Thursday, February 20, 2014

[Review: All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry]

"All the Truth That's in Me"
Author: Julie Berry
Series: None
Pages: 274
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Date Published: September 26th, 2013
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Format Read: Hardback from the library


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.

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To All the Truth That's in Me,

Book, you are so strange and haunting and raw.  I adore all of these things, so not surprisingly, I'm also a big fan of you.  You tell your story, or rather Judith's story in such a wonderfully strange way.  I never knew that I could be moved by chapters that are no more then three sentences.  You prove that there is a lot of power in words if they are chosen correctly.  Don't worry, I liked your longer chapters too, but you know what I'm saying.  I think?

-The White Unicorn
All the Truth That's in Me was truly a reading experience like no other that I've had in the past.  Even if you read the book flap, you're not sure what you're getting yourself into.  It's part of the book's charm.  Berry writes mute Judith's story in such a way that it pulls you right in.  Oddly enough Judith doesn't talk to you as a reader, she's talking to Lucas, the boy she fell for before she disappeared.  You'd think that it would make the book feel impersonal, but it doesn't.  Instead, it gives the novel an interesting voice.  The size of the chapters varies from a few sentences to a few pages.  All of these things intertwine fantastically and Berry makes them work to her advantage.  I didn't have a hard time getting into the book at all, even if things weren't the norm.

There is something poetic and almost lyrical about the way that Berry tells her tale of mystery and intrigue.  The way she uses words is magical.  The chapters jump back and forth between before Judith went missing, when she was held captive and after she returns.  Even though this could end up being confusing, it's not.

The book's setting and historical timeline are not things that are clear to us as a reader.  This could throw some people off, but I think that it added to the mystery.  It's clear that the book is set during a time of bonnets and strict social rules and buggies though.  People actually think that Judith is cursed when she returns with her tongue cut out.  It almost has the feel of a really dark "Little House on the Prairie" book.

I loved Judith's voice.  She is ridiculed for things that are totally out of her control and still she holds her head high and tries to do the right thing to everyone around her.  That being said, she's still human and she still slips up, but she is someone to look up to.  It takes people coming into her life to help her grow and recover from the horrors that's she has experienced.  But it's the fact that she doesn't ever give up and that she does what she can with what she's given that really makes you want to stand up and applaud her as a main character.

The romance is extremely sweet, but not unrealistic.  It's one of those slow burn things.  It's one of those things that started years ago, but got interrupted by the crazy things that life will do to you.  Lucas is a wonderful match for Judith.  I loved their banter.  It's something like bickering and it works for them on so many levels.

It was also a joy to see such an interesting brother/sister relationship highlighted in a YA novel.  I feel like these kind of relationships don't show up often, but this one was done right.  Darrel and Judith act like siblings.  They fight, they have their issues, but at the end of the day they have each others backs in huge ways.  I was overjoyed to see that Berry added this element into her book.  As a girl with 4 brothers myself, this relationship felt really authentic to me.  

If you're looking for a book that's going to blow your mind and give you a shocking conclusion, this is the book for you.  Sure, I didn't tell you much about the mystery, but I'm not one to spoil things for people.  

     5 Unicorns = Get your hands on this NOW!   


Asma IceyBooks said...

This sounds awesome. And I'm glad to see you loved it :) Thanks for the great review!

Jessica R said...

Oh I'm so glad you liked this one as much as you did! I completely agree with you. I thought the way it was written as to Lucas was so interesting and made for such a unique narration style. I also really enjoyed Lucas and Judith's relationship and how that changes over time with everything going on. I love that you loved the same kinds of things that I did in this book!

Zoe N. said...

Yeah! I've heard nothing but 5 star reviews for this one... so I guess I should take the hint and get my hands on a copy ASAP! ;) But it sounds AMAZING!

I love how Julie isn't afraid to step out of the box in terms of writing in such a unique fashion (2nd person narration) - that definitely should be interesting! And to hear it's so lyrical and beautiful makes me so more excited!

And I'm so glad Judith worked for you as a main character! She definitely sounds like a great protagonist!

And the romance...yeah! A book with actual slow burning romance? I'm so excited! It sounds so sweet, and I can't wait to experience it for myself!

And I definitely agree...having such an interesting brother/sister relationship highlighted is awesome as well! In YA, it seems to always be sister/sister relationships that are focused on, so I'm interested in experiencing that for myself as well!

Okay. You've got me. I'm picking this up from the library ASAP! As always, thanks for the amazing review Christianna! So glad this worked for you! :D

~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

Hafsah - IceyBooks said...

Hah! I love that letter. I always love strange, haunting novels, though this sounds very disturbing as well. I'm curious to read the POV of a mute girl though. Thanks for putting this one on my radar! Great review :)

Kathryn said...

I read the synopsis and then scanned the rest cos I definitely want to read it and don't want to give too much away for myself :)

Nicole said...

Your review is spot on. You capture all the things I myself loved about this. The poetic writing, Judith, the romance, the dark/mysterious feel overall, the brother/sister relationship. So glad you loved this one too!