Monday, September 30, 2013

All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry

All the Truth That's In Me

There once was a town, where two girls disappeared. One came back in only body, down the river. The other came back alive, missing half her tongue. All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry is a novel full of mysteries and bigger silences. Judith disappeared 4 years ago with half her tongue missing. Treated like a social pariah, she has remained on the outside of her community until the homelanders arrive and threaten the safety of the man she loves.


It is unclear what the setting and time frame is for this novel. I want to say it was dystopian but at the same time could have been set before the 1850s. What should be known is that a women’s maiden hood is still important and that there are many antiquities within the story. Also, the people of Judith’s village must have conquered the homelanders’ land, because at some point the homelanders want to take back what is theirs.

Four years ago Judith was a young lady in her town, best friends with Lottie, and in love with Lucas. Lucas’ mother had left them for another man, driving his father insane. One day there was a huge explosion, and his father, the Colonel died. Just around this time Lottie went missing. Judith knew that Lottie was in love with someone, and hoping to meet up with her Judith snuck out of her house and climbed a tree they both usually met at. What Judith didn’t expect was seeing her best friend die that night, or to be taken captive in the woods… by the Colonel. After two years missing the Colonel cuts out half her tongue (to keep her safe) and sends her back to the village (he was beginning to want to touch her inappropriately and sent her away instead) with her maidenhood intact. Once home Judith was alone, except for the constant stalking of Lucas, and her brother always talked to her.

One day the village announces that the homelanders are coming to attack. At this point Lucas will be involved and might die. Judith cannot stand to think of Lucas getting hurt, so she goes to the one place she hoped never to return, she goes back to the Colonel and begs him save Lucas and to supply the men with his arsenal… that he took from the village, and in return she would marry him. What occurs after is heartwarming, catastrophic, hurtful and healing all at once. New friends are made, hope begins to blossom for Judith, and the complete truth is finally forced out.

This was something different from many of the YA novels coming out this year, but it also resembled YA novels I grew up with 10 years ago. The second person narrative was also different and done pretty well, perhaps because it lacked passive aggressiveness towards the character being spoken to in the novel. Judith and Lucas are pretty solid characters and even the rude town’s people fit well into the story.

4/5 stars. Thanks NetGalley and Edelweiss.

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