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…
Susan Juby is a Canadian author, which immediately endears her to me. When I first learned about her most recent novel, The Truth Commission, I was really interested in the book. I was mostly interested because I like the idea of a book being written as “creative non-fiction” and I love when a book has footnotes and illustrations in it. It usually adds a new dimension to this novel. Even though young adult contemporary is not one of my favourite genres to read, I wanted to see how this book would turn out.
This book infuriated me, but in the best way. It makes you angry, and it makes you want to talk about your anger, which is a great characteristic for a novel. This book takes place at an art school for high school students, which is a perfect setting for the quirky and offbeat characters in this book. I really enjoyed the teenage characters, and the friendship of Normandy and her best friends, but I was furious with all of the adults in this book. I don’t understand why Normandy’s parents were as passive as they were.
The plot was very unexpected. I thought I knew where the story was going to go, but it was completely surprising to me. This book deals with a lot of teenage issues, but it does it in a non-preachy way. When the truth came out, I was furious, but the ending felt very true and I liked the realism behind it.
However, the best part about this book is the style it’s told in. Instead of feeling gimicky, the idea of this novel being written as a creative non-fiction project with illustrations and footnotes just helps you connect to Normandy a little more. I enjoyed this book a lot, and I’m really happy I ended up picking it up.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.