Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hands down a book to pick up: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, by Stephanie Oakes

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly
Stephanie Oakes
Dial Books, 2015
Kindle Copy: B00O2BKKQ2

Minnow lost her faith, her family, and her hands to a cult.  Raised for most of her life in the Kevinian cult, Minnow escapes and runs away the night the cult is burned to the ground, suspiciously taking the prophet Kevin with it and immediately lands in prison after an assault. Minnow struggles to come to terms with her old life in the cult and adjust to her new world of juvie, the real world, and learning to get by without her hands. The FBI psychologist assigned to her following the high profile and mysterious nature of the cults demise (and existence) suspects Minnow knows more than she’s letting on, but Minnow isn’t ready to talk...yet.  This is a brutal and brilliant novel, but it does contain some fairly graphic violence, dark themes, and dark humor, so it is not recommended for the squeamish!  It is, however, strongly recommended for teens over 15 and adults (both dudes and dudettes), and all YA collections in public and high school libraries, especially as it was just named a 2016 Morris Honor Book. I rate this: G for get after it already. (Also: Gore)

As I noted, this is a brilliant and brutal book.  It’s probably the best YA I’ve read in months, and I’m stoked it won something at the Youth Media Awards (I finished it on the eve of the announcements and was pumped to hear about it the Morris honor over morning coffee in my office with my awesome coworkers), but less stoked it didn’t come into play for the Printz.  What up, committee??!!!  Doesn’t Marcus Sedgwick have a deservedly fat enough head for that crown by now?  

I digress from talking about this deserving, fabulous first time novel though.  

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