Dakota lives in an artists’ colony in California. She has her own yurt, works in an herbalist’s shop, drinks a bunch of chai and isdesperate to get into the Rhode Island School of Design so that she can join her boyfriend, Cody, and her best friend, River, and start her professional life as an artist. When her acceptance comes through, she thinks everything is falling into place. Only trouble is, she then receives an email from River, telling her that she’s hooked up with Cody and that they’re now an item. In one instant, all of Dakota’s plans seem to be shot down in flames.
In her rage and hurt, she storms down to the beach and pours her heart out in a letter to no one in particular, which she then puts in a bottle and throws out to sea. What she doesn’t realise is that the bottle just washes back onto the shore, where it is picked up by Jack, who had been watching her from down the beach. Too shy to answer her letter as himself, Jack adopts an alternate persona and begins writing to Dakota.
I have to say, I really enjoyed this book. Maybe it helped that I was in the mood for a decent romance, but The Truth About Jack certainly ticked all the boxes for me. It was funny and sweet and romantic and left me with the warm glowies after I’d finished it.
The story is told from dual viewpoints - Dakota’s and Jack’s. We get to see Dakota working through her hurt and betrayal at Cody and River’s behaviour and how she slowly starts to fall for Jack, both as his letter-writing alter-ego and in real life. I liked Dakota a lot - considering she’s a girl who grew up on an artists’ commune, was homeschooled and is an artist herself, she is refreshingly un-flakey and down-to-earth and grows up a lot through the story.
Jack was really sweet, too, and kind of awkward despite all his talent and dashing good looks. At the bit where he picks up Dakota’s bottle on the beach and decides on writing to her as this alternate persona, the arrow on my Skeeve-O-Meter rocketed upwards. But actually when you read on a little bit and see how adorably socially inept he is, you kind of understand why he does it. I really liked Jack and it was interesting to see him grow as a character and start to throw off his isolation as the book progressed.
The plot read like a good romantic comedy. The sort where there’s the boy-meets-girl, there’s some kind of misunderstanding, a few obstacles thrown inn the way and you spend the whole time in a state of ‘Will they, won’t they’. There are some places where it’s actually really funny. There’s this one bit where one character is trying to convince another that the boy she likes is a meth user, and it had me laughing out loud. Okay, when I say it it doesn’t sound that funny, but trust me, it was very amusing. Jody Gehrman has a lovely way of writing that flows well and manages to be descriptive enough without bogging the plot down and keeps a light touch throughout.
All in all, I thought this was a really sweet romance novel and well worth a read.