Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly Blog Tour ~ Review + Favorite Quotes!

I'm really excited to share my review of The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes today! This book is fantastic. It's definitely one of my favorites of the year and I really hope that (if you haven't already) you will give book a try. It's a story well worth experiencing.☺

Genre: Young Adult, Retelling, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Thriller
Publisher: Dial/Penguin
Release Date: June 9th 2015

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.
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Source: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

While reading this book, I had a moment in which I was completely floored by the fact that an author (Stephanie Oakes being one of them) can string together mere words into sentences, paragraphs, pages--an entire book--that can truly reach out to readers and make them laugh, cry, yell, smile--FEEL. In this moment, I was reminded why I love reading so much and why I keep devouring story after story after story. It's for the experience that the author gives me through the book. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly was truly amazing. Not just because of its outstanding writing, characters, plot, and themes, but because all those things combined and made reading it a powerful and moving experience. 

The main theme that I latched onto throughout the book was belief. It wasn't necessarily a focus on the spiritual kind, though there was a lot of that featured. It helped bring the theme to life. For me, this book was about the choice of believing what you want to believe and how that's an individual process. Other people may introduce you to ideas, but you can only really choose what you believe on your own. I really liked how the title fit into this. Minnow's journey was about moving past lies (both what she was told and what she told others) and finding the truth--what she believes in--for herself.

I loved Minnow's story. It felt like one of self-discovery. She discovered who she was--the person that wasn't wrapped up in the lies of the Prophet. I loved her as a character, too. Minnow was . . . intriguing. She was very well developed--through flashbacks and present discoveries. She seemed passionate, eager, and curious. Sometime in the second half of the book, I realized she seemed thirsty for developing her own identity and simply having a new life. I really loved reading her POV. 

One more thing: this was a diverse read! The main character had no hands in the present and there was a POC love interest. I would call the religion a diverse aspect too, since Minnow spent so much of her life in a cult isolated in the forest. I appreciated seeing these things because they made the story more refreshing than if there was very little diversity.

This book wasn't quite one you can enjoy (considering how horrifying and haunting many scenes were), but one that can put readers through an amazing experience. It was thought-provoking, moving, and SO. QUOTABLE. I ended up with 50 highlights and 10 notes on my Kindle . . . which is a lot more than most books get from me. There is no doubt that this is one of my favorite books of the year. And who knows? It may be your next favorite too.

Favorite Quotes

Ha! This is tough. Like I mentioned in my review, I have 50 highlights. But I'll try to keep my selection small. :D (Note: these quotes are from the ARC and may be different in the finished copy of the book.)

I'll start with the opening lines: 
I am a blood-soaked girl.

Before me, a body. Pulped. My boots drenched with his blood. I search out his eyes, but they're gone, hidden away behind pale lids.
Here's another example of the fantastic writing.
Fear floated around me like constant pollen, but none of us were allergic. But there's a moment when it all becomes too much. And it was coming like a wildfire bent on burning the whole place to the ground.
The book is very dark, but sometimes humor wiggled it's way to the surface.
"Minnow, as a general rule, you shouldn't try to control other people's faces."
"That's good," I say. "Should I add that to my affirmation wall?" 
 There's love, too!
If it's possible to have a soul, mine was steel-plated and invincible that night, and I think that's what love does, makes you strong. Makes you think nothing can bring you down.

It's the only kind of lie that I'd be happy to live with.
And moths. I won't explain what that is all about--you'll have to read the book to find out. I loved this moment because it kinda sums up what this book was about for me.
"Thats how you avoid becoming a moth," he says. "Stop asking others what to believe. Figure it out for yourself."

One of the teasers for this tour is also one of my favorite quotes.☺

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.


Want to check out more of the tour?

Follow the The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

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