For me, this book started off sensationally, but then came to a grinding almost-halt. The opening scene has the reader on the edge of her seat. After that, there seems to be a lot of whining about the character’s lousy mother. Granted, mom lives up to the reputation, but early on it reads more like a teen who’s mad for having to clean their room. But I hung in there. And it did pick up again. Still, the pace lags in many places.
Heads up: When reading about “the faction,” don’t wait for an explanation. It’s just what she calls her group of friends—nothing more.
The premise is good—a seventeen-year-old kills a bully, defending herself, and is then arrested for his murder. Except the details don’t add up. The author fails to make me understand why she would be charged in the first place. It seems highly unlikely based on the evidence. Still, it wasn’t so far-fetched that I stopped reading. (The whining almost achieved that effect, but not the criminal aspect.)
The writing is good, though I would have liked the supporting characters to be a little more developed. The main character is the underdog you want to root for. If you are bothered by foul language, same-sex attraction, and other mature (see warning below) situations, do not read this book. The first-person seemed an odd choice to me, as some of the narrative seemed beyond this high-schooler’s maturity level. But it worked quite well otherwise.
The entire story builds up toward the trial, so I found it rather strange that the actual trial seemed to run less than an hour long. I would have liked there to be more to the courtroom aspect. But then, this is not a legal drama. It’s the story of a victimized girl, who already was on the “lesser” side of society.
The ending was satisfying. No loose ends left hanging.
I give this book three stars* (with an asterisk for language and content.) Three seems a little low for the quality of the writing, but I just couldn’t go for four with this story. I would recommend this book for only mature teens or young adults. I think older adults would become bored with the pace and the prominent “high-school feel” of the story. A young reviewer would most likely give a higher rating.
Warning: Spoiler! There is an abortion in the book. I was uncomfortable with the details (though not graphic) of the procedure, but the author did a good job of portraying the character’s emotional state. And that event does play an important part in the later story.
My Whole Truth released on October 2.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from North Star Editions via
NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.