First, thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Young Readers Group, as well as The Fantastic Flying Book Club Tours for allowing me to read an egalley of this title. I had been intrigued about it since I first saw it, and had already been approved for the egalley when I saw there was a tour going on, so I thought I’d sign up and be a part of that as well. I have to say this was a pretty good book. It’s another look into a cult, one that again ends in fire.
The main character is as the title states, Minnow Bly. When she was pretty young, her parents packed up and moved with a cult to live in a forest. Their new religion was Kevinian. And when you hear the rules and all the things they believed in, well, these people were just plain stupid. I’m sorry, but it’s just ridiculous. The sad thing is, there are probably cults out there that have just as stupid rules and yet people still join in.
The story begins after everything has happened. Minnow is going to juvenile detention. You see it’s not that she caused the fire or killed their leader, but she did attack and beat up a boy after she escaped. A boy who just came across her at the exact wrong moment. Not to mention one of the things that happened to her, was that their leader, the Prophet, had cut her hands off. The story follows Minnow’s time in the juvenile center. She makes friends with her roommate named Angel. Who killed her uncle, who had been abusing her. Throughout the book we learn the whole story of Minnow’s time with the cult. The crazy things they believed and did. The friend she found outside of the cult, living in the forest a little ways a way from where the cult lived, his name was Jude. Part of the story is learned as she talks with an FBI agent. Part of it is learned in flashbacks she has, and some parts are learned through conversations with Angel.
By the end of the story you’re waiting to see if she will be able to get off on parole, and what will Minnow do with her life afterwards, because if she doesn’t get parole, she’ll go to the adult women’s prison.
The story was very well told, the suspense built up perfectly. I think all the different details were laid out in such a way to keep you reading, to keep you wanting to know. But also in a way that you kind of were like, “Oh, yeah, I was thinking that!”
My only gripe is that the story ended very ambiguously, it’s left open and vague, so that you don’t know for sure how things really go. And I don’t like that. I really need to know. I can see that it also leaves it up for the reader’s interpretation, you can kind of choose what you think will happen. You can see that maybe Minnow has come far enough in this journey that whatever happens, she can be happy, and finally move on with her life.
You can check out the rest of the tour by clicking on the image below!