The Truth Commission
by Susan Juby Published by Penguin
on April 14th, 2015 Genres: Contemporary
, Realistic Fiction
, Young Adult Format:
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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 “creative nonfiction” by Normandy herself, features footnotes, illustrations, and a combination mystery/love story that will capture readers from the first page.
Please Note: This is a guest review from my amazing friend, Paige! All of the words and images used in this post are hers. She’s a great writer, reviewer, and friend, and I hope you enjoy her review! ~Mary Claire
The Truth Commission has my heart. I am forever loyal to the book and the author and Green Pastures Academy; as soon as I turned the first page I knew that it was going to stay on my shelf forever.
One of the things that obviously makes a book unique is weird—in a good way—characters. Across the board, not just in Young Adult books, I really feel like the people can just become tired copies of old stereotypes. Or of Katniss Everdeen. While I was reading the book, I kept thinking of how realistic and multi-faceted the characters were. They really made an otherwise three-star book a five-star one for me.
At a Canadian art school where kids have formed a truth commission, things are bound to be bizarre. And trust me, they are. There’s a secretary who breeds llamas. The protagonist, Normandy, has best friends whose interests lie in taxidermy and dressing up like characters from movies, respectively. She herself has a basically psychopathic sister. And yet, all of these busy, crazy ideas come together to form an environment that seems completely natural. Maybe it’s the classic three-friends-on-a-mission storyline.
Normandy, Neil, and Dusk are three best friends going to an art school in Canada. Tired of not knowing exactly what’s going on, they decide to form a truth commission and uncover their classmates’ biggest secrets. Normandy, usually the reluctant one, finds herself finally investigating her sister’s erratic behavior and trying to fix her family. There’s love and soul-searching on the way, and it is one heck of a ride.
As for things I didn’t like so much… Sometimes it felt very repetitive. Certain situations kept happening over and over. Normandy’s family could be so unbelievably horrible at times, which also really annoyed me. Everything came together in the end, however, so it’s still a five-star book in my opinion.
Whether you like fantasy, realistic fiction, romance, or drama, there’s something for you in The Truth Commission. Reading this book felt like actually living the story, which many people only say about Harry Potter! I don’t regret picking this book up, and I can guarantee you won’t either.