Michelle's Review: All That's True by Jackie Lee Miles

allthatstrue Trade Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Release Date: Jan. 1, 2011 (first pub Nov. 22, 2010)
Source of my copy: publisher
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

"My life was close to perfect-until my brother Alex got killed and my mother started drinking and my father starting having sex with Donna, my best friend's stepmother, who's not even thirty years old."
Thirteen-year-old Andi St. James' privileged life in Atlanta is interrupted one fall, to say the least. With an equal mix of joy and sorrow, All That's True follows Andi's poignant-and sometimes laugh-out-loud-journey to young adulthood, where she struggles with the elusive nature of truth and the devastating consequences of deception.

Michelle's Review
Andi St. James was the youngest daughter of a wealthy family but her life was far from perfect. Her older brother recently died which was pretty much the catalyst for her mom's drinking problem and her lawyer father was having an affair with her best friend's much younger stepmother. Add to that Andi's latest boy problems, an older sister in bridezilla mode planning her wedding and her best friend who has problems of her own. Andi was often left on her own to figure things out.

The story was set in a time when things were much simpler (early 1990s) and told in first-person narration through Andi. Right from the beginning I loved everything about Andi's character: her voice, her way of looking at things and how she wanted to help everyone around her--she was a good person and her intentions were good but things do not always go the way she wanted them to be. She was very young in her actions and thoughts (it seemed even younger than her 13 years), very sheltered and innocent in the beginning. But as the story progressed we see Andi grow up in her year of self-discovery yet still retain that innocence you never want her to loose. I felt for her and she was one of those characters that stays with you even after you finish reading the book. I loved seeing the adults and all their drama through her eyes. I thought the pacing was good--there were no dull parts and I was captivated by the story. I loved how even though the book dealt with death, alcoholism and infidelity (among others), the tone wasn't sad. Instead it's told in a refreshing voice filled with great humor and poignant moments.

All That's True took me by surprise. I wasn't sure I was going to like it at first because it's not my genre of choice but the opening sentence (see blurb) was so catchy that I had to keep reading and reading and reading until I read the whole wonderful, fantastic, terrific (I could go on with the adjectives) thing. I quickly devoured it but when I turned the last page, I was sad my time with Andi, her family and friends was over. Then I want to read it all over again. Yep, it was that good. I highly recommend this excellent book and I think it will appeal to both adult and young adults. This book is one of the best I've in 2011 so far! 5 out of 5 stars

1 comment

  1. Wow. This sounds reallly good.

    You're line about the 90s being a simpler time, stopped me in my tracks and made me reflect back to the 90s.

    Great review.


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