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Review: ‘Devoted’ by Jennifer Mathieu

I received this book for free from requested from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘Devoted’ by Jennifer MathieuDevoted by Jennifer Mathieu
Published by Roaring Brook Press on June 2nd, 2015
Genres: Christian, Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: requested from publisher
Goodreads
three-stars
Rachel Walker is devoted to God.

She prays every day, attends Calvary Christian Church with her family, helps care for her five younger siblings, dresses modestly, and prepares herself to be a wife and mother who serves the Lord with joy.

But Rachel is curious about the world her family has turned away from, and increasingly finds that neither the church nor her homeschool education has the answers she craves. Rachel has always found solace in her beliefs, but now she can’t shake the feeling that her devotion might destroy her soul.

Chapters/IndigoThe Book DepositoryAmazon CanadaGood Reads


 

review

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Rachel is a Christian living with her ten siblings and parents, she has no time for herself. Constantly taking care of her younger siblings and being a good girl so she could be married to a boy. Her parents tell her what to do, how to act, what to think. When her curiousity gets the better of her she reaches out to someone from her community that escaped their rigid lifestyle. Only to find out she wants out to live her own life.

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Even as someone who believes in religion, this book was still hard to read. There is just so many things I stood against within the main character’s belief system that I wanted to throw this book at the wall. The most important thing for Rachel is to be a mother and a wife. To be a child bearer and to keep a home and be submissive. This is what the church wants?

To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands.

Then her dad gets mad at her for reading A Wrinkle in Time. Because he believes it involves magic and sorcery and that is wicked and not good. When in reality we all know that the book includes some spiritual teachings and analogies. Then there’s the main belief that men are served first at the dinner table. Women can’t even sit first be user they must stand and serve them. They’re not allowed to take college classes, but the boys are. They also have to cover up their bodies just so they wouldn’t tempt men. Like its the women’s fault that they dressed so provocatively. These things just bothered me so much because in my belief as a Catholic, everyone and everything is equal. So trying to get through this was just so hard. Everything has to be about God. Every single little action and thought.. And quoting scripture left and right was part of their daily life.

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I like the fact that Rachel ends up questioning everything. Being inquisitive might have saved her from a life she didn’t want. A life that was forced upon her. I don’t believe in the literal sense of the quiver movement and I’m utterly surprised it exists. This is why this book surprised me so much. As for the other characters, I just loved Mark. He was a bright ray of Sunshine that shone brightly in Rachel’s life. I liked that she was beginning to feel more like herself again instead of being so robotic.

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Definitely a book to read if you’re looking for a different read that pertains to a girl’s devotion to God. I’m just glad that the main character ends up being who she wanted to be, and not strayed so fully away from God.


quotes

Feminist is a dirty word invented to placate women who aren’t pretty enough to find a husband.
Why do Mom and Dad believe in doctors for our bodies and not for our minds? After all, our brains are part of our bodies. (63)
Why did God give me a brain if he didn’t want me to use it to learn about anything I wanted to learn about? (115)
But why? Because a bunch of men who chose to interpret the Bible in a super-specific super-ridiculous say decide that to love God and Jesus you can never be sad or mad or angry? (200)
If I’m not supposed to notice his looks, I’m not sure why God made him so noticeable. (223)
My body that belonged to me and wasn’t just something to cover up so I didn’t tempt men. (232)

reading progress

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rating

3/5

three-stars

4 Comments

  1. Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books

    January 28, 2016 at 12:05 PM

    I really loved The Truth About Alice, so I’m super excited to eventually read this book (and everything else this author writes). I feel like all the things you pointed out would also infuriate me. Cults and other smothering religions fascinate and repulse me all at the same time. It’s really hard for me to understand how people get involved in these things, especially with all the information that we have in this day. I guess there will always be people who are desperately looking for something to believe in, even if it does defy all reason. But great review (and pictures as always).
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books recently posted…New YA Book Releases For The Week Of 1/24My Profile

    • giselle

      January 28, 2016 at 9:48 PM

      Me too! “The Truth About Alive” was a great read so naturally I gravitated towards this one. Couldn’t agree more, they both fascinate and repulse me at the same time. Maybe the reason why they don’t get involved is because they don’t have access to information like we do. Cults are just ahhh..

  2. Angel @Angel Reads

    January 28, 2016 at 8:43 AM

    This has sounds quite interesting. I might want to read it. Thanks for the review.
    Angel @Angel Reads recently posted…Discussion: Don’t Rate A Book Before You Read ItMy Profile

    • giselle

      January 28, 2016 at 9:48 PM

      You’re welcome! I hope you like 🙂

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