All Of This Is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor
Miri Tan loved the book Undertow like it was a living being. So when she and her friends went to a book signing to meet the author, Fatima Ro, they concocted a plan to get close to her, even if her friends won’t admit it now. As for Jonah, well—Miri knows none of that was Fatima’s fault.
Soleil Johnston wanted to be a writer herself one day. When she and her friends started hanging out with her favorite author, Fatima Ro, she couldn’t believe their luck—especially when Jonah Nicholls started hanging out with them, too. Now, looking back, Soleil can’t believe she let Fatima manipulate her and Jonah like that. She can’t believe that she got used for a book.
Penny Panzarella was more than the materialistic party girl everyone at the Graham School thought she was. She desperately wanted Fatima Ro to see that, and she saw her chance when Fatima asked the girls to be transparent with her. If only she’d known what would happen when Fatima learned Jonah’s secret. If only she’d known that the line between fiction and truth was more complicated than any of them imagined. . . .
WHAT A WILD RIDE.
When I was asked to take part in my first blog tour, I was intrigued. The tag line on the book is “Four YA-obsessed teens befriend their favourite novelist. What happens next will shock you.” and to be honest, I was already a little shook. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story that was so meta. But it was not what I was expecting at all.
Through the whole book, we are given interview transcripts, texts, journal entries and novel excerpts of the things that went down between this group, and at first I thought I wouldn’t be able to understand what was going on. But the way in which everything is ordered, we begin to learn how each character is specifically manipulated and I even felt we, the reader, are manipulated too. Each character knows something the other doesn’t, and that includes us. There are so many instances where we begin to realise things before the characters do, and at those points I ended up screaming and shouting at the characters to understand quicker! Some things were huge, but others were just small things that just fed into the whole thing. Just stellar writing and weaving from Lygia Day Peñaflor!
There’s a knack to writing a whole cast of characters you’re not supposed to like. Of course, there are characters in books who I genuinely just don’t like – which isn’t great at all. But then there’s books when the characters are the type of unlikable that makes you keep reading, and that was Miri, Penny, Soliel, Fatima Ro, and Jonah, all of them had something about them that made me hesitate, but I could not stop reading about them. It’s kind of like when there’s been a car accident up ahead on the motorway, and all the traffic isn’t caused by the accident itself, but the amount of people slowing down to take a good look at the crumpled cars. Morbid fascination, that’s how I felt as I drove past at the car crash that was the drama these girls (and Jonah) had gotten themselves into.
As far as trigger warnings go, there is no scenes of sexual abuse, however it is talked about frequently but doesn’t go into too much detail. But it’s better to mention it than to keep it from readers who may find it triggering!
All Of This Is True comes out on May 5th in the US and May 31st in the UK!
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen
PUBLICATION DATE: 15th May 2018
RATING: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆