Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsithoughtweretrue
When Morgan's mom gets sick, it's hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn't as far away as she thought…
Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsithoughtweretrue
Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan's getting to know the real Adam, and he's actually pretty sweet—in a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?
5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need #thingsithoughtweretrue
With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She's not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend, and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can't imagine living without.
16 Things I Thought Were True is a misnomer. The proper title should have been 17 Things I Thought Were True. Yes, there were 17 things, not 16. Each of there were numbered, so I wonder why the title wasn’t changed or if it was too late to change the title, why the hashtag #thingsithoughtweretrue wasn’t capped at 16 times. The 17th occurrence could have used a different hashtag—one that could’ve ended this book with a bang.
Consistency aside, 16 Things I Thought Were True was a book that left me divided in my thoughts. On one hand, I really liked the integration of social media, particularly Twitter. On the other hand, I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed this book very much, if not for the social media aspects.
As I said, social media is a huge part of the story. (As if the cover design with the hashtag didn’t give it away. Hah.) That is what made me curious about the book in the first place. Morgan couldn’t go a moment without thinking about what to tweet next, who her Twitter friends were and if she had gained any new followers. No matter where she went or what she did, her phone had to be by her side, so she could check in.
When someone finally challenged her to go without Twitter for a prolonged period of time, I thought things would get interesting, seeing how much of a crutch Twitter had become to Morgan. Being plugged in, the behaviour while being unplugged—these are topics I think are very interesting to study in real life, so I thought it was cool that the social media phenomenon was tackled in 16 Things I Thought Were True.
Friendship Above Romance
Friendship came first in 16 Things I Thought Were True. I enjoyed that because it fit squarely with the exploration of how social media impacted Morgan’s life. Morgan’s friendship with Amy was also interesting to follow because they were such unlikely friends. Morgan wasn’t even looking for anyone but nonetheless, Amy became an important part of life and seeing that friendship unfold was fun.
The Not So Good
Poor editing distracts me. Every time I see a typographical error in a book, I stumble. After so many rounds of editing, I expect excellence from a published book. I understand that one or two errors might slip through and that’s fine, I suppose. However, when more than that slip through, along with grammatical errors, I wonder how much attention was given to a book. As much as it shouldn’t discredit the author, it does bother me a little when things like that distract me from immersing myself in a book.
Disjointed Events & Simplistic Plot
The plot was fairly linear and predictable. It wasn’t even because it was cliché (it really wasn’t) but rather because the events were strung up and nothing much was added in between to gel them and to create levels to build up to a climax. There wasn’t even any depth to balance out the over simplicity of the plot.
Had Morgan been more introspective, then I would have pegged that to a deliberate style but as it is, I felt 16 Things I Thought Were True lacked the substance it needed to capitalise on the concepts of social media and friendship, which formed the cornerstone of the story.
As excited as I was about the central theme being social media, I didn’t think 16 Things I Thought Were True delivered. 16 Things I Thought Were True lacked depth and was overly simplistic. As much as the prose was clear, it was so straightforward, it wasn’t impactful either. Maybe if it had been a longer novel, to add room for complexity, then 16 Things I Thought Were True could have become something great.