Wednesday, March 11, 2020

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

Title: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly
Author: Stephanie Oakes
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: June 9th 2015
Print Length: 400 pages
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction
A hard-hitting and hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith—and the power of having faith in yourself.

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.

After watching Sacred Lies on Facebook Watch and finding out it was based on a book, I knew I had to find a copy of the novel! I was beyond happy (and surprised) that my local library had a copy of The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes lying around.

Minnow Bly has been part of the Kevinian cult since she was 5 years old. When police find her next to the badly beaten body of a teenage boy, they are shocked to learn that she has no hands. After being placed in juvenile detention, Minnow starts to learn new things about the world. After an FBI agent takes an interest in her case, Minnow must decide if she wants to tell him the truth of what really went on in the cult or if some things are better left unsaid.

The plot for The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly was incredibly interesting. Oakes did a fantastic job of making Minnow's world come to life. I was instantly transported to the settings of The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly quite easily each time I started reading this book. There are some really emotional scenes in this book such as some of the scenes with Minnow and Jude, Minnow's hands being chopped off, and the scene towards the end with Minnow's sister Constance. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly was definitely an emotional roller coaster for sure. There were plenty of plot twists throughout the book which would leave me with my mouth hanging open quite a bit. The pacing is perfect throughout this novel. All of my questions were answered by the ending of the book. However, the ending of the book is quite speculative about Minnow's future.

The characters in The Scared Lies of Minnow Bly were all very fleshed out and realistic sounding. Many times it felt as if I was reading about something that actually happened instead of a fictitious story. My heart went out to Minnow with all she had to go through, but I admired her strength and determination to not be a victim. I loved her curious nature and how she wanted to learn as much as possible. Minnow's resolve was so strong. I loved Jude so much. He was such a sweet and caring boy who had also been through more than he should. I loved how he wanted to take care of Minnow and how much he truly cared about her. I loved reading about Minnow's and Jude's relationship blossoming. Dr. Wilson was another great character. I wish there would have been a bit more back story for Dr. Wilson, but I did like how he cared about Minnow and her story and how he challenged her to think for herself. One of my favorite characters was Angel, Minnow's cellmate. She's another who challenged Minnow's beliefs and wanted to help educate Minnow. It was a nice touch to see this hardened girl really go out of her way to take care of Minnow and to make sure Minnow thrived.

Trigger warnings The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly include profanity, violence, death, sex (though not graphic at all), and brainwashing.

Overall, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly was such a fascinating read. It had such a fantastic plot and a great cast of characters. It was too easy to get lost in their world. I would definitely recommend The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes to everyone aged 15+ who want to get lost in a fantastically written novel! The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly won't leave you disappointed at all.

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