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The Girl You Thought I Was

Review

The Girl You Thought I Was

THE GIRL YOU THOUGHT I WAS by Rebecca Phillips follows Morgan Kemper and her struggles to find herself after she is caught shoplifting a pair of designer sunglasses. The thing is, that wasn’t Morgan’s first time doing it and she can’t help it if it isn’t her last. She knows it’s wrong and she sometimes can’t stand herself for doing it, but it’s become an addiction and one she finally has to face the repercussions of. Now that she’s sentenced to thirty hours of community service, Morgan finds herself volunteering at a thrift store, planning to lay low until completing her dues. That is until she meets the owner’s nephew, Eli, and Morgan is faced with the challenging decision of keeping the truth from everyone around her or exposing herself with the risk of losing her friends and the boy she’s falling for.

After reading --- and loving --- Rebecca Phillips’ other novel, THESE THINGS I’VE DONE, I knew I had to review this! Phillips’ writing style is so raw and relatable which is something I adore about her novels. Even though we should be annoyed with the petty shoplifting Morgan commits (and trust me, you do get a bit mad), the way Phillips portrays Morgan’s thoughts has the readers empathizing for her as the novel progresses. At one point, I didn’t even want her to reveal the truth because of how much it could ruin her happiness.

"Phillips’ writing style is so raw and relatable which is something I adore about her novels....[The] way Phillips portrays Morgan’s thoughts has the readers empathizing for her as the novel progresses."

I do have to say though, it was interesting to see the depths behind theft and how it may not be because you want something, but that the satisfaction you get when stealing means much more than the item. Even if we as readers don’t agree with the act itself, it does give us a better understanding on Morgan’s mindset and how she responds to certain situations. She may have made a lot of mistakes as the novel went on, but it just highlights the character development you see towards the end which is always something to admire.

I also loved the relationship she had with Eli because, let’s be real, they were adorable! They had such lovely chemistry and stood by one another through other tough circumstances they faced. I enjoyed getting to know Eli’s backstory and it made him an interesting character and not just “the love-interest.” I also liked how the romance wasn’t overstepping the message of the story; instead complimenting the events and two main characters.

Speaking of characters, I thought that Morgan’s friends were also really fun to read from, but the one’s that stood out to me the most were her family. Morgan’s home life is kind of sticky because her mom left them after having an affair, so that is brought up a lot in the story. I think key people though were her dad and sister. They were really the undying support system in her life and brought some cute (and super real) scenes. There’s even her adorable cat, Fergus, whom you can’t help but love --- even if you’re not really a cat person like myself.

Overall, there wasn't any particular thing that was wrong with this book, even if it was a little slow at the beginning. Once you really get in to it though, it’s incredibly hard to put down (no joke, I finished it in one sitting)! I would recommend this to fans of Robin Benway, Erin Watt, or anyone interested in contemporary fiction in general. It’s definitely a unique story you wouldn’t want to miss!

Reviewed by Taylor F., Teen Board Member on August 14, 2018

The Girl You Thought I Was
by Rebecca Phillips