Review: Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu

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Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu
Published by: Hodder Children's Books
Released: 10th January 2019
Page Count: 337 Pages
Edition: Kindle
Rating: 4/5 

Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rachel Walker's family and community have turned away from the world.
Every part of Rachel's life is controlled, from what she reads to where she goes and what she wears. Her parents dictate how her life must be: marriage, modesty, children and obedience to her future husband. But when a former member of her community, a girl who escaped, moves back to her small Texas town, Rachel's world turns upside down.
She realises that her life is her own. But can she find the courage to fight for it?

Thoughts

Rachel's life has always been controlled from what she reads to what she wears, where she goes and her schooling. Her parents dominate how her life should be; modesty, marriage, obedience and childbearing. She knows no different, that is until a girl who escaped their close knit community moves back to town and shakes up Rachel's world. She soon starts to realise that her life is hers and hers alone and starts to find courage to change her life for the greater good.

Wow! Devoted is a book full of emotion, belief, friendship, love and ultimately finding the courage to live your life how you want to live it. It also touches on the topic of religion, more specifically christianity. I was worried that it would end up being a scare story about religion but I couldn't have been more wrong. The topic is handled in a respectable, subtle way and shows you how it can affect families and their communities. 

The plot was you could say cut into two parts. In the first part we experience the community Rachel is growing up in. This community was quite frankly awful. Children are under constant surveillance and are home schooled, women are taught that they are only useful for child rearing and keeping their husbands happy and girls are told they can't wear anything that could tempt boys.  Some sections were quite uncomfortable to read and did anger me. However, this in my mind could have been the reaction the author was expecting.

In the second part we get to see Rachel come into her own and start choosing how she wants to live her life. This part really touched me and took me alongside Rachel on her journey of self discovery. I loved seeing her interact with people outside of her churchy community and forming relationships with Lauren, Mr and Mrs Treats and Mark. Rachel's blossoming relationship with Mark was so heartwarming. Mark was such a cutie and his respect towards Rachel was admirable. I am hoping they got their happy ending with each other.

Rachel was a character that I could certainly sympathise with. I completely understood her dilemmas over her faith, her life, her new relationships and her family. Her development throughout the story was next to none and I found myself with a tear in my eye towards the end of her journey. A strong feminine character for sure!

Devoted was a powerful, informative, emotional read and I really didn't want to put it down. It will really get you thinking about your own life and how you can live it the best you can.

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