All the Truth Thatís in Me starts off slow, taking a bit to stir things up but once it officially gets started there is no turning back. Honestly, the main character Judith is one of the most interesting characters I have ever encountered in the young adult world. There was so much that I enjoyed about her story, and the growth and development of the character. The setting of the book was also interesting because it kind of set up everything that occurred. It is such an interesting backdrop for a story! All in all believe me when I say that this book was the definition of unexpected enjoyment for me.
The narration of All the Truth Thatís in Me is the first thing that caught my attention. I really liked the unique way that Julie Berry chose to tell this story. With a mixture of present day and past memories, the main character Judith is telling her story to her childhood friend Lucas. Except that she is not necessarily always speaking to him but more around him and about him. You see, Lucas plays a key role in the story, and this format of narration helped me connect with Judith and her feelings for Lucas and how all of this is so interconnected.
Why is it so interconnected? Well, it involves what has happened to Judith. Now, I donít want to say too much because Iím afraid that itíll give too much away. And I believe that would really suck because the mystery involved with this story is just so good! It really kept me guessing, and kept my attention. It also helps that the book uses short ďchaptersĒ broken up with Roman numerals which helped with the pacing the structure of the book. Add in the fact that Judith has obviously been through a traumatic experience which included her being kidnapped and mutilated, and it may be easy to guess why I was so hooked on this story.
For me, Judith is one of the most unique YA heroines. Sheís not necessarily ďbook smartĒ which is why the language in All the Truth Thatís in Me is so simplistic as it is from her point of view, and is her story but, she is definitely ďstreet smartĒ. When she returns from her ordeal, she is silenced, literally, as her tongue has been cut out. Yet, she still has this streak of resilience that made her character so worth rooting for. I wanted to learn the truth of her story, and I wanted to see her conquer the odds even if they were completely against her.
This isnít a sugarcoated story but that doesnít mean that there still isnít a sense of hope. Itís a dark story but within the intensity comes a beauty that you cannot help but want to see shine through.† Even after everything Judith has been through she is still so strong and so resilient. Sheís angry as she has every right to be but more than anything she wants people to understand. She wants to be able to tell her story which proves to be very difficult as she is almost totally mute.
Judith is a girl who is living in a town that feels like it is in the middle of no where. She’s also a girl who is in love with a boy who has moved on from her while she was kidnapped, and whose relationship with others have always seemed to define her. I really enjoyed reading her story, and watching her find her voice. I would highly recommend All the Truth Thatís in Me to anyone that is looking for a more unique and original young adult novel.
Disclaimer: Received ARC at BEA 2013
Other reviews of All the Truth Thatís In Me by Julia Berry:
Xpresso Reads: “A strange, yet captivating book…”
Total Teen Fiction Reviews: “It takes a little while to get into All the Truth That’s in Me but once you’re there it’s totally worth it because it’s a story that will stay with you long after you close the pages.”