★★★/★★★★★ All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry.
Do not be disconcerted over the rating I gave this book, because I do believe everyone should read it, however, sadly, this book was missing some elements that would have made it more worthwhile for myself. Basically this is a book combining a bunch of things that should have never worked but did anyways.
Look at where the title comes from :
“To tell the truth will make me loathsome in your eyes.
Even more than I already am.
I pledge to give you all the truth that’s in me.
And you want me to tell you this.”
Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town four years ago, and two years passed before only Judith was seen again. But she has returned with her tongue cut out, and everyone ignores her, unaware of the evil that did such a thing to her. But bad things are coming about to the town, and it is time for everyone to hear her voice.
Main reasons why this book was not for me:
- The resolution seemed to simple considering all endured throughout the novel.
- Certain fragments in which the story is mostly told.
- The second person narrative was not as great as it could have been.
- The timeline, I am not a big fan of America at the time the novel takes place, it simply is not the time nor place I like to read my stories.
Main reasons to read it nonetheless:
- Puritan folk that are not really good, but rather judgmental, as per historical context, it seemed very keen on keeping people as they most likely were back then. I hate Puritans, well in the historical sense, they were judgmental and self-righteous, and Julie Berry kept them to this level instead of making them the angels they are sometimes presented as.
- A mother’s cruelty and what the main character finds through it.
- Second-person story-telling was actually not bad, it could have been better, but it was very good.
- Lucas, my poor little farm boy. He is not the overly hot and very sexually aware man-child depicted in loads of Young-Adult literature (it would be weird if he were anyways) but he is a character with personality, and a blind eye when it comes to Judith’s feelings for him. I want to knock some sense in to him.
- The romance, in this case, childhood romance, and how messed up it turns out to be according to other aspects, but how it triumphs in the end. There is also the detail that sometimes how we imagine certain people to be is not the pinnacle of their true selves, and that love should not blind us.
- A child/teen that might suffer from PTSD overcoming it, or more likely, fighting through it to create a life for herself.
- This quote: “There is a curious comfort in letting go. After the agony, letting go brings numbness, and after the numbness, clarity. As if I can see the world for the first time, and my place in it, independent of you, a whole vista of what may be. Even if it is not grand or inspiring, it is real and solid, unlike the fantasy I’ve built around you. I will do this. I will triumph over you.”
- The point that sometimes friendships can save people, no matter how they were formed, but rather what they bring to a broken down person.
- A disabled character. I mean it is far from perfect, since her disability kind of dominates her at the beginning (understandably so), but also, her disability does not stop her in the end, and with the lack of diversity in literature for young people, this seemed like an improvement.
- When Judith chooses to go back to school, a respectful member of this society makes a pass at her, showing that if she wants to better herself, he will want some payment.
See? There are more reasons to read it, so give it a shot, it might just tickle your fancy.
I am going to leave you with two questions:
- Can anyone truly hear you if you have no voice?
- Or do people not hear you because they choose not to?