4 Star Book Review | The Truth About Jack by Jody Gehrman
by Jody Gehrman
Published: April 14th, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Provided by YA Bound Book Tours for Review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo
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 love the cover for The Truth About Jack! I've never been to California, but I hope that there are places as beautiful as the background of this cover. I love the kissing scene, although it's a little weird with their heads mostly out of the picture. The dress that Dakota is wearing is pretty.
The only thing I really have a problem with is the girl's hair color. I'm picky about small details and it kind of bothers me that the girl being depicted as Dakota has brown hair instead of blonde.
But other than that, it's a lovely cover.
Dakota has just received her acceptance letter to the college of her dreams and she couldn't be happier, until she checks her email the same day and receives a message from her best friend telling her that she hooked up with Dakota's boyfriend. Feeling hurt and betrayed, Dakota goes to the beach to write in her journal. When she spots a bottle washed up on shore, she decides to write a all her feelings in a letter and places it into the bottle, before throwing it back into the ocean. What she doesn't know is that the bottle didn't make it very far, and Jack picks it up. He feels a connection with her after reading her letter and decides to write her back, but being insecure he makes up an alias. Things get complicated when they meet and connect in person.
What I loved most about this book was how descriptive it was. The way the characters see each other and the world is written is such a way that you can really picture it all in your head as you're reading. The characters are a unique mixture of artist chic and high class. We see two very different worlds. There's Dakota's artist colony, where they live in tree houses and yurts. Then there's Jack's family vineyard, where he lives in a big house and has a personal driver.
I liked how Dakota and Jack connected through their respective art forms. I loved how they really understood how the other felt about how they lose themselves in their art and how they want to experience the world before they create art to express their view of the world. What I would have liked to see a little more of in the art department was Jack composing something more. There was only one scene that showed him working on a song, although it was kind of an intense scene. There are multiple scenes of Dakota working on her sculpture or drawing, but only the one of Jack actually composing his own song.
Jack and Dakota first met briefly at the Cafe she likes to frequent, then she leaves and goes to the beach. When Jack leaves, it's in search of something beautiful and he ends up at the same beach as her (he did not follow her there, it just worked out that way). He sees her throw a bottle into the ocean before she leaves. He sees it wash back up on the shore and notices her letter inside. Before this he was already smitten by her, but after reading her letter he becomes determined to actually get to know her. But he's insecure (I can totally understand that part) and decides to write back using a fake name. That part wasn't very smart at all. I mean, she didn't even really know him to begin with, they just bumped into each other at the Cafe, so I really don't see why he couldn't use his real name and then set up some kind of meeting once he was ready. While I thought that it was kind of ridiculous of him to use a fake name, it did add to the romance and even some hijinx.
I gave The Truth About Jack a 4 STAR rating. I loved this book! The world and characters were descirbed beautifully. I loved how the romance between Dakota and Jack built up and then seemingly fell apart to be built back up again. There are some really funny supporting characters and a lot of drama when Dakota's ex-boyfriend and best friend return home. I really wish that there were going to be a sequel or companion book to The Truth About Jack. Maybe from the POV of River or even Miles, with cameo appearances by Jack and Dakota.
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Jody Gehrman is a native of Northern California, where she can be found writing, teaching, reading, or obsessing over her three cats most days. She is also the author of ten novels and numerous award-winning plays. Her Young Adult novels include The Truth About Jack, Audrey's Guide to Black Magic, Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft, Babe in Boyland, Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, and Triple Shot Bettys in Love. Babe in Boyland was optioned by the Disney Channel and won the International Reading Association's Teen Choice Award. Her adult novels are Bombshell, Notes from the Backseat, Tart, and Summer in the Land of Skin. Her plays have been produced in Ashland, New York, San Francisco, Chicago 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 is a professor of English and Communication Studies at Mendocino College.