Friday, July 5, 2019

ARC Review: The Virtue of Sin by Shannon Schuren

Book info:
TitleThe Virtue of Sin
Author:  Shannon Schuren
Genre:  YA contemporary
Release Date:  June 25th, 2019
Publisher:  Philomel Books, Penguin Teen
Source:  ARC won through Bookish First giveaway which did not influence my opinion.
My rating:  5 stars

A compelling novel about speaking out, standing up, and breaking free -- perfect for fans of The Handmaid's Tale.

Miriam lives in New Jerusalem, a haven in the desert far away from the sins and depravity of the outside world. Within the gates of New Jerusalem, and under the eye of its founder and leader, Daniel, Miriam knows she is safe. Cared for. Even if she's forced, as a girl, to quiet her tongue when she has thoughts she wants to share, Miriam knows that New Jerusalem is a far better life than any alternative. So when God calls for a Matrimony, she's thrilled; she knows that Caleb, the boy she loves, will choose her to be his wife and they can finally start their life together.

But when the ceremony goes wrong and Miriam winds up with someone else, she can no longer keep quiet. For the first time, Miriam begins to question not only the rules that Daniel has set in place, but also what it is she believes in, and where she truly belongs.

Alongside unexpected allies, Miriam fights to learn--and challenge--the truth behind the only way of life she's ever known, even if it means straying from the path of Righteousness.

A compelling debut novel about speaking out, standing up, and breaking free.

Praise for The Virtue of Sin

"Shannon Schuren weaves a complex tale of love, faith, and lies in her thought-provoking debut The Virtue of Sin. As important as it is entertaining, this is a must-read for anyone who knows that independent thought trumps fitting in. One of my favorite reads of the year." --Christina Dalcher, bestselling author of VOX

My Review:
I'm always intrigued by any story about a cult, don't know why, it's just something that grabs me.  And this book did just that from the time I read the sneak peek, and then once I actually had the book in my hands and started reading, it was so hard to put down.  This one was even better than others, because while I thought I knew what was going to happen, the author threw in several twists and turns that I did not see coming.  My guesses as I went along were either so on track, or just to the side of what was actually happening.  It all made sense as the twists were explained, and made the story, the cult itself, that much more devious.  It also made you think about how what you've been told your whole life is always dependent on who is telling you those things, and what more is out there that you don't even know about it, if you don't look beyond what is easy and normal.  I definitely will be recommending this for my students, as well as at the bookstore where I work.