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

Title: All the Truth that's in Me
Author: Julie Berry
Year Published: 2013

Genre: YA fiction (mystery)
Pages: 274
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2013 Google Reading map): USA

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): 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 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.

Review: Okay, I'm giving this novel 4.5 stars, but I didn't think I was going to for probably the first half of the book. When I saw the cover and read the description I thought it was going to be a story that takes place in the now. However, that isn't true. It takes place a long time ago when villages were small, people used oxen and horses for farming and transportation, and relationships were much more formal and "proper." I think if I had known this I would have enjoyed the first half of the book much more.

Judith tells the story of her two-year disappearance intertwined with the current day life of her town. The way she disappeared, who took her, what it was like for two years, why she cannot speak, and more all come out slowly in her thoughts as she navigates her way back into the lives of her family and friends. How does she fit in now? What is her role? Can she win back her mother's love and attention?

Really this is a study in relationships. What do we leave unsaid, who is right for us, what is the role of a parent or child, and more. Berry pulls us in to the lives of Judith, her family, and her town using the language and cadence of the 1800s. It is also a look at why do we speak, when is the spoken word valuable and worth taking a risk for? All very interesting!

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