Friday, September 6, 2013

All the Truth That's in Me Julie Berry

All the Truth That's in Me
Julie Berry
Read: August 28 - 29, 2013
Published: UPCOMING September 26, 2013 by Viking Juvenile
Source: BEA **THANK YOU PENGUIN**
Category: Historical Fiction, YA

Official 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. 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. (From Goodreads)






_________________________________________________________________________

Set-up (adapted from Goodreads): Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, with part of her tongue cut out. She is unable to speak and ostracized by her friends and family. But when her town is attacked, Judith must decide whether it is worth revisiting the past she's tried to bury to save the future of the people that ignore her, and the boy she loves who barely knows she exists. 

For this review, I'm going to tell you 5 things that struck me about All the Truth That's In Me:

"There is no one to tell, and no way to tell it, as I am now. I couldn't find words even if I was able. No words could ease this unbearable weight.   
I cry to my willow tree: robbed of years, robbed of dignity, language, tranquility. 
Last of all, cruelest, robbed of you."

1) Voice: My favorite thing about All The Truth That's In Me is that it is told in second person. Judith speaks the book directly to Lucas, the boy she's loved all her life. When I met the author this spring, she said the story, especially in the first half, is narrated as if Judith is writing Lucas a love letter, filled with devotion and longing. I could definitely sense that in Judith's words. 

The second person voice also serves to illustrate how much of an outsider Judith has become since she returned to her community, damaged emotionally and physically. She is either ignored or treated with mistrust and even fear. But though the narrative style doesn't change, Judith does throughout the course of the story, and watching her "find her voice" was a painful but incredibly rewarding theme of this story. 

2) Setting: All The Truth That's In Me is set in what appears to be a Puritan village somewhere in New England in the 17th century. The town and customs of the people mirror some of the first settlers to come to the United States, however, there are stubbornly no actual historical contextual details. Although I'm not sure why the author chose not to set her story in a real historical place, I really like the choice of a Puritan village setting. I think that it was a great way to strip down the story. We see Judith return to her community damaged and mistrusted and over time discover not only her self worth, but also her own power. 

3) Romance: Judith has been in love with Lucas all of her life, and in many ways her love for him is the force that has sustained her through the darkness. Since Judith has returned from her two year absence, she watches Lucas from afar. It is painful to witness her devotion to Lucas in the beginning of the story. He barely acknowledges her, although her feelings for him are all consuming. Judith's love for Lucas begins as the naïve and obsessive love of youth. The "as long as you are happy it doesn't matter what happens to me" kind. As Judith finds her own worth and realizes that Lucas not perfect, but a human boy who makes mistakes, her feelings change into something much more measured and true. The development of the love story is a vivid personification of Judith's personal growth, and another favorite thing about this book. 

4) Support: Instead of being welcomed back immediately after her disappearance, Judith's family and village immediately mistrust her. But as Judith begins to peal herself from the background, she finds friends and support that are also integral in her healing and growth. Although I dislike that no one stepped in to support Judith immediately after her return, I can understand it partially because of Judith' mother's negative behavior, the beliefs of her conservative community, and also the ways that Judith's own psychological trauma led her to separate herself from everyone else. 

I was most surprised by the relationship Judith develops with her brother Darrell. Although he begins the story foolish and selfish, their dynamic changes significantly throughout the course of the book. I adored the quiet bond they formed. 

5) Story: The truth about Judith's disappearance is revealed slowly, in very digestible portions that are interspersed within the present narrative. Sometimes when a book relies on flashback, it slows down the narrative (I am notoriously hesitant about books that rely heavily on flashbacks). But the author reveals information in a natural way, that never stunted the pace of her tale. The entire book, in fact is written in very tiny chapter segments that read very quickly. 

 All The Truth That's In Me is a fast read that riveted me from start to finish. I found myself connecting more to the quieter, personal moments in this story, than the big climax at the end. But truly, this is a uniquely told and very readable story, of loss, longing, love, survival and finding the will to speak even after you've been silenced.  

Love Triangle Factor: Mild
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone 

Book received in exchange for an honest review


16 comments:

  1. Not sure how I feel about this being in second person...I've had some mixed experiences with that narration lately but I hope it strikes me as well since I have a copy of this to read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read a lot of second person books. In fact, this is the only one that I can think of. BUT I can say that the tense really really worked for me in this context. I think it set the story a part more than if it had been told in any other way. I'm curious about your reaction to this book when you find time to read it, though!

      Delete
  2. I just read Rachel's review and was so happy to discover this book. And now another positive review, all I can say is that this book has instantly become my top tbr, and I have to have to read it. I can clearly see how emotional and kinda sad the story is, and I really want to know more about Judith. There are so many questions I have--why did no one supported Judith after her return? What's up with Lucas and why did he ignore Judith? I'm so looking forward to these answers. Wonderful review, Lauren! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you're able to read this story soon and that you connect with it as much as I did, Aman! Though I think that the negative reaction of Judith's community did have a lot to do with 1) her mother's reaction when she returned and 2) the general prejudices of her time. Unfortunately, it's not much of an excuse. But it is a believable scenario. I really like that Lucas is not portrayed as perfect and above it all. It made me love him more in the end for how real he seemed.

      Delete
  3. This definitely sounds unique, though I'm a tad nervous about the POV. I'm already getting the feels for poor Judith and want to know what happened to her!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read this book for similar reasons. I was very intrigued by Judith's past. For me the POV was a plus. But I can see where it might make you nervous. I hope you are able to connect with this story anyway - and that it makes you love it more.

      Delete
  4. I wasn't quite sold on this before, mostly because I'm not a fan of books centering around untold secrets, but I love the amount of character growth in this one. It seems absolutely fantastic and I can already see that I'm going to enjoy this. Thanks a bunch for throwing this on my radar, Lauren!(:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will say that the revealing of the "secret" isn't why I love this book. Some of it I figured out and some of it surprised me, but it's Judith's growth, the love story and the way this book is written that drew me in. As I said above, the quiet, more personal moments and interactions is why I loved this book, more than the big climactic ones.

      Delete
  5. This is the second review I've read today for this book and both have been positive. The synopsis sounds intriguing and i'm interested in readng this partly because it;s told in second person and I normally don't read book with that sort of narration. I'm interested in reading about Judith's character growth and will probably read it just for that. Great Review Lauren! :)
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't remember reading a second person book before either, and for this story in particular it worked really well. Judith's growth is one of the best parts of this story, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

      Delete
  6. I haven't read many books in second person, but you have made me curious now. I actually read a book by this author a few years ago--but it was entirely different in tone--a fairy tale re-telling. I like how dark this book sounds and how compelling. I'm glad you tried it out, I think I'll try to find a copy now too:) GREAT review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome to borrow my copy of ALL THE TRUTH THAT'S IN ME. If you decide you want to read it, I will send it to you. I think you'll enjoy this one. I had no idea that Julie Berry had written anything else. I'll have to look her up. Was the other book a positive experience? This one is definitely compelling. Especially the way the story is told and Judith's own personal journey. Very readable, but some heavier themes.

      Delete
  7. The premise of this book is fascinating and I love the fact that it's written in the second person. Very unusual. Your review has definitely made me want to read this book even more. ~Pam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Pam! I hope you enjoy this one. The second person voice is one of my favorite aspects of this story.

      Delete
  8. To be honest, I really wasn't interested in this one when I looked at the cover. But I'm glad I took the time to read through your review! This sounds really interesting! I'm not typically drawn to stories like this - untold secrets and all that hidden pain. However, you've got me really intrigued! And I don't think I've read many books in second person, so I'm really interested in trying it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this one would interest you, Hannah. The second person is very well done and makes the book more intriguing IMO. Also the secrets portion of this story isn't why I loved it so much. I think Judith's growth was really compelling and the love story that came out of that was well done. I know you like historical fiction too and this has that sort of a flavor. Hope you enjoy this if you get a chance to read it.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...