Review of The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

With a harrowing poetic voice, this contemporary page-turner is perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, Julie Berry's All The Truth That's in Me, and the works of Ellen Hopkins.

The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust.

And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it's clear that Minnow knows something—but she's not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is a hard-hitting and hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith—and the power of having faith in oneself.


 Wowizer. I am notorious for not reading synopsis and judging a book by it's cover and the "score" of other blogger's reviews. I had no idea what I was getting into with Minnow. I am SO glad that I picked it up, it was an awesome book to keep me entertained for the weekend and always wanting to go read. I love books that really pull you in.


  • First and foremost, the writing was amazing. The most amazing prose I have read in a long time. I cannot wait to see what else Stephanie Oakes comes up with. She has this poetic and fluid style, I would love to be able to emulate it.
  • The story was so interesting. I think cults are crazy interesting, especially because when you are on the outside looking it, it seems to crazy, but the people on the inside are totally devoted. Minnow's father moved her family from the city into the woods to follow the teachings of The Prophet. He has his own "bible" and men were married to numerous girls.
  • Minnow started realizing early on that the cult was in fact, a cult. It was not the truth, it was not the norm and she needed to get out. Her family was so immersed in the cult that they did not want to leave nor believe her. Eventually her disobedience in the cult ended up causing her to lose her hands. On the brink of death, Minnow has to get out the camp.
  • The story is so interesting because it is a past / present story. The past aspect of the story is told in memories and in interviews. It was so interesting to see how Minnow goes from a cult into a prison - she can never seem to be free and the path that lead her into prison was absolutely crazy.
  • Angel is probably one of my favorite characters in the book. Angel has had a tragic path and has been the longest inmate in the juvenile prison. She almost runs the place but it isn't totally because she is tough, it is because she has a huge heart. I think that really only the few employees of the prison have seen it, that is until Minnow becomes her roommate.

  • The ending was good, don't get me wrong, but I just felt like I wanted more. I read the last chapter a couple times because I was trying to glean more from it.

Favorite Quotes:

My father once told me that all you needed to hurt someone is a single word said just wrong enough. Anybody is capable of enormous harm, anyone with a mouth or hand to write with.

I still love it, in a way, breaking someone down to their most basic building blocks, combing through it all and finding that one shining lie that puts them away. It's a thrill. But, I don't know, it's nothing a really good computer couldn't do. I never get to talk to people anymore. I never help anyone.

I can see now I'd begun to enjoy his visits., the way he's so different from everyone inside, not just because he dresses in real clothes and smells nothing like bleach, but because he is always calm. In jail, at any moment, you're never farther than ten feet away from someone completely losing their shit.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17185496-the-sacred-lies-of-minnow-bly?from_search=true&search_version=service_impr

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9 comments

  1. I have occasionally done that too, thought pretty cover, hit request then go OMG what am I reading with mixed results!

    This does look good though, I am a little fascinated by cults so will have to check out!

    Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings

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  2. Completely agree about this one! I had read the synopsis but was still surprised by everything that happened. I really loved Minnow. Even though I've never been through something like that, it was still easy to relate to her. Great review!

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  3. I've been hearing so many amazing things about this book. Really it is not a book I would usually pick up. But with you loving it and all the great buzz I will be making my library get this.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

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  4. Great review. I have this book sitting on my shelf. Hopefully I’ll be able to get to it soon.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. Have to get to this book and have been looking forward to it! I just have to finish the current series I'm reading. Love cults so much. Was it like scary though?

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

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  6. I have this on my TBR so I'm glad it was so well received. Great review, I can't wait to read it, too!

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  7. Yes I loved Angel a lot as well! She was such a well developed character.

    Nice review, Missie <33

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  8. So many good reviews on this book, the cult aspect sounds really scary yet fascinating. Lovely review! <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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  9. OMG! I totally want to read this one! I love the concept of cults, and this sounds like the perfect read for me!

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