Saturday, March 6, 2010

Keep Sweet Review

Title: Keep Sweet
Author: Michele Dominguez Greene
Release Date: March 9, 2010

Summary (from ):

Alva Jane has never questioned her parents, never questioned her faith, never questioned her future. She is content with the strict rules that define her life in Pineridge, the walled community where she lives with her father, his seven wives, and her twenty-eight siblings. This is the only world Alva has ever known, and she has never thought to challenge it.
But everything changes when Alva is caught giving her long-time crush an innocent first kiss. Beaten, scorned, and now facing a forced marriage to a violent, fifty-year old man, Alva suddenly realizes how much she has to lose—and how impossible it will be to escape.

Character Development: 10/10pts
Originality: 10/10pts
Plot/Story Line: 10/10pts
Ending: 8/10pts
Voice: 8/10pts
Recommendation: 10/10pts
Total Score: 56/60
Grade: A+

Age Appropriate Rating:
Cussing: 0/10
Drugs, alcohol, etc.: 0/10
Sexual Content: 9/10
Violence/Disturbing Images: 10/10

Written Review:

Sitting down to write this review tons of words come to mind. Horrifying. Shocking. Appalling. Inexcusable.  Scandalous. Disgusting. Strange. Addicting.
And all of those words accurately display the themes in this novel.  This book did shock me multiple times.  It made me wonder who could ever live this way? Could ever see this as normal? As okay? But as strange as it is, this novel is very addicting. I was hooked into this mysterious world from the very first page until the last. It exposes some of the hidden truths many wonder about the FLDS’s secretive life in such a clear and well written way that you can really begin to understand the scene, the people, and the lifestyle.
The plot never stopped moving as more and more shocking truths about the ways of the FLDS were uncovered each chapter.  The character of Alva Jane developed really well. Though the truths in this book were haunting to the reader, they were normal, day to day routine for her.  But as insane commands, punishments, and expulsions were ordered, Alva was brought more and more into the light.  Her character developed very gradually and believably.  The rest of the characters had just as distinct personalities through Alva’s narrative. 
Though some parts of this book were predictable to me, there were enough twists in the plot to keep me interested.  It was also very descriptive. From their way of life down to their way of intimacy, this novel overflowed with details. Some of the images seem hauntingly real which makes me want to recommend this to an older audience.
Overall, I really did love Keep Sweet. Yes it was shocking, and haunting, and absolutely horrifying to see how these people lived (and the most horrifying part of it all is that it’s real. People really see this as right, as the pathway to heaven and to being with God.) But it’s also a well written novel that gives insight into a very different and secretive world where the lines between what society sees as acceptable and what they do are very, very blurred.  Powerful and heartbreaking, the words on these pages will forever linger long after you’ve finished reading. 


Elise said...

Good review. :)

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I am fascinated with books about polygamy and am really anxious to read this one which I totally forgot about until your review. I'm putting it on hold at the library this very second. Thanks!