I’ve been a long-time friend of author Julie Berry. Her third novel – All The Truth That’s In Me – was just released. Of course I purchased a copy, even though I was fairly confident I’m not the book’s target audience.
I was worried I had made a mistake. The book is written in a prose I am not accustom to, and I didn’t find myself terribly engaged after the first 50 pages or so.
Out of courtesy, I decided to finish the book . (Okay, in reality I was afraid I might get asked how I liked the book. At least if I finished it, I could get by with saying it was, “Nice.”)
Let me be very direct and to the point: The book is outstanding.
As I continued my reading, I found myself needing to turn the pages. What I wrongly believed was a simple story transformed into one of multiple dimensions and profound depth. I found myself fretting over tensions I was unsure could be satisfactorily resolved. I learned I had been cleverly deceived into making assumptions that were quite surprisingly (and skillfully) turned upside-down.
All The Truth That’s In Me is an amazing message of transformation – from darkness to light, from weakness to strength, from cruelty to redemption. I found my-(typically-non-emotional)-self choked up as I read the last few pages.
I’ve passed along the book to my two daughters (12 and 17). I believe that they, too, will love it. More importantly, this book covers some very serious topics worthy of discussion. I’m grateful that, while Julie Berry did not shy away from making the reader uncomfortable, she omitted anything remotely gratuitous and kept the novel well within the bounds of young adult readership.