All of This is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor

Inside cover blurb:

Miri Tan loved the book Undertow like it was a living being. So when she and her friends went to a book signing to meet the author, Fatima Ro, they concocted a plan to get close to her, even if her friends won’t admit it now. As for Jonah, well—Miri knows none of that was Fatima’s fault.

Soleil Johnston wanted to be a writer herself one day. When she and her friends started hanging out with her favorite author, Fatima Ro, she couldn’t believe their luck—especially when Jonah Nicholls started hanging out with them, too. Now, looking back, Soleil can’t believe she let Fatima manipulate her and Jonah like that. She can’t believe that she got used for a book.

Penny Panzarella was more than the materialistic party girl everyone at the Graham School thought she was. She desperately wanted Fatima Ro to see that, and she saw her chance when Fatima asked the girls to be transparent with her. If only she’d known what would happen when Fatima learned Jonah’s secret. If only she’d known that the line between fiction and truth was more complicated than any of them imagined. . . .”

-from publisher


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I wouldn’t say that All of This is True is exactly a good book…but it is definitely compulsively readable.

The plot doesn’t seem highly realistic- a famous YA author becomes friends with a group of teens in order to exploit them for her newest novel. But I think it is really appealing for those of us who are addicted to reality TV. It’s a very high drama story, kind of like reading a really long gossip magazine.

There’s also a lot of appeal in the formatting. The story is told in small snippets- interviews with the girls involved, diary notes, and pieces of the scandalous novel- which makes it easy to digest.

I read this over the course of about a day and a half and that was just because I had to go to work. You could easily read this in an afternoon.

All of This is True is a bit dissatisfying in the end because you don’t really get any resolution to the story, in term’s of Jonah and Fatima’s story lines. I don’t want to give anything away, but if you read it, I think you’ll know what I mean. The book just kind of stops and that’s it.

Plus: A juicy, quick read.

Minus: If you’re looking for a deeper message, this isn’t the book for you.

If you like this book, try:


Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher- These two books have nearly nothing in common in terms of plot, but Thirteen Reasons Why will give you the edge-of-your seat, fast pacing effect and story that will actually stick with you.

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