Monday, April 27, 2015

Review: The Truth Commission by Susan Juby

The Truth CommissionTitle:  The Truth Commission
Author: Susan Juby
Publisher: Vikings Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: April 24th 2015
Pages: 320
Genre: YA Humor/Fiction
Series: Stand Alone
Source:  Audio

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...

This dryly funny, knife-sharp novel, written as “narrative nonfiction” by Normandy herself, features footnotes, illustrations, and a combination mystery/love story that will capture readers from the first page.

I am not sure where this book came from on my... but it was on my TBR. One of the ones I didn't remember much about, but I knew I wanted to read it. It sounded quite interesting and vague enough I just wanted to read it. I didn't realize how much I wanted to read it until I discovered it on Audible... I kind of forgot about it until I saw it again. So I grabbed it. Loved the narrator. One of my favorites! Love the story, loved the writing, loved the characters. All was just so wonderful...I just want to gush about this book. It was a hidden gem for sure.

Normandy Pale is and her friends have an idea, the truth will set you free. They decide to construct The Truth Commission, They will do what they can to ask questions to obtain the truth from those that need to express the truth to set them free. They do nothing with the truth. They don't share it with others, they don't judge, they just listen on the hopes that it would make the truth teller feel better. It works well. So they think. There is only one problem that Normandy has, she herself is not telling the truth and neither is anyone in her family. So the story is more about Normandy and her family and the secrets and lies that they live around.

I really really really liked this book. It was different and interesting. I loved the writing style, the characters, and the story itself. 

The writing style was great, told from Normandy's point of view in the form of a non fictional narrative with footnotes. This started out as a school project for Normandy but became so much more as she tells the story of The Truth Commission, her friendships, and her family. 

This book had a little bit of everything which I loved. Mystery, humor, romance, family drama, and personal issues to resolve. It was great, and it was very well rounded. I can't tell you what my favorite part of this book was. I loved the romance. It was a small but significant part of the book. The story didn't revolve around the romance but it was an important part of the story. It was sweet and so so cute but didn't overwhelm. LOVED IT! 

The mystery was good. It was probably the biggest part of the story and the pieces were revealed little by little throughout the story. I loved how it was put together and how it was told. I was a little disappointed on where the mystery ended but I think it made sense. Just not as dramatic as I hoped it would be. 

The humor and the characters were just too  much, well not really. Too much in the sense I was cracking up out loud but not too much as in I couldn't take it. It was pretty awesome. One of those books that each and every character held their own completely and took over the story, except no one was more prominent than the other. The character development was just phenomenal. The relationships and interactions were just amazing and I fell for every character individually and together. 

The story was one that was subtle but strong. The message clear and not watered down but but told in the way where I was just wrapped up in Normandy's life and just hung out with her day after day getting to know her and her friends. 

The only issue and very small issue I had was a bit of the ending and the climax. It was good but it wasn't what I had expected and it kind of made me mad. Not in a way where the ending didn't make sense or was written badly just not how I envisioned it. A little of a not so happy ending and I guess I need my happy endings. Not a terrible oh my goodness that can't happen ending either. It was however a more realistic ending. So that was good in its own way. It was a minor issue and so did not take away from the story. 

The narrator of the audio was also just perfect. On of my favorite narrators. She is just golden at capturing voices and personalities. No one else could have done a better a job at bringing these characters to life.

A must read for those that love realistic fiction and mystery and funnies. 
I think I will read this author again without  question. 

Susan Juby
I was raised in Smithers, BC, Canada and lived there until I moved to Toronto at age 20. I had a brief and unsuccessful career as a fashion design student and, after I worked at a series of low paying jobs, such as server, record store employee, etc., I began a degree in English Literature at University of Toronto, which I finished at the University of British Columbia. After graduating I became an editor at a self-help/how-to book publishing company based in Vancouver. Later, I did a master’s degree in publishing.In addition to my writing, I teach creative writing.


  1. I like books that have an unusual delivery, like w/ footnotes, etc... Sounds interesting!

  2. Interesting writing style, love a bit of everything as long as it's balanced, which it sounds like it is annnnnd that's how romance should be, small but significant, I always love them so much more than the in-your-face romance (even though, I do love those at times too *cough*) ;)


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