All the Truth That's in Me
Released: September 26th, 2013
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Rating: 4.5 stars
Word Rating: Different in a VERY good way
Reviewed by: Mel
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. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.
I remember, when I was younger, I would imagine what it would be like to be completely mute. The idea didn't seem awfully outrageous. Back then, I was quiet, shy. Anathematized talking. However now, the thought horrifies me. Not only would not having a tongue would mean no ice-cream, but also because I am a crazy chatter-box. If I was mutilated, the world be a reticent, monotonous place.
All The Truth That's In Me, to be labelled as different, would be one of the world's greatest understatements. Which probably also contributes to why I loved it so dearly. The narrative point is from Judith, written to her childhood best friend, Lucas- meaning that it was basically told in 2nd person. I have only read one other book in 2nd person which is The Truth About You and Me which left disastrous effects as it made all the supporting characters without persona and well, character. Even though All The Truth That's In Me does not capture the full charisma of every single character; it was far better than The Truth About You and Me. With a contrast of sub-genres mixed together as one; mystery, thriller, romance and historical, All The Truth That's In Me could possibly be categorized as gothic. So ladies and gentlemen, I have accomplished my life goal of reading a gothic novel! Woohoo!
Two friends--girls disappeared that year, only one came back. With half a tongue. Without the ability to talk, Judith comes back. All the people that cared about her don't seem to anymore. As stakes rise, the need for truth is more urgent, but if only Judith could speak... Judith's voice has to be one of the strongest I've ever come across. It's rattling and alarming, and so raw. Julie Berry's writing makes it easy to empathize for Judith and her situation. In some ways, it reminded me of 17 & Gone, as the writing and atmosphere were so tangible and skin-crawling.
The supporting characters ranged quite contrastingly. I found it hard to connect with Lucas, as Judith is referring to him as 'you'. Nonetheless, his character became more defined as the story developed, and in the end, I can say I adored him. Judith's mother is one to despise. Her hostility to her own child astounded me and made me furious. But also created an interesting movement which played nicely with the plot and highlighted Judith's character. Other characters like Judith's brother and Maria felt extremely authentic- not a single person is wasted here.
The pacing of All The Truth That's In Me was a minor problem. I found it thoroughly entrapping but I despite the small size, the pace dragged a tad. I suspect some readers may find this a major issue unlike me. Or, it could be the lack of plot- though I highly doubt it, the plot was delightfully intricate and page-turn-worthy.
Creepy, poetic-like and pure genius, All The Truth That's In Me is something superiorly unique and worth reading. The 2nd person narrative and pace threw me off a bit yet other than that, I loved this. And for some extra entertainment, try tawhking whike you havf no thongue.