Doing normal reviews gets boring and tedious and most people don’t enjoy reading them anyway. Instead, here are 5 things that surprised or interested me about Home by Eleni McKnight. Thanks to YA Bound Book Tours and the author for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
- How religious it was. I’m generally a bit uncomfortable reviewing very religious books as I don’t feel qualified to comment on whether they are respecting the religion and/or actually representing the religion properly, so I typically wouldn’t request a highly religious book to review.
- How much I enjoyed the religious aspects. Despite what I just said and perhaps because of the way religion is treated and some of the conversations the characters have about it, I actually think the religious aspects of this book added a lot of depth, were very significant to the story and dealt with very well. Reading the Author’s Note you could also tell that this came from something quite personal to them, which is also nice to know.
- How much it reminded me of Seed by Lisa Heathfield. These books are not the same or even really very alike, so this isn’t a negative thing at all. Rather, they are both set in some kind of religious cult with a warped, evil religious leader and severe gender inequality. They have a lot of similar themes, which is quite terrifying as Seed is a contemporary novel and Home is a dystopian.
- How disturbing I found the gender inequality. Typically, although I am definitely a feminist, I really enjoy reading social dynamics like that of the 1800s where there is some gender inequality, because I like seeing how two separated groups of people interact and I think it highlights the author’s views of how women and men are (or the views of the time period about which they are writing at the very least). In fact, I actively seek out books with this segregation as the interactions between men and women as two separate groups rather than on an individual basis greatly interest me. However, in this book, there was no kindness or respect behind the gender inequality, there was violence and fear-mongering and untimely deaths. And worst of all, the main character truly believed that she deserved to be treated like that. This does not dampen my love of books with a gender split, but it definitely makes me think about what happens when it is taken to extremes and how easily people can be manipulated into accepting horrible things happening to them or others around them.
- How much I liked it although it was different to how I thought it would be. This is a book where I read something off the summary, assumed one thing and then the book was entirely different, but I ended up really liking it. I love Silas and the Doctor and their whole family and I hate a lot of the other characters. I like the romance, the self-discovery and the character development. Overall, this book was a great read and I definitely recommend it if you like dystopian societies with warped ideas of Christianity (that are challenged by some) and strong, interesting characters with great character development. I gave this book 4 stars.
Eleni McKnight is a Murfreesboro, Tennessee native. She graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a degree in Theatre with an emphasis in Literature and a wild passion for creating clothes and doing make-up. She’s also an avid reader and loves music and theatre. She started writing at age eight when she had read all the Baby-Sitter’s Club books that were out and wanted something new to read. It’s never quite left her over the years These days, you can usually find Eleni working backstage or costuming in local community theatres, reading a book, walking (that FitBit is addictive!), at a concert, drinking a craft beer with friends, knitting, embroidering, or taking a dance class.
Happy reading, Keira x.