Genre: Young adult,
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: June 9, 2015
400 pages, hardcover (395 ARC)
Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.
Shout out to the wonderful Little Shop of Stories for letting me take this ARC! Check them out if you’re ever in Decatur, GA!
Cults, “Prophets”, jail, hands being chopped off…basically, ALL the craziness you could possibly want in a book. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is a fascinating and seriously disturbing look into the kind of cult that would follow a man into the woods because he claims to speak to God.
Minnow Bly was a member of the Kevinian cult, a follower of the Prophet (whose real name is Kevin). When she rebels against everything she’s been taught, he takes her hands. But now the Prophet is dead and their camp is destroyed, and even though Minnow knows something, she’s in juvenile detention for the crime.
My favorite part of the book was the theme of self-discovery. Minnow must figure out who she is and what she believes while in juvie – does she believe in what the Prophet told her? Does she even believe in God anymore? Who is Minnow Bly? We learn about her past through flashbacks and her present in juvenile detention, which means Minnow was really well-developed. She was passionate and curious and I loved seeing her grow.
Stephanie Oakes’ writing is gorgeous. I was completely engrossed in the story because of her writing. If this is her debut, I can’t wait to see more. It isn’t one of those super action-packed books where something is happening every single page, but it didn’t need to be. It’s more of a character study on Minnow, a cult/mindset study on the Kevinians. I don’t know if I can say I truly loved this book. It’s…disturbing and horrifying in a way that not many books are but man, if it isn’t fascinating.
The bottom line: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is thought-provoking, intriguing, beautiful, sad, hopeful, and so many other adjectives. Well worth the read.
Rating: 8 – Freaking fantastic