Tuesday, 27 May 2014

All the Truth That's In Me

All the Truth That's In Me
Julie Berry
Dorking, Templar, 2013, 266p

When Judith returns home, her tongue cut out and the last two years a mystery to all around her, she is outcast by her society and her family, subject to looks of horror and pity. As the town talks, there is only one person she wishes to listen to her - Lucas, the boy she has always loved.

Set in the early American settlements, All the Truth That's In Me is a haunting, dark novel about abduction and young sexuality. Judith is victimised by those in her town, who assume her kidnapping was of a sexual nature; and she is continuously haunted by the feeling that men only want her as a silent object. As the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that there is more mystery to Judith's story than the townsfolk have presumed.

The novel is told in first person by Judith, who often narrates as if she is speaking directly to Lucas, pleading for his sympathy and understanding. The chapters are very short - some only a sentence long - meaning reading is easy and swift.

I found myself quite caught up in the romance - Judith's longing is heartbreakingly beautiful, as she sits on the sidelines of Lucas' life. And she is a surprisingly strong protagonist, despite her many obstacles. She is brave and strong, fighting for justice and protecting the man she loves. If anything, Lucas seems weak in comparison.

I am finding this year's Carnegie list to be surprisingly dark, especially compared to the variety of the 2013 list - many of the books would not be typically suitable for teenage readers - yet I am enjoying the journey of shadowing.

To read more of my reviews of the 2014 Carnegie shortlist, click here.

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