I’ve been trying to keep my Mini Reviews themed, but it’s getting increasingly harder. Luckily these two books have difficult parents in common, so let’s go with that as a theme, okay?
Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu
I love a cult book and this was no exception. Rachel lives in a religious sect that is incredibly strict, with a lot of stifling rules, especially for the women and girls. When her mother miscarries, she begins to question her faith and her life, and whether this is really the way she wants to live. She gets in touch with someone who left years ago and I loved the dynamic of her secretly chatting to someone who has made the move she is contemplating. When Rachel is told to leave or face Journey of Faith (her worst nightmare), she leaves. Her parents infuriated me. Her life outside is not always easy and I loved seeing how she wrestled her choice and how she started to think about what she really wanted from her life. I loved seeing her develop relationships outside and become more herself. There’s a lot of issues both she and Lauren have to work through, and at times that makes this book sad and difficult to read, but it has a brilliant and hopeful ending. Perfect for anyone who enjoys a cult story.
Paper Avalanche by Lisa Williamson
I have never met a Lisa Williamson book I didn’t love and this one is no exception. Ro Snow is one of my favourite of Lisa’s characters. My heart absolutely broke for her in this book. She lives with her mum, Bonnie, who is a hoarder. She is embarrassed about this, it makes her cross, it impacts badly on her mental health and means that she has no real friends because she dreads them wanting to come to her house. Everything starts to change when Tanvi bursts into her life. At first she was more than a little annoying, but she grows on you and she is good for Ro. I loved the friendships in this book, both with Tanvi and Noah, and how each of them had their own difficulties to deal with. This is such a clever book with a gripping plot. I loved the ending and that fact that, although it is very hopeful, it doesn’t tie everything up in a neat little bow, which I think is really important in stories like this. Another knockout read from Lisa!
Have you read either of these?