The Girl You Thought I Was

368p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Jul. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062570949.
Gr 9 Up—Morgan Kemper has a "dirty little habit" that she desperately wants to hide from her friends and from Eli Jamison, the uber-cute guy she meets at Rita's Reruns, the thrift store where she volunteers to fulfill 30 hours of community service over the summer before her senior year. Outwardly, Morgan comes across as a cute, petite, well-behaved, and well-adjusted teenager. On the inside, this redhead demonstrates a proclivity for lying and harbors rage against her mother for leaving her dad and abandoning Morgan for another man. Phillips leads off with a suspenseful first chapter told in the first person by Morgan as she endeavors to shoplift a bikini from a department store. This character-driven novel set in an unspecified American city progresses with even pacing as it explores themes of forgiveness, friendship, self-perception, and compulsive behavior. Believable characters emerge from Phillips's straightforward writing. Readers will root for Morgan as she confronts issues of fallibility and makes important choices. The element of romance serves as a credible foil for Morgan to consider her own behavior in relation to the destructive decisions her mother made.
VERDICT A solid choice for YA readers and libraries interested in engaging works of realistic fiction that also deal with teenagers overcoming destructive behavior.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing