Title: All of This is True
Author: Lygia Day Peñaflor
Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes
All Of This Is True follows four teens who meet the author of their favourite book Undertow. As the four teens become close with Fatima – best friends, in fact. They start sharing intimate details of their life. Making genuine human connections. Being transparent. What these teens don’t know is that Fatima is manipulating them. Using their lives as the basis for her new novel. The lines between fiction and reality become more and more blurred, and it affects their lives in unimaginable ways.
I thought this would be something I would really love. A cast of unlikeable protagonists? A mind-twisting mystery? But it all just fell a bit flat for me. That’s not to say it wasn’t enjoyable. For the most part, it was. But I went in expecting a psychological thriller of a book, and that’s not what I got. Even the characters, which were beautifully complex and full of faults, were not enough to completely save this book for me, but I do think that a three-star-rating is a genuine reflection of my feelings towards this book. It’s well written and it hooks you from the start. It does feel emotionally-manipulative in the sense that you are made to feel sympathetic towards a certain character, and in all honesty, I felt kind of cheated that he was a jerk (reformed, apparently).
It’s also written in a non-conventional way, with the being story told through interviews, podcasts, book snippets, and diary entries. I did enjoy how the story was told and it made it move quickly, although I never really felt that connected to the characters.
This is by no means a bad book and if you’re into unlikable characters, complex human behaviour, and an examination of the cult of personality, and you know, drama, you’d definitely like this. It just wasn’t the YA thriller I was expecting.
Lauren is a british blogger and book reviewer. She is an avid bookworm, writer and procrastinator extraordinaire. A recent history grad, Lauren is currently grappling with adulthood, finding solace in the written word. As an avid reader of YA literature, she’s a lover of sci-fi, contemporary romance, sister stories, and cute f/f books. Some of her favourite books include Code Name Verity by the incredibly talented Elizabeth Wein, the soul-crushingly cute The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, and the magical fantasy Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst.