Four high-schoolers befriend their favorite novelist, but things turn dark when it becomes clear that the stories they share with her, their private confessions, are fodder for her next novel. And someone might get hurt. All of This is True by Lygia Day Penafor is on sale May 15th, 2018 and perfect for readers of Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, etc. Comprised of interview transcripts, emails, journal entries, and articles, you’ll get sucked into this book immediately.
When we begin All of This is True, the tragic events following the publication of Fatima Ro’s new book, The Absolution of Brady Stevenson, have already taken place, and the world is watching. They want to hear from the people who’s lives became this book. There’s Miri, the Fatima Ro superfan who thinks that her favorite author can do no wrong. She doesn’t care that she was made into a book. She even likes it. There’s Penny, who has never been a leading character in real life and gets sucked into Fatima Ro’s circle. Soon, she’s buying her cat food. Then there’s Soleil and Jonah, who’s relationship ends up becoming the central focus of the Absolution of Brady Stevenson, leading to absolutely devastating consequences for one of them. Secrets were shared with Fatima Ro, dark secrets, and now she’s gone and the four kids she left behind have to pay for those secrets.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The novel I am currently writing also plays with media and storytelling conventions (transcripts, press releases, speeches, etc) so I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. I also loved how everything unfolded. Yes, we start at the end, but as we go backwards, we find out so much. The secret about Jonah/Brady especially was fascinating to watch unfold as we think it is one thing and it becomes another. I also enjoyed having the book within the book as a tracker for what is happening in the real world of the book as opposed to the fiction. It did make keeping track of names hard because I’d refer to someone as their book name instead of their regular name, etc, but it’s well done.
If you like books about messed up high schoolers and secrets and the writing process, this is the book for you!