Friday, July 27, 2018

ARC Review: The Girl You Thought I Was by Rebecca Phillips

The Girl You Thought I Was
Author: Rebecca Phillips
Publication: HarperTeen (July 31, 2018)

Description: No one looking at Morgan Kemper would think she had a secret—at least not one that she’s deeply ashamed of.

To everyone she meets, she comes across as sweet, pretty, and put together. But Morgan knows that looks can be deceiving. For over a year, she’s shoplifted countless pieces of clothing and makeup. Each time, she tells herself it will be the last, and each time, it never is.

But when she’s caught and sentenced to thirty hours of community service, the image Morgan has carefully constructed starts to crumble. She’s determined to complete her punishment without her friends discovering the truth about her sticky fingers, but that’s easier said than done...especially once she meets Eli, the charming, handsome nephew of the owner of the charity shop where Morgan is volunteering.

Soon Morgan is faced with an impossible decision: continue to conceal the truth or admit that she’s lied to everyone in her life, including the boy she’s falling for.

My Thoughts: Morgan Kemper has a secret. Outwardly, she is smart, pretty, and has a solid group of friends. But inside, Morgan is a mess. She is so angry that her mother had an affair and left the family to go off with the new man. Since her mother left, Morgan has developed a new hobby. She shoplifts. She started small with lip gloss from the drugstore but, with knowledge gained online, now she is stealing clothes from mall stores. She feels guilty but she can't seem to stop.

Then she is caught stealing $186 sunglasses from Nordstroms. Her father is called and, since they believe she is a first-time offender, she's given the option of completing an online course and doing 30 hours of community service. Her dad finds her an opportunity to volunteer at a thrift store run by one of his former co-workers.

At the thrift store, Morgan meets Eli. She tells him that she's volunteering because it will look good on her college applications. The two become friends and even begin a romance. All the while, Morgan is keeping this big secret from him. He tells her all about the accident that ended his promising hockey career and about his current interest in horticulture but she shares just the smallest bits of her life.

At home, her father and sister are encouraging her to give her mother a chance, to listen to what she has to say. Morgan is still so angry with her that she isn't willing to give her a chance. Things deteriorate even more when her friends find out about her shoplifting which changes their relationship. Then Eli finds out and that relationship blows up too.

This was an intriguing story about a girl who makes bad decision after bad decision. It was almost painful to read. It does have a hopeful ending though as she begins to rebuild her relationships with her mother, friends and Eli.

Favorite Quote:
That amount of anger needs some kind of outlet, and since drinking and overeating never appealed to me, shoplifting was the most viable choice at the time.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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