Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Me on The Truth Commission

Hi there! As part of the informal blog tour for The Truth Commission, Penguin Canada asked me to include two truths and a lie about me at the beginning of my review. See if you can figure out which one is the lie. The answer is at the end. ;)

1. Four days after flying while sick, my ears unpopped in a Burger King near the airport in Belfast, Ireland.
2. When I was five I broke a Pyrex pie plate against my head, resulting in a large goose egg, when my mother swung the bag it was in too close to my head.
3. I once slipped when walking down the stairs and broke my ankle, which resulted in two surgeries and a lot of metal screwed into my bones, and yet I've never set off any metal detectors.

Title: The Truth Commission
Author: Susan Juby
Release Date: April 15, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill Canada (Penguin Canada imprint)

Open secrets are the heart of gossip—the things that no one is brave or clueless enough to ask. That is, except for Normandy Pale and her friends Dusk and Neil. They are juniors at Green Pastures Academy of Art and Applied Design, and they have no fear. They are the Truth Commission. But Normandy's passion for uncovering the truth is not entirely heartfelt. The truth can be dangerous, especially when it involves her brilliant older sister, Keira, the creator of a bestselling graphic novel series, who has left college and come home under mysterious circumstances, and in complete silence. Even for a Truth Commissioner, there are some lines that cannot be crossed...

The Truth Commission is clever and revealing, baring the truth for all those to see. Whether or not that's good or bad, whether or not it works, that's the question.

Normandy is a bright and clever voice. She's not as open to the idea of revealing the truths of those around her as her friends are, not when a truth about her sister could be dangerous if revealed. She's caught between not wanting to be intrusive and tired of living in a house where so many things are left unsaid. Her family is in a carefully constructed cocoon, but the shell of it is so fragile that the slightest bump might crack it open. Unfortunately, the truth needs to come out.

The narrative non-fiction storytelling aspect of the book is intriguing and interesting. It's all anchored by Normandy's clear voice, her emotions and observations, her fears and her anger and her assumptions about the people around her. It also, in the beginning, made the story feel rather dense. It felt like there was so much to read and to remember, so much going on.

The truth is one of those hard to navigate things. One of those sometimes effortless, sometimes sticky sludgy hard-to-move-through tar pit things. Truths that don't hurt anyone and truths that impact everyone. But there's wanting to know the truth, wanting to expose the flimsy useless lies we use every single day, and there's prying in people's private business. This book did brush up against that line a time or two.

This book explores the truth in an honest way, sometimes a brutally honest way. Sometimes it sets us free, but other times it sucks. Other times we know the truth but prefer instead to ignore it, to avoid it, because it makes life easier. An interesting story, to be sure. On a personal note, there were parts I liked, like Normandy, like her humour and personality, and there were parts I didn't, like some of the side characters. But that happens to everyone, yes? I would definitely recommend this to those looking for a well-written and realistic narrator and a mystery of sorts to fall into.

(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Penguin Canada.)

(As to the two truths and a lie from the start of the post? The second one is the lie.)

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