All of This is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor
Whats it about: A group of teens at a fancy private school make friends with hot shit author Fatima Ro, and things get real weird and dark, and Fatima takes their weird dark story and turns it into a book.
what I drank: White wine spritzers. it is SO MUGGY and I have a raging barometric headache and I’m drinking these to ease into watching Real Housewives of NY. Unrelated to this review – I would LOVE to read a book with a character like Ramona: very attractive, dead yet crazy eyes, always wavering between malicious manic and complete obliviousness.
So, I’ve gone back and forth with friends on plot v. writing, and how good writing can make up for plot deficiencies. I’m super guiltiy of rating a book up bc I think the writing is so good that it’s ok the plot isnt great. but man…I ATE this book and I’m having a hard time defending it.
conceptually the structure is cool. there are four “narrators” – Miri and Penny’s stories are told through interviews with a journalist, Soliels side is told through journal entries she wrote at the time, and then theres the novel within the novel telling the not-sofictional version of the girls’ story. the executions kinda messy though. I kept mixing up the novel’s characters with the novel-inside-the-novels characters, and the timeline jumps around a bit too much.
As for the characters, I liked their voice of the pretentiousness of wealthy teens but …there are like NO physical descriptions. I hate when theres tio much focus on appearances (I SEE YOU STEPHANIE MEYER), but theres just nothing to work with other than some passing descriptions of Fatimas makeup and hair. So then I felt super offensive trying to imagine generic ethnic characters based on their names and it made me feel awkward.
what really grinds my gears: that twist was so telegraphed. sooooooo telegraphed, to the point where I thought there was gonna be a second twist, which never came. I mean what coolass 20something author spends ALL HER TIME with high schoolers for just for funsies? I know a high schooler, and his sense of humor is THE SAME as my husbands, which is to say, dick jokes.
gave it two stars. would pair with white wine spritzers, because at the end of the day…basic.
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