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[Book Review] - All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry

Title: All the Truth That's in Me
   Series: Julie Berry
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: September 26th, 2013
   My Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

     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.

My Review:

    Julie Berry creates a monster that I never saw coming. I picked this book up on a the fly and the only regret I have with this book was that I didn't get it sooner. The book is a beast, and I figure it takes place in an older time in which women are viewed as a property of men, or when they didn't have much rights. That's my only gripe with the book, is that the girls seem to worship men and view their purity far more intently than currently. I'm not saying that those don't crop up now, but they aren't much of a topic now.

     Judith is a girl whose story is far more brutal than what I thought. She and her friend are kidnapped one night and her kidnapper is astonishing. While her friend is killed and she is set free, with the catch that her tongue is partially cut out so she can't talk. When she returns to her village, from years of being kidnapped, she is viewed like a monster, everyone stays away from her or pitties her. Her own mother seems to resent that she even came back. Judith is told to go to school and come home as fast as possible, she does a few chores but nothing that is out in the community.

     When her village comes under attack, she has to entrust in the help of the unlikely person. It comes to a shock to everyone. Most of all is Lucas, the boy whose had Judith's heart, has a lot to learn and accept. Afterward the community is in upheaval and asks Judith to explain what happened to her, they want to know what happened to her, and when she can't they all push away from her. She wants to talk, she wants to get out and explain but at the same time she views herself as a monster.

     Lucas is a character that drove me crazy, he never forgave himself when he found out who kidnapped Judith. Throughout part of the book he seemed to give up on Judith from time to time. He comes and goes, deep inside he does care about Judith, but just never committed to her or stayed around. Lucas was just a washy guy, and I found that in the end I didn't know much more about him other than that he was attracted and loved Judith the entire time. The going in and out of Judith's life was a bit distracting to understanding him.

     The ending to the book is what I sort of expected, simply because it needed to happen. I don't want to give the ending away, but it was just too predictable. However, the rest of the book and how Judith wants to express herself and mold back into her society, but they just seem to avoid her at every turn. The growth of Judith was impressive and how she embraces herself, what she's dealt with, and how she overcomes every tribulation that comes her way, which is what I view the main point of the book.

     Now, this books growth of Judith is what pushes All the Truth That's in Me to the 4.5 rating. Lucas's character flaws (in my opinion) don't detract from the book in this case, but it'd be refreshing to see a companion novel. It's shocking to know what happened and see the affliction that is wrought unto Judith while she's kidnapped, but its almost worse what happens to her in her own village. How Judith rises up above everything else to face the ending, even though it was predictable, shows just how much she's grew.
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