We all have secrets and that which we don’t want others to know–some are small and others are large. We all also know the idiom “the truth will set you free.” This idiom is put to practice in The Truth Commission by Susan Juby through Normandy Pale and her two friends at an art high school, but the truth is always subjective.
Normandy and her two friends form a Truth Commission to uncover the truths of the people they see every day at school, be they students or faculty members. Normandy isn’t quite as forthcoming in asking people for their truths, and perhaps that stems from the fact that there are some truths within her own family that she has yet to address. When her sister Keira, a famous author who has used her family’s personalities and attributes to formulate her stories and illustrations, comes home unexpectedly, Normandy is the only one Keira confides in, which leaves her as the one to find out the truth.
Written as narrative nonfiction by the protagonist Normandy, The Truth Commission is energetic and humorous. The use of the footnotes as asides was entertaining and something that I quite enjoyed as it mimics how my train of thought often goes, which made it quite easy to relate to the narrative and Normandy’s personality; however, the characters of the story were more or less stereotypical, which was rather disappointing as YA lit is an area where presenting something new and unique sets the material apart from all the rest. There were some darker topics that were touched upon through Keira’s story line, but it wasn’t fully explored or developed to do it much justice.
Overall, I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars.