Title: All Of This Is True
Author: Lygia Day Peñaflor
Publication Date: 31st May 2018
This book was received from the publisher in return for an honest review
About the book:
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 I Thought:
Penny, Miri and Soleil have been friends since their first day of seventh grade when they formed a team in the school scavenger hunt, All Of This Is True tells the story of their friendship and their relationship with a famous author that moves to their local area.
All Of This Is True is one of those books where you really can’t say too much for fear of giving the plot away and ruining the surprise. I really think it’s a book that is best read without knowing what to expect. The tale is told from a number of different viewpoints and makes use of a number of different concepts to tell the story. I really enjoyed the unravelling of the story from a number of different viewpoints, and I found it really interesting to see how the friends interpreted the same events in different ways. I also thought that telling the story using a mixture of interview transcripts, online interviews, copies of email and text messages and extracts from Fatima Ro’s latest book made the novel particularly fast paced and engaging. I couldn’t help but keep turning pages to find out what happened next, just how did 4 friends meeting an author end up with one of them lying unconscious in a hospital bed?
All Of This Is True got me thinking a lot about about the power of fandom, how much we as readers of books and watchers of TV and film connect with both the created and the creators – characters and those that brought them to life. With the advent of social media we now have more access to the creators than ever before and most of the time any interaction we have with them is incredibly positive but it would be so easy for that to become something else, something more and something potentially much darker, particularly when the fans happen to be younger or slightly naive.
After reading All Of This Is True I’m torn, I can’t quite decide how much Fatima knew, if she set out to manipulate the friends, or if she started out with good intentions and then got a little carried away when she coming up to a deadline she unearthed a little drama and encouraged events to act as inspiration for her writing without any real consideration to the potential consequences of her actions. Every time I feel as though I’m leaning slightly more towards the idea that she deliberately manipulated the group I remember that a lot of what I’m reading comes in the form of an interview transcript and article written for a media that clearly has its own agenda and that Fatima wasn’t that old herself and was clearly feeling the pressure from impending deadlines and lack of inspiration, but then when I’m lean towards the misguided rather than malicious something just tips me back the other way.
Would I Recommend?
For me All Of This Is True was a really interesting read. I really loved the premise and I did enjoy the different presentation style, with the interview transcripts, emails and online articles. I perhaps would have liked a little more prose outside of the novel extracts but it certainly got me thinking, whether Lygia intended it to or not!, so I would definitely recommend picking it up. If you read it come back at let me know what you thought of Fatima!
About The Author
Lygia became a writer by writing letters to a friend she met on a cruise ship when she was 14. She is the author of UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD (Macmillan) and ALL OF THIS IS TRUE, which will be published by HarperTeen US, Bloomsbury UK, and translated in several countries in summer 2018. Lygia also teaches child stars on television and movie sets. Her students have included cast members of Gossip Girl, Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order SVU, I Am Legend, and others. She lives with her husband on Long Island where she rides horses and watches reruns of everything.
Connect With Lygia
Want to buy it?
As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up? Be sure to check out the other blogs on the tour!