Review: All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry
Source: Hardcover, Published September 26, 2013 by Viking Juvenile
Verdict: Very Good/Excellent
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.
Oh, this was a good one.
All the Truth That’s in Me took me by surprise, and I LOVE it when a YA title does that! I’ve been trying to find a way to describe Julie Berry’s novel, and here’s what I’ve got: cross Arthur Miller’s The Crucible with the YA skills of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ruta Sepetys. Without ever really pinpointing exact time, place, or even genre, Berry- through Judith’s incisive narration- takes us on a fascinating (and gorgeously written) trip.
In crisp, yet precise bursts, Judith recounts her past- her childhood, her disappearance- and her present, all the while talking to her one true love, her childhood friend Lucas. As we learn from the book description, after two years of missing from her village (and presumed dead), Judith suddenly returns. Due to her silence regarding her disappearance, her captor, and her scars, Judith is ostracized by most in her village- including by her widowed mother who forces silence, makes Judith work night and day, and only refers to her daughter as ‘You-‘. Judith has harrowing (and shocking) secrets hidden deep from her time away; some disturbing ones that start to creep to the surface when she makes a decision that changes the fate of her village and its inhabitants. When a tentative friendship begins between Judith and a young village woman, Judith is encouraged to speak again, to try and find her voice. And when a nefarious and ill-thought hunt threatens the lives of both Lucas and Judith, she knows that she cannot remain quiet any longer. She must tell everyone- including Lucas- the truth about her friends death, and what really happened while she was away. But who will trust or listen when Judith finally speaks? And will they want to hear what she has to say?
Note: This review, written by me, originally appeared on Fabbity Fab Book Reviews.