My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When is faith considered too much?
And when you live your whole life thinking your father is the same as God, how can you doubt the things he says are true when it’s all you’ve ever known?
Castley is one of six Creswell children, and if not for a previous accident that forced them to finally attend public school, then maybe they would have never realized how different their lives were. They may have never realized that it’s not normal to be paired up with your sibling as future spouses, and Castley may have never known that her father wasn’t God.
Her father is a religious zealot who believes that if they remain pure and read the scriptures in the bible he’d most written himself, then they would pretty much be scooped up and all sent to heaven together, where the female siblings would then be married to the brother they were paired with.
But the strange thing to me about this book had to be the way Castley seemed to suddenly go off the rails. You could attribute it to the fact that it starts when one of her brothers is punished after he gets oral herpes from kissing a girl. This event seems to have Castley’s mind in a whirl, and she begins to act out in small ways before it finally progresses into something much bigger. She even starts to get closer to her male drama partner in school, and he has her thinking of a different world.
Initially, I was completely transfixed by this book. Reading about Castley and her family was…eye-opening and scary. The fact that there is likely a family, a real one just like the Creswells, who actually exist out there in our real world. And the thought of that is frightening to me. Though this book and this family are terrifying, I couldn’t help but dock a star because I just couldn’t accept that oral herpes was essentially Castley’s trigger, and would have her suddenly thinking of going to parties and allowing herself to be made over in a more provocative dress than she was used to. She attempted such a 180, that I just couldn’t accept it.
The other star was docked because I just did not like the way the author chose to end this book. In order to not have spoilers, I won’t go into great detail, but I will say that the ending was not done in a way I would have preferred. But, hey, this isn’t my book, so what else can I say?
So, besides Castley, her siblings are probably considered prominent secondary characters, but no one really stood out to me. They were helpful in that they did fill some holes that were necessary to the story, but I can’t say that I really liked any of them. In fact, I’m not sure I even liked Castley. I felt for her and her siblings, but I just didn’t really like her.
Castley was annoyingly impulsive, and not in a way that really made sense for me or had me thinking she was a cool, strong character that I could admire. But her “character flaws” were not enough to have me disliking this book completely.
Anyway, this book was an interesting one for me. I liked it, and didn’t. I found the writing to be good, and the overall plot was well-done and original. I wouldn’t recommend this to everyone, because there are some disturbing things that may bother some people, but if you’re still interested, I’d say read this, cause this book really was unique.
I received this ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.