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.
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Number of Page: 288
Reviewed by Rachel, age 17
While reading All the Truth That's In Me and giving myself time to reflect on it, I kept thinking...did I love or hate this book? Now, I say 'hate' very lightly. It's rare that I hate a book. In the case of All the Truth That's In Me, there were so many things I both loved and disliked that I'm assuming this post will be a little contradictory.
One thing that confused me was that the cover and the summary make the book sound like it's set in present time. When really, it's set around the 1700's (give or take a century). They never say, but the old-fashioned customs and way of living make it seem so. At first, that really bugged me because it's not what I expected when I picked the book up. However, I didn't mind it at all once I got into it. It actually made the book more unique. Who knew people were as twisted back then as they are now?!
Another thing that confused me was how this book is constructed. When you open the book, you are given a part called 'Before' and then a part called 'After' and then a part called 'Now'. Within these parts there are separate books, four books in total. The books sometimes overlap the parts. Then, instead of chapters there are sections labeled in Roman Numerals. Now, though at first this was all a lot to understand, I loved how it was set up. Instead of having chapters you have paragraphs or pages which made me more motivated to read because it was so easy to finish a Roman Numeral. It also helped keep the story propelling and it gave it a choppy feeling that added to Judith's narration.
Speaking of Judith's narration, it was the most impressive part of the book! I've never read anything like it. She addresses a 'you' in this book--which is the love interest Lucas--as if she's always thinking directly to him. It gives both an eerie and intimate effect. On top of that, the book reads incredibly abstract and deep, but as Judith finds her voice and begins to interact with people again the narration becomes more stable and concrete. I think it does this because she's no longer just floating through life, she's living it. I was just so impressed by how it was all done. However, in the beginning one of my complaints was that sometimes it was too abstract and the writing went right over my head:
"What right do we have to such a glorious morning? Shouldn't the sky be ashamed of itself for such a vivid blue backdrop to red and orange leaves and grasses glazed with early frost?" pg. 83, All the Truth That's In Me
But as I said with the poetic detail and the choppy sections, this book is also quite fast-paced and thrilling. Sometimes, it was scary and creepy too!
All the misfits of the world can relate to this book! Judith is shunned by her town for being a supposed mute because her abductor cut out her tongue. You feel horrible for her, and you can relate to the times when you felt shunned or made fun of for the things you can't control. However, this is not going to be a book where the character just sits and takes it forever and is a pouting pushover. Judith learns to stick up for herself, and despite her quietness she is both keen and independent.
My one complaint about Judith is that she was sometimes stalker-ish with Lucas in the beginning and I found that creepy, but thankfully she gets over that phase. The romance in this book has no cliches that I could spot and I did love them together, but Lucas's confession to her seemed a little too sudden and I wish the author would have shown Lucas proving his confession in action more beforehand. It would have been more believable that way.
Besides the incredible writing, what I loved was the mystery woven into this book. You're given half-truths throughout the whole story and as the clues start trickling in realization begins to dawn on you, but you're not yet able to put all the pieces together until literally the last pages of the book. You're just waiting for Judith to speak all the missing puzzle pieces that keep the mystery from being solved!
And this mystery is sinister, creepy, and life-altering for many of the characters. They're all set up to seem one way, when really it's not at all what it looks like.
However, speaking on this creepy note: The book deals with pedophilia, murder, kidnapping, rape, unwanted seduction...the whole shebang. While it's all discussed lightly and abstractly, I don't think some younger YA readers should pick this book up if they aren't comfortable reading those topics yet.
All in all, I think I really liked this book! There were definitely complaints, but it was so unique that I think everyone interested in a historical thriller should pick this one up in September!
This book releases September of 2013!
Buy Hardcover | $17.99
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Rachel, age 17