Review: All the Truth that’s in Me by Julie Berry

All the Truth That's in Me

Synopsis from Good Reads:

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.

This book isn’t really at all what I thought it would be. Based on the cover I thought it would be modern, but it’s historical fiction (though the year is never mentioned). Also since the name of the town is Roswell Station, I latched onto “Roswell” and figured it would have something to do with aliens. However, there are no supernatural/fantasy elements to the story.

I enjoyed Berry’s writing style, though it took a bit to get used to. It’s written in Judith’s 1st person POV, as if she is talking to her childhood friend/crush/love Lucas. I’m not sure if this is technically 2nd person POV or not. Lucas is always the “you” she is referring to and I always think of 2nd person using an impersonal “you” to a general audience. The story is broken up into four “books”, each “book” divided into several mini “chapters” that are often not more than a page. The timeline shifts between past and present without notice, but always with reason. All of this helped the story to seem fast-paced, even though there wasn’t often a lot going on.

I liked our main character, Judith, even though I didn’t always understand her. Despite all that she’s been through and all she’s still being put through by the town and her mother, she still has hope for the life she’s always wanted and she still works hard to help provide for her mother and brother, which is a pretty thankless job.

I liked Lucas, Judith’s love interest, as well. They grew up together as friends so their relationship is real and not the “insta-love” that often plagues YA. He’s hard-working and kind and protective. There is a fairly large cast of secondary characters in the eclectic townsfolk. Some were likable and some were really not. I especially ended up liking Judith’s new friend Maria, mostly because I ended up being completely wrong about her.

Overall, I really enjoyed All the Truth that’s in Me. It was different than anything I’ve read before. The writing and the story were unique and the characters were strong. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that this is a standalone and not part of a series, which is part of my 2014 Bookish Resolutions.

Rating (out of 5)
Plot: 4
Characters: 4
Readability: 4
Enjoyability: 4
Overall Average: 4 stars

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10 thoughts on “Review: All the Truth that’s in Me by Julie Berry

  1. I, too, would have assumed from the description and the cover that this book was modern/contemporary. That would have thrown me through a loop had I picked it up (because it’s on my TBR), so thanks for the heads-up 🙂 It’s also refreshing to hear that it’s a standalone, because those seem to be few and far between these days.

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