Genre: Contemporary, Religion
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
336 pages, hardcover
Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.
I’ve been trying to put into words WHY I loved this book so much for over a week now. It’s difficult to write a review for a book that you just loved so much, but I’m going to try.
Devoted, Jennifer Mathieu’s second book, is completely and utterly fascinating. It’s about Rachel, a girl who’s grown up in an uber-religious household (she’s a member of the Quiverfull movement). She’s homeschooled and as the oldest currently living in the house, she’s also expected to take care of all of her younger siblings. Her father is the authority figure and all decisions are made through him. But Rachel is curious and is beginning to question everything she’s been taught. She wants to learn, to read, but that’s not how her family operates.
I LOVED Rachel. I loved her curious mind and her need to question and learn and experience life herself before making decisions. Her journey from faithful, devoted daughter to who she becomes later on (I won’t spoil, just read it!) was beautiful and difficult and I just wanted to reach into the book and hug her and tell her it’d all be alright. I got frustrated with her a few times, but none of her thoughts or decisions felt wrong or unrealistic. She’s complicated and complex, but SO determined to be herself.
This is Jennifer Mathieu’s second book, and I could really see the growth from her first book, The Truth About Alice (which I also really liked). The writing in Devoted was brilliant. Mathieu handles the topic with such care and everything was delicately done. This book was…troubling, for obvious reasons, but it was so powerful. Devoted is quiet and sincere and earnest.
Honestly, my only issue with this book is that I wish we’d had a little more time with Rachel in her household before she started to question. But really, the more I think about this book, the more I love it.
The bottom line: I could go on and on for days about why I think Devoted is brilliant. It’s quiet, powerful, honest, and beautiful. I flagged at least 30 or 40 passages because they were so well-written or difficult to read or powerful. Rachel is such a great character, and you should all meet her. I wish there was a sequel.
Rating: 8 – freaking fantastic
P.S. Thank you so much to Jen for sending me an ARC of Devoted! 🙂
7 thoughts on “ARC Review: Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu”
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I was going to request this off netgalley because it was the author who did The Truth about Alice which I read last year and really enjoyed it but I was really turned off by the religious themes this book has as I worry maybe it’d be too preachy or she’d question her religion but end up not doing anything about it or something like that. As an atheist, I can’t deal xD So glad this review is so positive about it! Maybe I should think this one over again…
Alex, you do not have to worry about the religious themes. It is NOT preachy at all (something I was worried about as well) and I think the way that Rachel reacts, questions, and moves forward with her religion will not deter people as it is just there. It’s not preachy for one side or the other.
Oh wow. This sounds really good.
It really, really is. It comes out tomorrow!