Thursday, March 16, 2017

Book Review: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

About The Book:

  Title: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly 
  Author: Stephanie Oakes 
  Pub. Date: June 9th, 2015
  Publisher: Dial/Penguin   
  Pages: 400
  Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
  Rate: 3/5 stars 

Synopsis :

The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust.

And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it's clear that Minnow knows something—but she's not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is a hard-hitting and hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith—and the power of having faith in oneself.


This book is pretty difficult for me to review. On one hand, I loved it. On the other hand, I was bored. I devoured the first half of this book in a short flight to Florida. I couldn't wait to read the rest and figure out what was going on in the story. However, then I became very bored. A lot of the exciting parts seemed to happen over the first half of the novel so when I got to the middle it just didn't compare. It did speed up towards the end though, and I ended up enjoying the book as a whole.

Minnow Bly's family drug her out of her life and into the woods to follow a cult-leader who claims he talks directly to God. He keeps his followers sheltered from the outside world, making him the singular leader to the cult. Minnow Bly questions everything that he says, which is not characteristic of a "good"Kevinian. She disagreed so much that they ordered her hands chopped off. Minnow is a strong character with a decent foothold to her world before she moved to the cult. It was interesting to see her coming to terms with her life. One day she meets a boy, Jude, who is living in the woods with his father, and that's when her world really flips upside down. Both of them have secrets, and I think that's what really draws them into each other. This isn't really a romance but it affects a lot in the novel. Minnow's voice was intriguing. This story changes perspectives from the now (juvenile detention) to the past (living in the cult). The cult aspect of this was just amazing, and I never put those chapters down. However, I wasn't a huge fan of the chapters when she is in juvenile detention. It was clear that she was evolving from the victim to a strong survivor, but a lot of the time I felt bored and craving more of the cult scenes (they were addicting).

"But the wild don't change who we really are. It makes it worse." 

The descriptions in this book are so petrifying to imagine. The writing was beautiful and chilling at the same time. I felt the middle of the book was a sort of plateau of action within the cult, and I wanted to put the book down because it didn't seem anything was progressing on that front. However, the action does pick up again towards the end and it becomes just as addicting as the beginning. All in all, this book was pretty decent. If you are a fan of thrillers or dark contemporaries, I definitely think that you'll enjoy this read. APPARENTLY this is a retelling of The Girl Without Hands by the Brothers Grimm. I haven't read that but now I'm really thinking of giving it a go.

"Jude taught me what love was: to be willing to hold on to another person's pain.
 That's it."

- Jocelyn

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