sad moments, funny moments, and even some creepy moments.  But what made it a good read were Jack and Dakota, two very different characters that were richly created.  Definitely a recommend!

About Jody Gehrman

Jody is the author of eight novels and numerous plays. Audrey’s Guide to Black Magic is her newest YA novel, the sequel to Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft. Babe in Boyland was published by Penguin’s Dial books and was optioned by Disney. She also writes stage plays and screenplays. Her plays have been produced in Ashland, New York, San Francisco and L.A. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for their one-act, Jake Savage, Jungle P.I. She’s a professor of English at Mendocino College.

Rating Report
Overall: four-stars

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