All the Truth That's in Me is a really interesting new YA novel by Julie Berry. The novel takes place in a time period that seems a little like the 1600s and in a village called Roswell Station. The women are called "Goody" before their last name, which reminded me of The Crucible (and how my friends and I used to run away saying, "I saw Goody So-and-So with the devil!!"). But I digress.
The main character is Judith, who has returned after a four-year absence, but there's something different about her. Her tongue has been cut out, leaving her pretty much mute by choice because her speech is garbled and difficult to understand. This also means that Judith is unable to explain her absence and the absence-turned-death of her best friend Lottie.
Because Judith can't speak, the reader is privvy to the goings-on in town through Judith's thoughts. Much of the time, those thoughts are targeted toward Judith's childhood friend and crush, Lucas.
When war breaks out between the villagers of Roswell Station and the people called the "Homelanders" (who I kind of assumed might be Native Americans?), Judith makes a decision that helps her village but also brings dark secrets to the surface. Will Judith remain silent or will she finally find the courage to speak and bring the truth to light?
I really liked the love story between Lucas and Judith. Maybe it was just the time period of the story, but there was nothing improper going on between them like in so many YA novels I've read. The relationship between Lucas and Judith is heart-breaking and sweet, and though it is also chaste, there's a lot of spark.
Overall, though, it did take me awhile to get into the story. There's a lot of flashbacks, and I wasn't always sure when Judith was in a flashback or in the present. But as the story began to unfold, I found that I couldn't put this book down. I had to know what was going to happen!!
This book is recommended for ages 12 and up. There's a little bit of violence and blood but not too much. Still, the book might be more appropriate for kids 14 and up.
All the Truth That's in Me is published by Viking and is available to purchase TODAY. I received a free review copy for my honest review.