Title: The Unbelievable, Inconceivable, Unforeseeable Truth About Ethan Wilder
Author: Cookie O’Gorman
Review: The opening to the Unbelievable truth about Ethan Wilder was great, we meet Delilah Doherty who goes to the local high school where she hears the rumour that Ethan is returning to their small town. This stirs up a lot of gossip as Ethan although not arrested, charged or convicted as far as we know, was blamed for the death of his sister. Apparently, Ethan’s sister either committed suicide or was murdered and while the suicide option seems more realistic to me, his father a well-known preacher will always say she was murdered and didn’t even try to protect his son, instead sent him away. The first encounter with Ethan although she doesn’t know it is him is when he rescues her from drowning in a lake and I have a feeling that things are going to change drastically for Delilah very soon.
As we approach the ¼ mark in the novel, Delilah finally learns Ethan was the one who saved her at the lake, but they don’t exactly get off to a good start, but Ethan definitely sees something in Delilah. However, almost every girl at the school seems to be fawning over Ethan but Delilah’s reactions to him almost certainly put her in this camp although she refuses to admit it. Despite wanting to actively avoid him, Bowie is a small town and I have a feeling that this pair are going to be seeing more of each other. Despite holding a small amount of respect for Ethan, Delilah is guilty of listening to the rumours about Ethan rather than getting to know him properly and I hope that changes soon. Delilah’s plan to avoid Ethan doesn’t last long when they are paired up in class and she finds there is more to him than meets the eye especially when he defends her against the school bullies and is the likely culprit for removing the tyres from one of the bully’s car. Slowly but surely, I can see Delilah falling in love with Ethan despite his reputation.
As we cross the ¼ mark in the novel, Delilah and Aunt B seems to be some of the few people who can see past Ethan’s reputation and see him as a kind, caring and compassionate person who works hard both in and out of school, takes on bullies and drunk men waving gun (even if they aren’t loaded) and saved Delilah’s life. As she gets closer to Ethan she begins questioning everything from what really happened to his sister to his father’s attack, as the woman’s dog who supposedly attacked Jim has never been seen with a dog, not once in 17 years. This novel seems to be shifting from YA romance to YA small town mystery with a sprinkle of romance thrown in for good measure. While many people seem to think that Ethan has the hots for Delilah she catches him with another girl and it doesn’t sit well with her especially since she has started her own investigation into his sister’s death which she feels is a cover up, but Ethan isn’t to blame for her death and his father’s attack might also be more than it seems.
As we approach the halfway mark in the novel, despite seeing Ethan with another girl and him seeing her with Bruce, they both continue to tease one another about their feelings although it is painfully clear to us, the readers. Despite all these issues the pair are growing closer and closer as they realise they have more in common than they thought especially when Delilah realises that Ethan isn’t a criminal but rather a victim and she begins to think that someone else in the Wilder household killed Anne as it couldn’t have been Ethan.
As we cross into the second half of the novel, we really begin to see the beginning of a relationship forming between Ethan and Delilah although he does tell her his bruises aren’t what she thinks. However, we see shifts in Delilah’s personality, around Ethan she can’t string two thoughts together, but she isn’t a weak woman she is strong willed and can defend herself when needed. She also has an amazing support network in her friends, mother and aunt, who even used the suspicions of her being a witch to help punish one of the boys harassing Delilah. We also see her mother really shine in one particular scene where she addresses the nasty comments and rumours surrounding her promiscuous nature and subsequently her daughter’s which mainly come from one particular teacher. I love seeing how easily Delilah’s friend and Ethan stand up for her even delivering more punishment to Grant who deserved it making Delilah feel more confident in herself and making her realise that she doesn’t have to put up with that kind of behaviour from anyone; teacher or student. While Delilah knows she has feelings for Ethan she can’t bring herself to tell him and although we know he also likes her there seems to be so much more going on in the background that might be keeping them apart without Delilah even knowing it.
As we approach the ¾ mark in the novel, things really start to get interesting when Delilah and Ethan share their first kiss which was beautiful and everything we have built it up to be especially given these characters closed off and reclusive personalities. However, this moment is overshadowed when someone is shot, and everything seems to be linked to Ethan. When everyone starts pointing the finger at Ethan before anything can be done, there are a few people who know that Ethan couldn’t have done either of the crimes he is been accused of and Delilah makes it her mission to prove it, but the cover up seems real and might take a lot of work to prove Ethan’s innocence.
As we cross into the final section of the novel, we see the mystery resolved and the real culprit and murderer punished for their crimes but not without leaving more heartbreak behind. In the end, the small town of Bowie is shaken to the core with more than one dark revelation hiding in their lovely town. Overall, I loved all the characters, but Ethan and Delilah really take the top spot, and their slow burn romance just kept you hanging on and the murder mystery element of the novel was done extremely well. Highly recommend so readers looking for a short, punchy murder mystery romance that isn’t covered in cheese.
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This book was sent to me for review consideration by YA Bound Book Tours