#BBCreativityProject Yellow Team: Quiet YA – Devoted and The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

#BBCreativityProject yellow team

The wonderful Nori from Read Write Love is hosting the Book Blogger Creativity Project. She’s compiled several teams of newbie and veteran bloggers, who are meant to work together to come up with a feature that they’ll post on their blogs. We are supposed to get creative and work as a team, and I’m really happy to say I’m part of the Yellow Team! Here’s the other members of my team (I’m linking you to their Twitters so you can learn more about them!): CJ Listro, Karina Romano, Kim, Sara, Emma K, Lauren, The Book Jar Blog, and, of course, Nori.

My team has decided to each write a post about a book (or books) that we would consider Quiet YA – books that didn’t receive huge publicity campaigns, that aren’t being made into movies, didn’t receive a lot of press, aren’t best sellers or award winners, etc. I couldn’t pick one book to feature, so instead, I’ll be focusing on two books I read this year that I think deserve more attention, two of my favorite Quiet YA books – DEVOTED by Jennifer Mathieu and THE SACRED LIES OF MINNOW BLY by Stephanie Oakes. Both of these books are powerful, thought-provoking, moving, and very well-written. They will make you question yourself and others; they’ll make you cheer and tear up, smile, laugh, cry, and love.

BBCP Quiet YA

When I reviewed Devoted, I said it was 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. My only issue with the book is that we didn’t have more of it. I wanted to keep reading about Rachel and her new life. I loved it so so much. Check it out on Goodreads if you want to learn more!

As for The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, I thought it was thought-provoking, intriguing, beautiful, sad, hopeful, and so many other adjectives. You’ll be completely engrossed in this story because of Oakes’ writing. It’s decidedly disturbing and difficult to read, but it’s well worth it. My review goes more in depth, and you can find it on Goodreads too!

I paired these two together, 1. because I love both of them, but 2. because they each talk about religion and the different ways it can affect you. They have two completely different stories here, but they also both make you question, make you want to learn and experience new things. They are both disturbing in places and thought-provoking. They are both powerful and engrossing and beautiful and horrifying. And they both deserve your attention and time, and I hope some of you will check them out.

Tell us about some of your favorite Quiet YA books, and make sure you check out the #BBCreativityProject hashtag on Twitter to see what everyone else has come up with!

Book Review: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes (ARC)

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie OakesAuthor:  Stephanie Oakes

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

Waiting on Wednesday: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie OakesPublisher: Dial/Penguin

Author: Stephanie Oakes

Release date: June 9, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads:

With a harrowing poetic voice, this contemporary page-turner is perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, Julie Berry’s All The Truth That’s in Me, and the works of Ellen Hopkins.

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 By is a hard-hitting and hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith—and the power of having faith in oneself.

Why I’m excited: Are you kidding? How could I not be excited after that synopsis? Cults, murder, mystery. And she loses her hands?! This just sounds crazy, in the best way. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book like this, and that is super exciting. I’ve always been interested in religious cults; I’m not sure exactly why, but I’m definitely looking forward to reading The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly. Also, her name is Minnow. I love unique names.