I have been reading Dystopian and fantasy YA for a while now. I think my last contemporary YA was The Sun is Also a Star by Nicolo Yoon, for which I have conveniently forgot to post the review. I really liked it and I was searching for a book in the similar lines. Netgalley sent me the ARC for My Whole Truth by Mischa Thrace a couple of days back in exchange for an honest review. I had to read it. The story line is simple and if it wasn’t for the couple of chapters I read before I actually decided to read it, I would never have picked up the book. Note to myself, Don’t judge a book by its blurb!
In this book we follow the story of young seventeen year old Seelie Stanton. She is in junior high school and dreams like every other teenager. She wants to be successful and for once she wants to be just normal, like other kids. The story begins with the attack. She was attacked by Shane, her classmate. Seelie works in a barn after school every Friday. That Friday was unlike anything she has experienced in her whole life. Her entire life becomes ridiculous at that moment when Shane tries to stab her. She didn’t know why he is doing it or what he is trying to accomplish by hurting her. All she knew was to escape this hell. So, she hit him, until she was sure he wouldn’t get up.
She was arrested for a murder. She was confused and scared for her life. She was the victim, she would be taking those scars on her face everywhere. Everyday she looks in the mirror, it is a reminder of what happened on that Friday night.
She killed a man, but she did it, to protect herself. However, the government and the law enforcement doesn’t think so. They want to charge her for murder and put her in a jail. Well, she killed a man to protect her dear life not just to go back and rot in a cell. Since, Shane Mayfields father was a reputed Judge, their family had more grip and sway on the judgement. The book is about how she deals with the hate among her peers and classmates and how she defends herself and proves herself to be the victim and not the murderer she was believed to be.
I must say, the story was touching and emotionally charged on all levels. I am really happy that I read this book. Honestly, I was sitting in an airport waiting for the flight to arrive while I sat on one of the many waiting chairs as I got lost in the pages of this book. I couldn’t stop reading. Believe me when I say that the chair was extremely uncomfortable and yet I was fixated on my iPad reading this book. I was reading as if my life depended on it. If you had seen me, while I was reading this book, well, you would think I was crazy. I kept on reading until my head was throbbing and my limbs felt frail. Finally I finished the book after 4.5 hours. I closed my iPad and just sat there staring at nothing in particular. It was that wonderful.
I cannot stress enough on how good it felt after I read the ending. A flood of emotions took me by surprise but I am happy by the way the book ended. I wouldn’t say that this book is character driven. There was much importance to the plot and how everything unravels as the story progressed. I was much engrossed in unknowing whether Seelie would be charged for murder or not. Sure every plot needs good characters but this book’s main goal is to establish Seelie innocence.
The story is quite simple and the ending was what anyone would expect. The unique thing about this book is how Seelie saw everything. She was traumatized, attacked, assaulted, labeled as murderer, and was arrested. Amidst all this she found happiness in the smallest of things, like eating chocolate yogurt or talking to lyssa and the faction or bitching about her mom. She tried to be normal when her situation begs her to be anything but normal. I really liked Seelie, her reaction to what happened is unique. She fought like a brave women she is and got out of the situation with many scars which can be easily taken for scars of the war. Damn, it was a war for her, a struggle to prove her innocence and a struggle to get back on her feet both literally and metaphorically.
Her friends Alyssa, Ashlyn and Finn were beautiful addition to the already beautiful story. The faction really lighted the things up. I observed that Seelie and the faction opted to laugh things out rather than be broody and upset about whatever the situation was. The wit and humour in the writing style really impressed me.
The court room scene scores a big A. The conversations in the room were very real and the closing and ending arguments were compelling. It really did feel like a real court room. The realistic conversations actually applies to the whole book.
At some places, the hurt and sadness is so intense that it suffocated me. The hate, anger, sadness and hurt just ripped my heart out. A very powerful, emotionally charged book is what My Whole Truth turned out to be. I liked it so much and I can’t say enough good things about this book. Though this book reminded me of a Hindi movie, Pink, this book was much better on all accounts.
Things I didn’t like: (Mild Spoilers Ahead!)
I wouldn’t say the book is perfect. Nothing is perfect. My Whole Truth is a beautiful story written in a smart and humours way. It was like really reading a seventeen year old girls brain. The confusion, panic and the urge to do the stupidest things are what defines a teenager. Seelie was exactly that and some more. The character development was lacking. All the characters seemed under-developed. Most of them are just there for the sake of it. It was understood that the mother is not caring but why she was acting the way she did is still a mystery.
I am deeply disappointed in the way the police department acted. I still can’t understand why the female officer didn’t ask Seelie if she was sexually assaulted. That should be the first question. At least the nurse who got scolded my Seelie for touching her while taking out the tube from her body should have known. Seelie repeatedly asked many characters not to touch her. I right away understood that she was sexually assaulted. On multiple occasions I totally predicted the story. I am usually not good at that sort of thing. If I can predict the story that means anyone can predict it.
She was still a confused teenager deciding what to do at the end. Though that unfortunate night changed many things in Seelie’s life, what she understood at the end was it is very important to trust your friends. They are called friends for a reason right? The thing she dreaded to tell her friend Lyssa turned out to be the last piece in their relationship. When she finally told the whole truth, it only brought them closer.
I thought that since Seelie belongs to LGBTQ community, I thought there would be some sort of disagreement or agreement from her mother or friends. However, no one ever talks about her sexuality. I don’t understand why that was not one of the major plot outliner.
Mrs. Stanton was an awful mother and I would have liked to see change of heart from her about Seelie. May be after everything that happened, Mrs. Stanton should have changed, but she did not.
To sum everything up in the discussion, I would say that the book is extremely wonderful and incredibly beautiful. The story will forever be with me. It was a brave attempt to write story about such a hard topic. Well, I guess if I tell you what that hard topic is I would be spoiling the story for you. Anyways, this is a great book and you should definitely try this one.
The book will be published on October 2, 2018. I will remind you all before the release. Until then, keep up with the other blog posts, because I might be posting book discussions on very interesting books!
About the Author:
Mischa Thrace has worked as a teacher, a horse trainer, a baker, and a librarian and has amassed enough random skills to survive most apocalypses. She lives in Middle-of-Nowhere, Massachusetts with her husband, a one-eyed dog, and a cranky cat who rarely leaves the basement. She loves tea, all things geek, and not getting ax-murdered on long walks in the woods.