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 sister, Keira, her brilliant older sister, the creator of a best-selling 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.
In a story framed as a creative nonfiction assignment (complete with footnotes), Normandy Pale, a student at a prestigious fine arts high school, recounts the often harrowing and sometimes hilarious events of the first semester of her junior year. It all begins when Normandy and best friends Dusk and Neil form a "Truth Commission" in order to answer some pressing questions. Why did their pretty classmate Aimee get plastic surgery? Why is school secretary Mrs. Dekker so grumpy? Is Tyler Jones really gay? The trio's strategy is straightforward: just ask the persons in question. Some are relieved to confess to the Commission, yet Normandy resists investigating the biggest mystery in her life: why has her sister, a famous graphic novelist, dropped out of college and returned home? With a deft hand and an open mind, Juby (the Alice trilogy) presents many layers of truth while evoking Normandy's pain over being the subject of ridicule in her sister's books. This is a sharp-edged portrait of a dysfunctional family with some thought-provoking ideas about what is real. Ages 14 up.