Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Review of All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry

I read All the Truth That’s In Me because it’s a nominee for Vermont’s Green Mountain Book Award for 2015-2016, and it’s my goal to read at least three of these novels so I can vote for my favorite come spring… This book, however, greatly disappointed me. 

All the Truth That’s In Me has 5 different English covers! I like the first one best:

julieberry

17297487

Series: None

Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Mystery

Rating: 1.5 stars

Format: Audiobook, narrated by Kathleen McInerney

Description: 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.

Review:

I read All the Truth That’s In Me because it’s a nominee for Vermont’s Green Mountain Book Award for 2015-2016, and it’s my goal to read at least three of these novels so I can vote for my favorite come spring. I picked this one from the 15 nominees for two reasons: ListenUp! Vermont had it available as an audiobook, and I’ve read and enjoyed two of Julie Berry’s other novels, The Amaranth Enchantment and Secondhand Charm, which I highly recommend. This book, however, greatly disappointed me.

All the Truth That’s In Me could simply not keep my attention! I would have abandoned it within the first 50 pages if not for the fact that I was listening to the audiobook, which usually convinces me to keep going. The first excitement of the novel occurs early on in the book, but after that I lost interest, and couldn’t seem to get excited or engaged when the plot picks up again at the end.

This book is historical fiction, which seems more as a random setting for a book about a kidnapping than an important aspect of the plot. I found the setting to be rather Laura Ingalls Wilder-esque, or that was at least how I pictured the town in my head.

Although Julie Berry tried to make the plot revealing and surprising, it was too predictable (and often didn’t fully make sense), and I found myself guessing who the culprit was as soon as his character was introduced. In addition, the writing style was quite strange, with the main character addressing her thoughts to “you,” the boy of her dreams. It took a while to get used to this format, and was often confusing.

I also found myself having a hard time connecting with any of the characters. They all seemed flat, underdeveloped, and uninteresting. All in all, I certainly won’t be voting for All the Truth That’s in Me for my favorite Green Mountain Book Award.

Have you read this book? Did you have a different experience, or do you share my disappointment?

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This entry was posted on January 25, 2016 by in Author: Gwen, Awards, Review, Young Adult and tagged , , .
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