Friday, June 5, 2015

Blog Tour: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes {Review + Favorite Quotes + Playlist + Giveaway}

Release date: June 9, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter | Tumblr
Publisher: Dial/Penguin
Pages: 400
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
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.
Ohh, this book, this book, this book. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is everything it promised to be and more. It's deliciously dark, bloody, and violent, rife with gorgeous writing and slowly unveiled secrets.

While it's almost shocking in its violence, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is largely a case study of Minnow as she acclimates herself to the world away from the Prophet's influence and figures out who she is and how she can make her own choices. Minnow's journey into herself is one of learning how to value her own opinions and beliefs; these are things she has grown up being told are invalid, so to develop her own is a hard-fought battle.

And what's especially fascinating to read about (and what feels very authentic to me, though I can't say I'm an expert) is the mindset of the cult as a whole. How Minnow's father was persuaded to the Kevinian ideas and how the people wholeheartedly believed things they could disprove with fact. At times, what the Prophet says is so convincing and at others what he says is completely ridiculous, yet they always believe him. The unraveling of life at the compound is utterly engrossing.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is the kind of book you can't take your eyes away from. Even as it's difficult to read at times because of its unflinching look at the brutality of Minnow's situation, you won't want to turn away. Powerful, thought provoking, and mightily impressive.

About the author:

Stephanie Oakes is a teacher and YA author from Washington State. Her debut novel, THE SACRED LIES OF MINNOW BLY (Dial/Penguin, June 9, 2015), about a girl who escapes from a religious commune only to find herself at the center of a murder investigation, is based on the Grimm fairy tale, "The Handless Maiden."

THE ARSONIST, her second YA mystery through Dial/Penguin, is scheduled for publication in fall 2016.


Favorite Quotes:

I am a blood-soaked girl.


"Did you notice the color of his skin?"
"Of course I noticed it. That's a stupid thing to ask."
"Because...because if I didn't notice his skin, how would I be seeing him? If I missed that, what else would I have missed?"
"But, you were raised to hate people like Jude."
I shrug off the suggestion. "It's a good thing I hated the people who taught me to hate, then."


It was the greatest battle of my childhood, trying to determine whether I was allowed to hate someone so full of God. I figured it out, in the end.


"It might not be my business, but do you have a faith?" the doctor asked.
My father lifted his head. "Why?"
"It can help, sometimes, believing in something."
"How do you mean?"
"Well, do you believe people go to a better place when they die? To heaven?"
My father was pulling on his bottom lip. His face was full of extra skin that bagged bluely and made him look tired. "I don't know. I never asked."


It is amazing that, though I am small and ungifted and barely educated, even I can appreciate the scale of the universe.

And from this perch in space, for this moment at least, it seems unimportant whether someone made it, or if it made itself.


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