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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Do you believe?: Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu

Why hello there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're celebrating the PRE-PUB release of a unique Young Adult title set to hit stores shelves this June via Roaring Brook Press.  (Note it....I'll wait....)  It's a contemporary story that deals with the subjects of faith, beliefs, family, and finding your own way, with a cast that could have easily come from a few of the reality TV shows currently on air.  What brought about my review?  Ahh, now that is an interesting story...

Well, first off, my utter enjoyment of the title, which I shall share more of just a moment (okay, so that wasn't that unexpected).  Second, the revelation from a coworker that has recently "settled her soul".  There's more to that story too (that I won't divulge) but the gist of it is them finding themselves again and being eye to eye with the big G upstairs.  It was her sudden outpouring of faith filled words that reminded me of this little gem sitting on my "read-but-need-to-review" shelf.  It very much brought our leading lady's family to mind.  Will my review upset some readers?  Perhaps, but's my own point of view; your buy in is not required but your thoughts are appreciated.  Anywho, ladies and gents, make way for today's book of choice...

Jennifer Mathieu
Roaring Brook Press

About the book....
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.


Ring any bells?
Perhaps a certain high-number-and-counting show that's mega popular and even has the "modest" family starring in pop culture magazine articles?'s pretty close in general nature and beliefs but offers readers a way to peer into the culture on a somewhat fictitious level.

I readily admit, the family's strength in their beliefs is certainly to be respected, to each their own on that matter, however some of the requirements or rules set for each sex are downright hard to swallow.  Young girls learning (pretty much solely) to be helpmeets to their future partners, obeying their every command and helping them to fruitfully multiply, all while keeping their every thought and action pointed to One above.  Umm, yeah...sorry.  Can't do it.  While I think having perfect faith in something, anything would be wonderful, I simply question too much to submit to their belief system, not to mention that a time or two I really wanted to smack the parents, the siblings, heck EVERYONE who kept going on about the littlest of things.  *ahem*  Moving on...

I really admired Rachel for going against the grain.  It wasn't easy and it certainly wasn't the popular choice, but she did it.  She struck out, discovered her own relationship with the Almighty and with the world in general, doing it with the grace and dignity her family couldn't afford her.  Okay, that was unfair of of her sisters does seem to accept her choices and may even perhaps have her own odyssey of sorts in the future, but still, the term cold shoulder would have been a gentle response compared to the utter disdain her so called loved ones show her.  Thankfully, her landing is softened by those that came before her, namely one Lauren Sullivan.  Her influence weighs in greatly on Rachel's decisions but only at first.  Once she begins to get her balance in the "new world", she discovers that although she may not have all the answers, she needs to be in control of her own destiny to find her way...and a little helping hand from above is always there when needed most.

Overall, a book I'd highly recommend for Young Adult fans of all ages.  Whether you're curious about what goes on behind the beliefs in the "Quiverfull" culture, or simply looking for a contemporary read to pass a few hours with characters that will really move you, this is a book that should be on your radar.


About the author...

Jennifer Mathieu started writing stories when she was in kindergarten and now teaches English to middle and high schoolers. She lives in Texas with her husband, her son, her dog, and two cats. Nothing bad has ever been written on the bathroom stall about Jennifer. At least she doesn't think so. The Truth About Alice is Jennifer's debut novel.



Special thanks to Mary at MacMillan Children's Publishing Group for the ARC for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or your chance to pre-order the title now, feel free to click through the links provided above.  REMEMBER...this title is set to celebrate its book birthday THIS JUNE!  Don't miss out!

Until next time...happy reading!


Barbara S said...

This one could possibly be loaded with controversy some positive others perhaps not an individual choice not f9r entire family to decide if you should read it Be Yourself

Nayuleska said...

Been a while since one of the books you review calls for me to read it, and this is screaming READ ME NOW! I've added it to my wishlist, requested on NetGalley but suspect due to being in UK will have to patiently wait for an ebook version. Very intrigued!

Gina R said...

Glad to hear it ma'am! Can't wait to hear what you think! ^-^

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