Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Three Reasons to Read The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

Hi, lovelies! I'm trying something a bit new today; instead of the traditional, paragraph-style review, I thought it might be fun to talk about a book by listing a few reasons you need to read it. Let me know what you think in the comments—I may write more reviews like this in the future.

I picked up The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly looking for a chilling October read, and that's exactly what I got. From the first page to the last, Stephanie Oakes's debut had me terrified (though not in the ghosts-and-monsters sense—this book deals with real-world villains). But before I get too ahead of myself, here's what the story is about. 

the book

Publisher: Dial
Release: June 9, 2015
Source: Library
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 Bly is a hard-hitting and hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith—and the power of having faith in oneself.

three reasons to read it

Minnow Bly has just escaped an extremist religious cult that exemplifies what happens when faith goes too far. Not only does the Prophet feed his followers blatant lies for the purpose of manipulation (he tells them, for example, that everyone outside their secluded community is out to kill them), but he responds to disobedience with violent, even deadly, punishments. Life inside the cult's compound is horrifying and dangerous, full of rituals and lies you have to read to believe, and learning the details of Minnow's escape is a heart-stopping experience.

After escaping her home of twelve years, the protagonist embarks on a mission to understand herself, her beliefs, the world around her. She learns about science and the history of the universe, dabbles in Christian ideology, and speaks with people of varying belief systems—and she gleans something meaningful from each activity. Her journey is difficult, her tangled thoughts full of un-answerable questions, but she learns so much throughout the few-month-long story. I loved watching Minnow come to her own conclusions after years of attempting to accept the Prophet's incongruous teachings, and her journey will resonate with any reader who has similarly analyzed religion.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly alternates between past and present, with segments of Minnow's escape story interspersed with scenes from her-post cult recovery. Stephanie Oakes weaves the two storylines together brilliantly, providing new information about the protagonist's past with perfect timing—not slowly enough to seem dull, not quickly enough to seem unsatisfying. The result is a suspenseful, absorbing story that I could hardly stand to put down; I finished it in two days and would have raced to the final page sooner if I could have.

Have you read The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly? If so, did the cult terrify you as much as it terrified me? And what other books would you recommend to get in the fall mood?


  1. Loved the post! Sounds like something I would relish. Bumping it to the top of my TBR this autumn ^^
    As for book recommendations I would suggest something by Katherine Howe. Honestly, I haven't read anything of hers yet but I own a few of her books and they all sound like the perfect autumn read.

  2. I love this style of reviewing and I put this book on my Christmas list so I hope to read it next year!
    Naomi@The Perks Of Being A Bookworm

  3. I really liked how you structured this review , very original.
    This books sounds really interested and i am currently adding it to my tbr list.
    Amazing review :D
    Muna @ Tattered pages and tea stains.

  4. I picked up this book a while back from the library, but I ended up returning it before finishing. (Due dates, ugh!) I'm seriously regretting that decision now . . . if I happen to come across the book again, I'll have to check it out a second time. Your review has totally convinced me.

    p.s. Love this "list style" review format!

    Julia Anne :-)
    Peach Print

  5. Great review of what sounds like a dark and complex book. [Seriously? Her hands??!]

    I enjoyed the format. I think the list is totally fun. Some books just feel like that when you are reading them, too; like you just can't wait to share with a friend ... or the world. Way to switch it up!

  6. I like the set up of this review! Sometimes it's nice to find new ways of talking about a book. I read another positive review for this one, so I'm definitely really curious now. It sounds like something I need to read ASAP.


  7. I really need to pick this book up soon. I've heard amazing things especially from my favorite reviewers. This is a great review style, in my opinion.

    Haraiah @ Random Things In Action

  8. Listing reasons to read the book is a fun way to change it up from paragraph reviews. It's concise and highlights the positives of the book. The book itself has me intrigued, especially the cult. :X
    Take care,

  9. Great review, Emily!!! I bought The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly a few months ago but still haven't had the chance to read it yet. Your lovely review (I'm loving the list format!) has definitely bumped the book up higher on my TBR.


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