All the Truth - Laura Brodie Disclaimer: I got this book to review for the Goodreads' first read's Giveaway. This book was sent to me free of charge by the publisher Penguin to review. This fact does not sway my personal opinion of this book. I will state my honest opinion/constructive criticism in this review, positive and/or negative.

The Back-cover:

One night can alter a life forever…
Emma Greene enjoys living in rural solitude with her husband and five-year-old daughter, Maggie, far away from her college students in Jackson, Virginia. But late one night, with her husband away and her daughter upstairs in bed, some of Emma’s students trespass on her property. The ensuing confrontation changes Emma and Maggie’s life forever.

Nine years later, still plagued by nightmares from that evening, Maggie is living with her father in the same small town, and entering her first year of high school. She develops problems in class when her math teacher, a strange and lonely woman, begins to exhibit an odd interest in her.

In order to let go of the past, Maggie begins to piece together all the truth of what happened that night—and discovers a story of anger, guilt, and redemption.

My Over-all Thoughts: I enjoyed this novel. The descriptions were vivid but not purple prose. The writer also did her research, and as someone who had a traumatic life experience in early childhood I appreciate the realistic portrayal for both Maggie and Emma. Emma was my favourite character, something about her just drew me to her, and before the twist was revealed that she was not the one who died that night I was relieved. I also liked the ending, it both took care of loose threads and left the reader guessing what might happen in the future of these ladies, and the town itself. I see a similarity between Laura Brodie [the author] and one of my favourite YA authors Laurie Halse Anderson, but I'm not quite sure, I think I would have to re-read to put my finger on it. The main thing I disliked (I'm being nit-picky here): There was so much name-dropping in this book, and it will either date this book in a few years, or create a snapshot of the era it was written and set-in. I really didn't pay attention to any grammar/spelling, but nothing stood out to me, and it's not my area of expertise.

Things I liked: I neither hated nor adored most of her characters, but I thought they were all fleshed out enough that I could buy them as real people. I adored Emma. The thing with Maggie is that I liked her a lot, and found her a realistic portrayal of a teenage girl dealing with trauma, especially long-term trauma, but certain scenes hit home of my worst qualities as a teenager, so it was a little hard to look in the mirror of her character. Her vivid descriptions and what she chose to reveal at the beginning, and through several twists all subtly foreshadowed (some I predicted and others came as a shock). Her research was well done, but she did take some creative licence with the women's shelter, but it was still believable for me [and my experiences in one].

Things I Disliked: Not a whole lot to be honest, and they are nit-picks. There was so much name-dropping in this book, and it will either date this book in a few years, or create a snapshot of the era it was written and set-in. Honestly, one of my favourite authors, Stephen King, does name drop in his books, but it adds instead of subtracts. It should be a device used sparingly to add spice. The author did use it quite a bit, especially in the first several chapters, but it dropped down, and was seldom used in later chapters. We will see in a few years if it adds to the books, instead of aging it. Maggie's dad, Rob, referred to Johnny Depp as a Drag Queen. In what universe? I don't know if this was a joke to make Rob look clueless or not "with it", but it made me laugh, and I'm not sure if that was the writer's intent. /huge Johnny Depp fan

Rating: 4.5/5

Would I Recommend it?: Yes.