Monday, June 1, 2015

Review: Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu
by Jennifer Mathieu
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Publication Date: June 2nd 2015
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781596439115
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Religion
Source: Publisher

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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. (Goodreads)
All her life, Rachel has been preparing for the moment when she becomes a wife and a mother, as all the women in her family and church have done. But Rachel wants more. She wants to travel the world and learn everything that she possibly can in life, not be a wife or mother at such a young age. When her family discovers Rachel’s indifference to their faith, they turn her away, and she is left to find her own way in the world.

I found Rachel to be a very relatable character. I loved that she wanted to read and learn so much! I seriously just wanted to take her to the library and show her all the worlds that she could get lost in. Her love of books was insatiable. While I believe everyone should be able to choose the life they want to live, and the beliefs that they want to believe, I just couldn’t imagine living the life her parents and church had planned out for her. It was suffocating to me and I was just the one reading about it, so I don’t blame Rachel at all for wanting more. And I love that even though she didn’t want to continue the path set out of her by her church and her family, she never gave up on her faith. She just changed how she wanted her life to be, but she never gave up on God like so many others do.

When I was first approached to read Devoted, I was curious, but also a little nervous about the religious aspects of the book. I tend to put these types of books off, because I always worry that a religion is going to be interpreted. After reading the books, I realize that I was nervous for nothing. While there is religion in the book, it is written more as a fact, and not in an ‘in your face, preaching for you to believe in this’ way. It was very well written. The storyline, the characters, and even the religion were completely fascinating.

Overall; I was warned that I would absolutely love Devoted, and I totally did! I’m super curious not to read Mathieu’s The Truth About Alice, which I also hear is really great, so I’m excited to check this out as well.

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