Monday, April 13, 2015

Book Review: The Truth About Jack by Jody Gehrman

The Truth About Jack

Jody Gehrman

Release Date: 
April 14, 2015

Entangled Crush

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eARC from Publisher for a honest Review

Goodreads Summary:

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 Thoughts:

The Truth About Jack was a very sweet and cute little love story.  I think this book would be perfect for young teens.  There is absolutely no explicit content whatsoever.  This story deals with the heartache and growing pains that we all go through as we grow up, such as when some parents go their separate ways and stop being a part of their child's life, heartbreak from first love, finding who you are as a person, and gaining the confidence to make your own decisions.

In, The Truth About Jack, we get Dakota and Jack's story told from their dual perspectives.  Dakota is an sculptor who lives in an artist colony and resides in a Yurt with her father.  Her mother abandoned them years ago, remarried, and barely talks to her daughter.  Dakota is  so excited to be accepted in to the Rhode Island School of Design in the fall.  Her boyfriend Cody attends there and her best friend, River, goes to Brown.  Now the three of them will be together in the fall   However, Dakota is devastated and completely caught off guard when she receives an email informing her that River and Cody are now together.

Jack has been living a lonely life.  He's been haunted by his best friend's suicide for the last couple of years.  Jack's family is wealthy and he is use to people using him for his wealth and prestigious background.  Jack plays piano beautifully and has a passion for it.  His mother makes him practice for hours every day, but he feels like he is missing something in his life.

One day when Jack goes to a little coffee shop, he see's Dakota and is intrigued by her.  However, he doesn't have the courage to approach her.  He ends up leaving for the beach and see's Dakota in the distance.  She puts a message in a bottle, and then leaves.  Instead of the message going out in to the ocean, it ends up washing up on the shore.  Out of curiosity, Jack reads the letter, and decides that he wants to get to know Dakota.  He ends up creating a fake persona, and begins exchanging letters with Dakota under this  fake persona.  Jack quickly realizes that he wants to get to know Dakota in real life.  Little by little, he finds a way to insert himself in to Dakota's life as Jack, and realizes that he has put himself in a tough situation.  He wants to tell Dakota the truth about his fake letter-writting persona, but is scared to take the risk of losing her....

The Truth About Jack took me back to my teenage years.  I was taken to a time when I too was insecure, and unsure about who I was.  I was also very optimistic of the future and the unlimited possibilities and adventures that awaited me.  In this way I could relate to both Jack and Dakota.  Jack was a sweetheart, and I felt his loneliness and need for something more.  I enjoyed Dakota's quirky and artistic personality.  The pacing of the story felt a bit slow to me, and there weren't any major plot twists or climaxes.  The story was predictable, but a nice read nonetheless.

My Rating:

I give, The Truth About Jack, 3 Sweet, Growing Up and Finding Your Way Filled Stars!  I would recommend this story for 7th-10th graders that enjoy a romantic love story.

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About Jody Gerhman:

Jody is the author of nine published novels, one novella, and numerous scripts for the stage and screen. She grew up in Northern California. Babe in Boyland, published by Penguin's Dial books, was optioned by Disney. 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 graduate of UC Santa Cruz, Western Washington University, and University of Southern California. She's currently a professor of English and Communications at Mendocino College. 

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