genre: contemporary young adult
Minnow has spent the last twelve years of her life in the Community, sequestered in the forest. Under the influence of the Prophet, she's been told what to think, how to live, how safe God is keeping them in their tiny off-grid home. But eventually Minnow stumbles upon the real world and when rage and fear finally land her in juvenile detention, she has to learn a different kind of reality, where the police want the answers she refuses to give, where her secrets are the only thing she has carried from her home besides solitude. Hope has a hard time dying, though, and soon her experiences behind bars help her start to unravel her own desire to be more than she's been given.
Violent, painful and engaging, this is an interesting and dark (even for this sort of book) twist on the average escape-from-a-cult novel. Minnow is a complicated character dealing with the unimaginable fallout of a single life-changing decision. The narrative flows between her current incarceration in the detention center and her former life as a Kevnian follower and I liked how things knit together. I liked Minnow's relationships with the people she meets "outside," as she comes into her own and starts even knowing what questions she never thought to ask. I found myself very invested in Minnow and was always eager to pick it up - maybe the ending wasn't quite as climactic as I'd anticipated it being, but it worked.