Sometimes when I read a good book I unconsciously start writing like the author. I saw this trend when I was deep within my obsession of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter series.
But now my eyes are wide open and The Mortal Instruments seems generic and dreary compared to All The Truth That’s in Me
Julie Berry’s poetic and straight to the point style is a refreshing change to the tired and repetitive YA genre. The few sentence long paragraphs that gradually gain more words, is cleverly linked to the mute main character (Judith) rediscovering speech throughout the novel. Also, I’d usually class jumping around ideas a terrible bookish sin, but the jolted memories of Judith work in perfect harmony with the novel
“Like the clanging of the bell, the truth crashes in upon me. At last I understand. He took away my voice to save me. And now, to save myself, I take it back.”
I do, however, have a soft spot for Historical Fiction because it leads you under the false impression that you actually may learn something. All the Truth That’s in Me is quite clearly very made up but the plot was nothing like I expected and so it surprised me in a good way, There was a mountain of plot twists till the very end and Berry is extremely good at leaving the reader on the edge of their seat. That said, it does wrap up nicely as a standalone novel –
unlike other YA series.
However what brings it down a star, for me, is the love interests. I’m not a very romantic person but I don’t particularly mind the odd crush in a book. All The Truth That’s in Me is centered around an almost stalkerish obsession of Judith’s. This goes to the extent that the novel is addressed to her ‘true love’, Lucas. Of course, the couple was cute and at times I did like them, but on the whole part they were annoying, overrated, cringe worthy and a stain on an otherwise perfect book. Judith seemed to love Lucas without reason, which is something that doesn’t really exist in real life, and therefore it pulled me away from the story I was otherwise enjoying.
“It’s always you ladybird,” he says softly “don’t you know?”
The other characters were perfect, Judith’s clumsy younger brother and cold mother definitely topping the list for the most well rounded and interesting. Even Judith’s captor, the one I was anticipating the author to ruin by making him a storybook villain, actually ended up having a decent amount of depth.
“Your father died the night the town believed he did, and my captor was born from his ashes. Two men, not alike, strangers to each other.”
It is a shame, I guess. I like and look up to everything but the very love the book is centered around. Still, I do recommend it and perhaps you may think differently.