Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Keep Sweet by Michele Dominguez Greene

Keep Sweet by Michele Dominguez Greene

Rating: 5/5 Hoots

Release Date: 03/09/2010

GoodReads.Com Summary:
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.

My Review:
I loved this book! The plot was riveting and at times horrifying, and it was nearly impossible to put down- I read it in one sitting and you will want to as well! I was so fascinated by the Fundamentalist Mormon lifestyle described in the book, and it seemed like the author had really done her homework in researching these communities.

Alva Jane is a wonderful MC, you quickly become attached to her in her excitement over her pending marriage to the boy she loves and are heartbroken when that possibility is ripped away from her (I promise that was not a spoiler- you find this out right at the beginning). You are sympathetic to her gradual awakening to the injustices and cruel truths of the FLDS community where she has grown up. She is so strong and courageous as she endures abuse at the hands of her family and husband and plots her escape.

I enjoyed the fast paced writing style and the fact that the author did not "talk down" to her young adult audience- she did not hold back despite the difficult subject matter.

I think this book is relevant today, with shows like "Big Love" and "Sister Wives" exploring similar lifestyles and survivors like Carolyn Jessup who have publicized their escape stories from FLDS communities.

Also, how gorgeous is this cover? On the back their is a little portrait of Alva Jane in a high-necked blouse with her long hair braided- I loved that little detail!

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