Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for All of this is true : a novel
All of this is true : a novel
First edition.
New York, NY : Harper Teen, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2018]
Physical Description:
422 pages ; 22 cm
When Long Island teens Miri, Soleil, Penny, and Jonah befriend a bestselling YA novelist, they find their deepest, darkest secrets in the pages of her next novel, with devastating consequences. Told from different perspectives as interviews, journal entries, and book excerpts.


Call Number
TEEN Penaflor, L.
TEEN Penaflor, L.

On Order



"Devious, delicious, and gasp-worthy." (Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces)

In this genre-defying page-turner from Lygia Day Peñaflor, four teens befriend their favorite novelist, only to find their deepest, darkest secrets in the pages of her next book--with devastating consequences.

Miri Tan loved the book Undertow like it was a living being. So when she and her friends went to a book signing to hear the author, Fatima Ro, they concocted a plan to get close to her.

Soleil Johnston wanted to be a writer herself one day. When she and her friends started hanging out with her favorite author, Fatima Ro, she couldn't believe their luck--especially when Jonah Nicholls started hanging out with them, too.

Penny Panzarella was more than the materialist party girl everyone at the Graham School thought she was--and she was willing to share all her secrets with Fatima Ro to prove it.

Jonah Nicholls had more to hide than any of them. And now that Fatima's next book is out in the world, he's the one who is paying the price...

Perfect for fans of One of Us Is Lying--and told as a series of interviews, journal entries, and even pages from the book within the book--this gripping story of a fictional scandal will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 10 Up-In her latest, which cleverly combines multiple perspectives, Peñaflor provides a psychological study in how the shallow and the profound coexist within the human psyche to foster self-deception. The story unfolds in a series of face-to-face interviews, personal journal entries, and excerpts from a newly released novel. High school juniors Soleil, Miri, and Penny provide their personal accounts of events leading up to the savage beating of their friend Jonah, who remains in the hospital in a coma. They also explain how their formerly favorite author's just-published book tells a remarkably similar story, but with a very different ending. Newly arrived in Long Island, the attractive and mysterious Jonah begins attending the same exclusive private school as the girls. YA author, Fatima Ro, is also new to the area, where she plans to crank out her second book before a fast-approaching deadline. After meeting the four students at a book signing, Fatima takes them under her wing, intimately involving herself in their personal lives, and she enlists the besotted Soleil to discover the reason for Jonah's secrecy about his past. Taking to the Internet, Soleil uncovers a hazing incident at another school that involved sexual abuse. Even with its addictive, soap opera-esque intrigue, Peñaflor's characters remain distinct and believable. Deliciously sordid yet thought-provoking, this will be eaten up by teens. VERDICT A must-have for YA collections.-Cary Frostick, formerly at Mary -Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Miri, Penny, and Soleil, best friends since seventh grade, are obsessed by YA author Fatima Ro's debut novel, Undertow, and plan to befriend her when she shows up at a local bookstore for a signing. As the three girls and their new friend, Jonah, get closer to Fatima, she uses their lives and secrets to create her newest literary hit, The Absolution of Brady Stevenson. Everything surrounding Ro's book, including the three girls and the author, become sensationalized when Jonah is beaten unconscious in retaliation for something Ro reveals about him in her book. Peñaflor (Unscripted Joss Bryd) uses interview transcripts, diary entries, articles, and excerpts from Brady Stevenson to slowly reveal why Jonah is in a coma and what he was hiding. Seamlessly moving among narrative devices, Peñaflor keeps the tensions high and the pacing swift while giving each of the three young narrators a unique voice and perspective. She addresses the extremes of fan fervor and raises intriguing questions about authorial responsibility in this suspenseful and smart novel. 13-up. Agent: Molly Ker Hawn, the Bent Agency. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Four Long Island prep-school students experience tragedy after they fall in with the beguiling author of their favorite teen novel. Interview transcripts and diary excerpts provide shifting accounts of what happened between the powerful (fictional) author and her fans; interspersed excerpts from the author's books reveal she was lifting story lines from her young friends' lives. This is a twisting, salacious drama that tantalizingly blends fiction and reality. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Four privileged Long Island teens befriend their favorite YA author with disastrous results.Soon after their first encounter at a book signing, the bewitching and charismatic Fatima Ro--23-year-old author of Undertow--takes four of her teenage worshippers under her wing. Snobbish Miri Tan is the self-proclaimed leader of their school's Undertow Society, giddy fangirl Soleil Johnston carefully documents every one of her interactions with Ro, ditzy Penny Panzarella kindly helps out around the author's house after being given a key, and socially isolated Jonah Nicholls harbors an emotional attachment to Ro's story. But when she very obviously writes them into her next novel, The Absolution of Brady Stevenson, the teens' rose-tinted glasses are shattered, painful truths are uncovered--and, most shocking of all, Jonah is attacked and ends up in a coma. The story is related via a mixture of formats, including video interview transcripts, magazine articles, and passages from Ro's second novel, with each providing insight into the characters' individual relationships with the author. The weight of grief, authentic human connections, and whether life offers do-overs are all explored here. A lack of physical descriptions requires readers to speculate about characters' ethnicities based on the diversity of their names.Utterly addictive and psychologically delectable--Peñaflor's (Unscripted Joss Byrd, 2016) second novel will shock at every twist and turn. (Fiction. 13-18)

Booklist Review

Four teens at an exclusive private school in New York meet their favorite author, 22-year-old Fatima Ro. Miri, Soleil, Penny, and Jonah become friends with Fatima and their lives soon revolve around the magnetic and reclusive author. Miri starts discussion groups at their school, aspiring writer Soleil takes notes on everything Ro says and does, party girl Penny stocks Ro's kitchen and feeds her cat, and tense, shy Jonah opens up to Ro about the secret that brought him to the Graham School as a transfer student. But Ro is under pressure to produce a second book, and uses the teens' lives as fodder for it, with tragic results. There is no strict narrative: Peñaflor uses interviews, texts, and excerpts from Ro's second book to construct a tightly wound and plausible cautionary tale with timely messages about sexual assault. The unusual construct is highly effective and has the same addictive quality as sensational tabloids but with thoughtful themes and content.--Carton, Debbie Copyright 2018 Booklist