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THE TRUTH ABOUT US
by Janet Gurtler

THE TRUTH ABOUT US by Janet Gurtler

Sometimes the person who's most different from you is the one who makes you feel like you belong.

When Jess is caught drinking and inappropriately face-timing boys, her dad orders her to spend the rest of the summer volunteering at the local soup kitchen.

Thrust into a world where her own problems no longer seem so insurmountable, Jess meets Flynn, a guy from her high school who comes to the soup kitchen for meals with his adorable little brother.

Slowly, Jess and Flynn begin to know and trust each other, despite their different backgrounds and the prejudice of their families.

But as their relationship intensifies and outside pressures escalate, can they find the strength to stay together?

Sourcebooks - April 2015 - 304 pages

About the author:

RITA nominated Janet Gurtler has had her writing compared to both Judy Blume and Jody Picoult. This makes her really happy. Janet lives with her family in Alberta Canada. She has done volunteering at a few “soup kitchens” and hopes to do more. Giving back is so important.

Review

"Jess feels like nobody "gets" her. Yes, she may be pretty, and she may have a lot of money, and she may be friends with the most popular girl in school, but what Jess needs are real friends who understand her. Jess has a lot of things going on in her life, and she has not chosen the best methods for coping recently. After an incident with her supposed friend Nance, Jess's father decides she needs to be reprimanded. Her punishment is to volunteer at the local shelter while the rest of her posse spends the summer soaking up the sun. New Beginnings turns out be just what Jess needed. She not only finds herself but also finds the real friends she has been searching for and even a romance. Flynn comes from a different economic class, and as the couple learns to overcome the challenges that are brought about by the gap in their relative statuses, Jess becomes a more developed and well-rounded character. Other subplots, such as her family recovering from an accident, add depth. This title will pair well with Simon Elkeles's Perfect Chemistry (Walker, 2008), another story dealing with building strong emotional relationships with people who come from vastly different backgrounds. VERDICT A tender, layered romance" - School Library Journal

"A thought-provoking YA about class divides and prejudices and how appearances can be far from the truth. Readers will easily empathize with the main characters, while some of the secondary cast have compelling stories of their own. " - RT Book Reviews

"Touching on all kinds of topics, from homelessness, absent parents, and girls and boys clamoring for attention for all the wrong reasons to the ever-present theme of the haves-vs.-the have nots, The Truth About Us shows many different truths and calls readers to examine themselves, as well as root for Jess and Flynn." - VOYA Magazine

"A book about finding happiness, honesty and being true to yourself, The Truth About Us promises to be a must-read for any YA romance fan. " - Girls' Life.com

"The Truth About Us will appeal to contemporary romance readers, but it also does a really good job of highlighting the truth about the various economic realities of the people we know but don't always know well, the people we see every day but never really learn their stories. I also love that it doesn't vilify or demonize any of the people in the shelter and it highlights the truth of many people like Flynn's family who just need a little bit of extra help to make ends meet as they bust their butts in jobs that barely pay a livable wage. For every story you hear about someone milking the system, the truth is that most of the people needing some additional help are working hard in a system that seems designed to make sure they fail. The Truth About Us helps give those stories a voice." - Teen Librarian Toolbox

"Gurtler has created a thought-provoking YA about class divides and prejudices and how appearances can be far from the truth. Readers will easily empathize with the main characters, while some of the secondary cast have compelling stories of their own. " - RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 Stars