Sunday, July 27, 2014

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

Firstly, thanks to HarperCollins Australia for this review copy <3

Date Read: September 1 - 6 2013
Release Date: October 1st 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Source: ARC via publisher
Genre: Contemporary
My rating: 

"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."


“No one calls me by my name.”

What a unique book. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it. This book just sort of popped up for me, and I was just speechless after finishing.

One of two girls that went missing four years ago, Judith is the only one that returns two years later. She’s not the same though; with her tongue cut out and her mother and the townsfolk believing her maidenhood gone, she is ignored and undesired. With nobody to talk to, she soundlessly bares her soul to the childhood crush.

“I am shocking. What was done to me was shocking. I am outside the boundaries forever, no longer decent.”

I’ll admit I was a bit freaked out at how Judith seemed like she was almost stalking Lucas. Everything she does, she refers to him; Judith just didn’t talk to him in her mind, but whilst talking to him she knew exactly what he was doing, where he was and it all seemed a little stalkerish. But what’s one to do when nobody notices you and other than menial chores, you’re essentially left to your own devices? Judith frustrated me so many times because she could tried to tell people what happened. Instead she lets them believe what they want, and her silence makes them believe the worst. I understood that she was afraid but reading her and being in her head while she did nothing for the majority of the book killed me. Her character does grow though, and as she learns to face her fear, I could see her gaining confidence and showing strength.

“I hung the posies you left me upside down in the barn rafters to dry, to preserve them forever and gaze upon them always.”

Told in second person, in an almost diary form, the book is split into four parts divided by seasons. The first half is rather vague as Judith slowly reveals the events of what happened four years ago, and piece by piece, the puzzle comes together. I was so intrigued as how two girls managed to disappear and the motive behind Judith getting her tongue cut out. As Judith progresses, trying to be recognised, most of the townsfolk are still unforgiving and ignorant, even in light of their town being threatened. Upon realising that she needs to face her past because there’s a possibility that it could save her town and her beloved Lucas, she’s challenged with the possibility that the town will never trust her again as she delves back to four years ago.

“Do I intend to keep my promise?”

The plot thickens as Judith’s fragmented snippets coalesce with the threatened town and her ability to help them, combined with the mystery of her disappearance and that of her friend four years ago. Somehow, they’re all related. One leads to another, one connects to another and the revelation was nothing like I expected.

“Like the clanging of the bell, the truth crashes in upon me.”


  1. I completely agree Jaz! This is one of the most unique books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. The narrative style and just the storyline in general were just so darn original! The writing was absolutely gorgeous, wasn't it? I've never read something in 2nd person like this, but it was so well-done. :) Thanks for sharing and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    1. Same Zoe! It's so rare that a book is told in 2nd person but when it's done it really resonates because the narrator is speaking to you personally!

  2. This book was sooooooo not for me. I impulse-bought it, then won a copy, so now I have two copies of a book that I dislike. Oh well - a giveaway sometime, maybe :) it was definitely very unique but I didn't like the whole historical aspect...not the book's fault, but yeah. Toooo unique for me, I think :P

    1. Oh damn haha yeah it wasn't for everybody! This has really mixed reviews. Most people didn't like the 2nd person vagueness thing which I can totally understand. Have you read other historical fiction?

  3. Wow, great review Jaz! When I read this book, I was just so horrified by the horrible thing that had happened to Judith and with how mean everyone else was to her that I couldn't really enjoy it, although I could appreciate how wonderful the prose was.

    1. Thank you Jeann (: It was pretty horrible wasn't it? But in the end you could sort of see why. I really liked how this played out.

  4. There's a mysterious aspect to All the Truth That's In Me that really intrigues me. While I've seen it around, and it is a book I'm considering picking up, I do feel a bit nervous about the POV and about the story too! But I'm thrilled to hear you enjoyed it, and it definitely has me thinking I should check it out soon.

    1. I think you may need to be in a particular mind set to read this and not go in with expectations because it's VERY different. Depending on the style you're into this is a real hit or miss for some people. Such an original take on a story!

  5. Well written. Reads like POV of someone who has been traumatized and has PTSD, appropriately enough. The scattered foci of someone who's come out of catastrophe abuse. Found it difficult to put down.

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  6. There's a good mystery to be had in these pages that serves to complete what was a very enjoyable read. Young teens up to adults will all enjoy this story of a young woman struggling to find a future for herself while learning to cope with all the truths of her past.

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