Review: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

Posted October 22, 2015 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Review: The Sacred Lies of Minnow BlyThe Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
Genres: General/Issue, Young Adult
Published by Penguin on June 9th 2015
Format: Hardcover (400 pages) • Source: Library
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three-half-stars

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.

my thoughts pinkUsually the longer it takes for me to finish a book, the less I’m going to like it. I know that this usually has nothing to do with how good the book is. I happened to be away on vacation while reading this one and just didn’t have enough time to read. When I did sit down to read it, I felt oddly detached from the story as I kept reading.

From the beginning, this book was going to be iffy for me. It’s really out of my comfort zone but I wanted to give it a try with my book club. Cults have always interested me, but religion in generally really does not at all. I don’t think this book was too in-your-face about religion, which was nice, but it was still explored quite a bit. It makes sense given Minnow’s history and lack of education about a lot of things. I started out really intrigued by the story, mostly because of the writing style. I loved how the chapters slowly revealed more from her past, while mixing in with present-day in juvie. (I have to say though, I couldn’t stop thinking of Orange is the New Black.)

The plot was really interesting and I was certainly wondering what the fuck happened back at the Kevinian camp. There was a good amount of suspense, again because of the writing style, but I still felt too detached from all of it. I liked Minnow as a character – I think she was surprisingly spunky and level-headed given everything that happened to her. I’m not sure if those are the best words to describe her, but you may know what I mean. She was always straight to the point and stuck up for herself when she needed to.

I was surprised by some of the events at the end of the book and I didn’t really predict it, but I still didn’t feel a lot of emotion about it! I wanted to FEEL something for Minnow and her family. I was expecting my jaw to drop during some of the big reveals, but it didn’t. I felt kind of meh about the ending in a general sense and definitely would have liked more closure.

I’m glad I read this book overall and would definitely recommend it to people who think it sounds interesting. I just hate when books take me too long to read! It dampers my enjoyment of the book because I want to want to read it nonstop.

feels from friends pink

rating breakdown pink

Plot & Premise
four-half-stars
Characters
three-stars
Writing Style
four-half-stars
Pacing & Flow
four-stars
Feels or Swoons
three-stars
Addiction Level
three-stars
Overall: 3.7

4 responses to “Review: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

  1. Nice review, Lauren! I’ve heard a lot of praise about this book. I am interested in cults and religion, so that’s why I’m interested in this book. Anyway, it sucks that you couldn’t connect with Minnow, I’ve had that problem myself with books in the past and it definitely takes away from the book. I’ll be giving this one a read though sometime. 🙂 I’m really interested in the format with flashbacks and present day writing.

  2. I had the same thoughts as you Lauren! I did like the book, but I felt it was just meh, and I wasn’t attached to Minnow as much as I thought I would be. I also had no idea that most of the story would take place in juvie, so that was surprising. Also, I really liked Angel! I wish we got to hear more about her!

    Valerie recently posted: ARC Review: Fire Falling

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