Title: All of This is True
Author: Lygia Day Peñaflor
Release Date: May 15, 2018
“‘What’s more powerful than words?’ Thora had asked the four of them once. They couldn’t come up with an answer.”
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. . . .
I don’t really know how I feel about this book but I almost think that’s the point? All of This is True is one big unreliable story about friendship, boundaries, and truth and it was pure entertainment. We follow 4 teens who befriend a YA author and their lives become more complicated than they could have possibly imagined.
Things I Liked
I really loved the mixed media format that was used to tell the story. There are interviews, emails, newspaper excerpts, book excerpts that all create this vivid picture of Fatima Ro and the friendship that developed between her and Miri, Penny, Soleil, and Jonah. And I loved how the excerpts from Fatima’s book was woven into the story to show what was happening.
I also love that this story is so personal for the characters and that makes everything they’re saying unreliable. It’s impossible for their perspective to not be biased and that made the reading experience fun for me, because I could see what my views were and who they aligned with. Even though there are 3 main POVs- Miri, Penny, and Soleil – they all have distinct personalities that came across and were easy to differentiate.
This premise is just so captivating and creepy and just everything you want to read about in a dramatic contemporary story. It really explored the boundaries that are pushed and broken when we develop friendship with people you look up too.
Things I Didn’t Like
I’m not going to lie, the story was a bit confusing at times. I think mostly because I didn’t have all of the information (or it was biased) – but again that’s the point so I can’t really fault it, but it did keep me removed from the story at time.
There were some characters that I just didn’t connect with. I found Penny to be super annoying and I just didn’t like her at all. I also didn’t really care for Jonah, we don’t get his POV in the story really, but he is a central character. He mostly just felt kinda removed from it all. Which again, probably works great for the story, but not exactly what I was looking for.
All of This is True was an truly unique read that so easy to devour. I like that I don’t know whose side I’m on and that I wanted to keep reading, but I just wasn’t as invested as I wanted to be. But I still think it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in the mood to be captivated by a story.
I received a copy of the book as a part of the blog tour hosted by Alice from @ArcticBooks and make sure you check out what some of the other bloggers on the tour think about this book!
Are you excited for All of This is Ture? If you could befriend any YA author who would it be? Share below!