Hello! I feel like it has been way too long since I uploaded a post! That is because it has been sorry about that guys. Also I am trying to come up with a format for my reviews because I feel like I do them differently every time.
So while I was taking forever to write-up a post I read some really interesting books, including this one. Boy let me tell you it was a wild ride all the way through.
Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father.
Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at school, they’re still the freaks they’ve always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice.
Castley’s world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father’s lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.
Gosh I have no idea where to begin because this book had my mind racing.
Okay lets us start with Castella’s father. He is one of those crazy religious fanatics that thinks he is god/god is talking to him and telling him what to do/say. When I saw that my mind went straight to the Heaven’s Gate group. (If you are not sure what that is Google it is a super interesting event to read about despite being a bit morbid) I also thought “Why is it always the bible wielding fanatics that decide it’s time to die!”. ANYWAY. I am getting a little off topic. Father creeped me out and for good reason! He declared that he and his family were the only pure people left on earth. Because of this his children are destined to marry each other when they get older. Gross. Along with this the father has written his own add-on to the bible. In the book Castella points out that what her father has written makes really no sense.
Since the children have been under their father’s iron fist for so long they all want to rebel but at the same time remain faithful to god. That is the struggle Castella faces throughout almost the entire book. I really enjoyed reading about her struggle. That sounds mean but I don’t mean it in a bad way. What I mean is I think Eiza Wass did a good job of writing Castella’s internal struggle between her faith, wanting to be a “normal” teenager, and trying to figure out how to get her siblings along with herself out of the toxic situation they are in. I enjoyed seeing her grow as a character as she tries to decide what is true of what her father says and what is not. You know she starts to think about her mother who is sick and wheelchair bound from falling down the stairs. Castella wonders, did father push her? Not to mention while all this is going on she has to deal with the fact that her siblings are (most likely) having the same struggles. Her brothers are kissing girls which according to their father is a sin. Her youngest sister has mentally checked out, her other sister has feelings for a girl in their year level. I wish this book had been longer with multiple perspective now that I think about it.
All this is happening and father decides it is time they return to heaven because god is not providing for them. (Father does not work so ya know the big man upstairs has to provide them food BIG SHOCKER it aint happening). Obviously this worries Castella because she doesn’t want to die. This is where she really begins to create a sort of plan to get her sibling to safety. If you know book you know this never goes smoothly. EVER. Father about goes bonkers (even though in my opinion he already is). He puts Castella, her sisters, and one of her brothers in the penance cave. In said cave Castella discovers the bones of their eldest brother who they had been told resurrected. This part of this book is really tense it actually got me sweating. The father kills their mother, comes to look for his children and Castella faces off with her father. I am trying not to spoil all the fun for this part okay.
The ending was rather short but I still enjoyed it. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars because it did have me on the edge of my seat. I don’t read to many thrillers so I guess they just get my blood pumping.
Hope this was enjoyable and somewhat coherent. I feel like my thoughts for this book are all over the place. Stay tuned for more strangeness!!