All of This Is True: Book Review

I read this book back in August and I instantly knew it was one I wanted to review because it was so interesting. I had so many thoughts when I was reading it and I wanted to give it a few weeks before writing a proper review… but that quickly turned into a few months haha.

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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. . . .

|Goodreads|


Likes

The book plays out as a mystery due to one of the character’s ‘big secrets’ and the plot revolves around the uncovering of this secret. The story itself is told in a really unusual format which I wasn’t expecting. It was relayed through spoken interviews, chapters of books, and the occasional journal entry. I really enjoyed the way that this was told as I felt like I got to know all the characters really well, and their sides of the story… even if at times they were lying or embellishing their perspectives!

I loved the premise of the book, with the characters befriending their favourite author… which is basically the dream! And after a lot of thinking, I’ve decided to put this bit in the ‘likes’ section even though it’s technically a dislike, but only because it was done so well by the author.

And that is the character of Fatima Ro. She’s an amazing antagonist, but some of her behaviour made me so incredibly angry whilst reading this book. Even though I read it about 4 months ago, I’m still so annoyed about certain parts haha. It took me a long time to put aside my hatred of her character, and I realised that is the point of her as an antagonist. She isn’t a character that’s supposed to be liked.

 She’s such a problematic character. She’s supposedly a couple of years older than the main characters, so there’s not a huge age difference between them – but there is a huge difference in power. The relationship that Fatima had with each character felt so wrong to me and that’s where my mixed feelings come from. She was manipulative and took advantage of her ‘fans’ who thought of her as a friend, knowing that they all worshipped her and would do anything to help her. She used their lives and secrets as the plot for her next novel and left a trail of destruction. All of this made me hate Fatima Ro, but I really admire how she was written as I felt so many different types of anger toward her character!


Dislikes

The build up to the ‘reveal’ at the end took ages. It’s mentioned within the very first few pages that something has happened to one of the characters and it’s dragged out until the very end of the book. I understand that it was supposed to be a mystery, and thrilling in some places, but I found myself getting bored of waiting. I was being bombarded with character backstory that I didn’t really want, and some of it was unnecessary.


4 STARS


Have you read All of This is True? What were your thoughts on the book?

8 thoughts on “All of This Is True: Book Review

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