Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publication date: September 26th 2013
My rating: 4.5 stars
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.
All the Truth That’s In Me was a stunning, sharply focused story that ticked all the boxes for me! It was filled with feelings of longing, pain, sadness, anger, hope and joy! At the heart of it are an achy romance, and a clever mystery that surprised me when all was revealed!
Judith is one of two girls who went missing two years ago. She came back but the other girl did not. When she walks back to her home there is no warm welcome. Her father died during her absence, and her mother blames her for this! Judith’s younger brother doesn’t treat her much better. Judith was maimed making her speech hard to understand. What’s worse though is her mother’s reaction. She’s shocked and horrified by Judith’s attempts at speaking and she forbids her to talk. Her treatment and reaction to Judith made my heart hurt!
“You’ve come back maimed. I leave it to God to judge what brought this upon you.”*
Before Judith was abducted she was hopelessly in love with her childhood friend, Lucas. Nothing changed her feelings for him. But without speaking and with no explanation of her disappearance, Judith fades into the background, and everyone either regards her as the town freak or ignores her entirely. Lucas falls into the latter category. My heart broke for Judith as life goes on with her as a spectator. But everything changes when the town is threatened, and she knows exactly what must be done.
There are several mysteries unfolding in this tale. The identity of Judith’s abductor is revealed early on, but you’re not sure why she was taken, and you’re not sure what happened during her captivity. These mysteries and more are slowly and masterfully revealed throughout the story.
All the Truth That’s In Me is told in second person narrative, with Judith basically addressing this story to Lucas. It felt like I was reading her letters to him with dialogue and scenes included. I read so much that a change in storytelling is welcome and refreshing, and I loved it!
I admired and rooted for Judith, and was in awe that all she went through didn’t break her spirit. I was heartened when she started to come out of her shell and take control of her life! Because of the second narrative, interactions with the secondary character like her brother, Maria or Goody are somewhat sparse, but that in no way lessens their impact or appeal.
The romance between Judith and Lucas is one of longing and sadness on her part, at first. As the story continued my heart filled with joy over changes in situation, and as things were revealed.
“It was always you, Ladybird,” you say softly. “Don’t you know?”*
Julie Berry’s writing was powerful, concise and almost lyrical. Her captivating story is a definite recommend!
*Quotes taken from an uncorrected proof and may change in the final copy.
I loved this story so much I wanted to share my ARC with one lucky reader! The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL. Just fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win. Good luck, and thanks for visiting The Readers Den!