Book: My Whole Truth
Author: Mischa Thrace
Release Date: October 2nd, 2018
My Rating: ★★★★
Summary (from Goodreads):
Seventeen-year-old Seelie Stanton never wanted to kill someone. She never wanted to be invisible in her own family, never wanted to crush on her best friend Alyssa, and she definitely never wanted to know how effectively a mallet could destroy someone’s head.
But the universe doesn’t care what she wants. Shane Mayfield doesn’t care what Seelie wants either. When the former high school basketball star attacks her, she has no choice but to defend herself. She saved her own life, but she can’t bring herself to talk about what happened that night. Not all of it. Not even when she’s arrested for murder.
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A solid 4/5 stars for My Whole Truth. I started reading this to break myself out of a reading slump, and I liked it a whole lot more than I thought I would. I devoured this book in less than 24 hours. I skipped dinner and breakfast, left laundry undone, and ignored the outside world all morning just so I could finish it. To me, that is the true indication of a good book. MILD SPOILERS MAY BE BELOW.
TRIGGER WARNINGS: Sexual assault/rape, violence, victim blaming, bulling.
WHAT I LOVED:
- The hook. “The air was dead with the stench of blood”. I mean, holy cow. If that first sentence does not leave you wanting more, then I don’t know what will. And this book definitely kept you hanging on to every word all the way through. There was a moment where I was getting slightly less engaged…but then they yanked you right back in with another twist. This book was a total page turner and a quick read.
- The representation. POC, LGBTQ, and one of the friends is of Japanese descent. Not to mention that our heroine is heavier set and never once described as beautiful (a rarity in YA novels). While these representations definitely could have been more fleshed out and brought more to the forefront, I appreciate any book that includes these reps.
- The message(s). While a little heavy handed at time, My Whole Truth was definitely not lacking messages, which I appreciated. Without giving too much away, the two heavy hitters were: when it comes to friends, quality is definitely better than quantity, and sometimes you have to save yourself.
WHAT I DIDN’T:
- The mom. I know we weren’t supposed to like her, but I found this slightly unrealistic. Any mother that works as hard and as much as she does to support herself and her daughter definitely cares about her daughter. I was disappointed that the author never chose to bring this to light, or to develop Seelie’s character arc enough to reach a place where the mother-daughter relationship was less strained. Seelie’s mother was pretty much absent for entirety of the novel, except to swoop in like the Wicked Witch of the West on occasion. I would have liked to have seen a little bit more growth on Seelie’s part, instead of just a sullen teenager who never learns to get along with her mom.
- The character development: I already kind of touched on this, but the character development wasn’t great. I liked Lys, would have liked to have seen more insight to Finn, and I definitely connected with Seelie, but it all felt a little bit underdeveloped. In the case of Ashlyn (whose name I literally just had to look up because she was so forgettable), her only purpose seems to be to offer the pro-life view in one scene halfway through the book.
- The book was fairly predictable. While I was engaged and absorbed throughout, I definitely guessed pretty much everything that came my way.
- The cops and doctors were so unrealistic that I wanted to bang my head against a wall. NO ONE asked this girl if she was sexually assaulted, even though there were red flags everywhere, and that is just not realistic in the slightest. Not to mention, the cops going to such extreme lengths to protect Shane was also slightly unrealistic. This aspect of things really could have done better.
All in all, 4/5 stars for My Whole Truth, mainly because I truly enjoyed the read. It was super engaging and really sucked you in, even if the writing was somewhat juvenile and predictable at times. I’m looking forward to future work from Thrace.
My Whole Truth releases on October 2nd, 2018.
What do you guys think? Does this sound like one you’ll pick up?