October 15, 2013

Latest Read: All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry

Here are the basics ...
All the Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry
Publication date: Sept. 26, 2013
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Category: Young Adult - Mystery / Historical Fiction
Source: Received ARC at BEA (Thanks!)

Summary: Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good: From the first page of All the Truth That's In Me, I had my doubts. It's written completely in second (!) person and told in short fragments that alternate between the past and the present. Then we're immediately thrown into Judith's circumstances without any sort of preamble. So yes, I had my doubts. But something amazing happened - it absolutely worked for me. Judith's story is heartbreaking and beautiful and mysterious. Her life hasn't been the same since she and her friend were abducted as young girls four years ago. Her friend was found dead and Judith returned home with her tongue mutilated and seemingly unable to speak. She's either thought to be cursed, belittled by everyone in her small town including her own mother and barely acknowledged by Lucas, the boy she's been in love with since childhood.

The author certainly took a risk with choosing to write from second person. What surprised me was that it still allowed me to connect to Judith but just differently from what I'm used to. Judith's voice was so clear that every time she'd say "you", often times I'd feel like she was telling me her story personally. Then I'd remind myself that no, she's talking to Lucas. But I loved that too. It was easy to get lost in her words and in the depths for her feelings for him. Something about it rang true and pure, even without knowing all their history. Though we do learn about their childhood and the little moments they had together while growing up eventually. And while many of Judith's thoughts certainly do stray to Lucas, that's not what this book is ultimately about. It's about the truth, about Judith finding her voice, standing up against those who judge her and finding peace within herself.

(Some minor) reservations: Just keep in mind that it's definitely a different kind of storytelling (at least it was for me) and while it took some getting used to, it pays off. Also, I had a hard time pinpointing the time period the book took place in. Was it supposed to be historical fiction? And if so, when? Judith's town was small, tight-knit, religious and all kinds of judgmental. It seemed like a religious settlement set in the past but it's never clearly explained. It's not necessary to know but I would've appreciated the additional information.

Do I recommend?: Yes! If you want to try something different but just as engaging and quick to read, I'd recommend giving this a shot.

Happy reading!

4 comments:

  1. I haven't reading anything in 2nd person narrative so I'm a little hesitant to read this one but the story seems too interesting to pass up. I've read a couple of reviews in which the bloggers explain that they think the author attempted to make it a little bit of a historical fiction novel (which both ruins or sometimes adds to the appeal of the book). Great review! :)

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  2. Hmm, I like that this is a different kind of read, probably not something I can get into right now though, with the way I've been feeling. I'll have to keep this in the back of my mind for later on. Great review!

    Vi
    AKA Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

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  3. I'm really curious about this one now! I had an ARC but I ended up giving it away to someone else before I could read it. I'm glad you enjoyed it, in spite of the twist in the storytelling method. That might even be a point in its favor!

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  4. Oh man I totally ended up loving this book! I was completely surprised by that fact since it didn't really appeal to me cover and summary-wise. But then I saw a really great review of it from another blogger and decided to give it a shot. I'm so glad I did because I was caught off guard by how much I adored it. It was definitely different - but somehow it totally worked for me!

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