Review: All the Truth That’s In Me – Julie Berry

Release Date: October 1st 2013
Published By: HarperCollins Australia
Pages: 304
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis: Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years later, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by her friends and family.

Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to her childhood friend, Lucas. He is the boy who has owned her heart for as long as she can remember – even if he doesn′t know it.

But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose – to continue living in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever.

Told in a voice that is achingly raw and intimate, this remarkably original novel will haunt and stay with 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 one.

Review: Thank you HarperCollins Australia for the advance reading copy of All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry.

All the Truth That’s in Me is original, powerful and haunting. This is a one of a kind book that you really need to read for yourself, as its depth cannot be captured in a review.

Four years ago both Judith and her best friend Lottie disappeared. Not long after their disappearance Lottie was found dead, but Judith returned home two years later, mutilated and unable to speak. Since her return home, Judith has had to endure so much – the townspeople say she is cursed, her brother ignores her and her own mother won’t even say her name. Judith seems to have accepted her fate, and her status as an outcast, until a series of events are put into motion that will change her life forever. This suspenseful story will have you eagerly flipping the pages while Judith faces her demons, as secrets are uncovered, as friendships are formed and as heartbreak and death seem inevitable … will Judith be able to find her voice and save more than just herself?

Julie Berry displays an extraordinary writing talent that is rarely found. The contrast between Judith’s resilience and the prejudiced behaviour of those that surround her is outstanding and the injustices and persecution within this story is exceptionally executed. I will admit that I did find it a little confusing to begin with – it is told by Judith in small scene/chapter like entries where she is addressing Lucas (but it isn’t a letter as far as I can tell, but yet it isn’t quite second person narrative either) and the time-frame does flip a round a bit, however once I got into that rhythm, I found the storyline to utterly compelling, and I felt the emotions that Judith was experiencing. The historical setting was a welcome surprise for me, and it entirely fit the storyline. Due to the beliefs of the society this is set in, you see that even though Judith is unable to speak, no one really wants to hear her anyway. I found this aspect equally intriguing and appalling.

This is Judith’s story – the story of her courage and strength while she is shunned by family and friends, her longing for her life-long friend and her desire to be accepted. Judith’s voice (although she cannot speak) is one of the strongest I have come across – it is raw, honest and utterly mesmerising. You cannot help but fall in love with Judith, the strength she shows while she withstands the sneers and rejection is astounding, and her longing to be accepted will tear at your heart.

Most of the story is focused on Judith’s life two years after she has returned from her disappearance; however you do get flashbacks of her life before and during her disappearance. These flashbacks show snippets of the past to ensure that story flows at a great pace and that you are kept guessing along the way as well as enabling the plot to come beautifully together in the dramatic conclusion.

Judith has been to hell and back, but yet she is a passionate and caring (but still flawed) character and her courage and determination is astonishing. A lot of her strength is show within her relationships, including her strained relationship with her mother, the sibling bond she shares with her brother, her new-found friendship with Maria, and with the subject of her long standing desire – Lucas. As much as I admired Judith’s strength, I despised her mother’s weakness and hostility – I found this to be truly heartbreaking. For me, Judith’s mother, rather than her captor and mutilator, is the villain of this story. However, there were a lot of other wrong-doers in this story – most of the town treats Judith with contempt and I could not find anything redeeming in their prejudiced mindset. The way Judith endures all of these tribulations is nothing short of inspiring.

This story is masterfully constructed full of suspense and twists along the way, which all leads to a chilling conclusion that will stir many emotions. There is heartbreak and sacrifice, hope and loss, some will win your heart while others will disgust you – but the courage that is shown will certainly remain with you long after you finish this truly unique story.

Quotes:

“I don’t believe in miracles, but if the need is great, a girl might make her own miracle.”

“You must live, even if your marriage means my heart’s death”

“You took my hand and held it. It occurred to me that I should feel startled, but it was only peaceful”

“This will be a new amputation. You’ve been a part of my flesh, underneath all my skin. Your removal will bleed and leave me lame for a time.”

What do you think?

  • I can’t wait to read this one! It’s been on my TBR list ever since I heard about it. I can’t wait until I finally pick it up.

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