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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  1,704 ratings  ·  411 reviews
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 e
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by Roaring Brook Press
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Jenni Frencham I'm not sure exactly what you're asking here. Rachel certainly encountered many types of people, both kind and unkind, and she left her old life behin…moreI'm not sure exactly what you're asking here. Rachel certainly encountered many types of people, both kind and unkind, and she left her old life behind after her birthday because that's the only time she could. She had to wait until she was officially an adult before she could enroll herself in school, etc.(less)
Jenni Frencham It is contemporary. It might seem historical because of the family's manner of dress, etc., but it's contemporary.…moreIt is contemporary. It might seem historical because of the family's manner of dress, etc., but it's contemporary.(less)

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Emily May
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
What is it I plan to do with my one wild and precious life?
My wild life?
My precious life?

Jennifer Mathieu has done it again.

I was really pleasantly surprised by the author's debut novel - The Truth About Alice - and the way she flawlessly crafted many different characters and their perspectives, breaking apart high school cliques and stereotypes to sensitively portray each one as a human being. Her second book is just as good.

Here she returns with a story about seventeen-year-old Rachel Walk
An unsolicited Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review.

Rachel is a Christian living with her ten siblings and parents, she has no time for herself. Constantly taking care of her younger siblings and being a good girl so she could be married to a boy. Her parents tell her what to do, how to act, what to think. When her curiosity gets the better of her she reaches out to someone from her community that escaped their rigid lifestyle. Only to find out she wants out to live her
Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Belief, family, control, friendship, living.

Release Day Book Review: Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu.

Devoted is a very emotional story, and I think it was written with a lot of care and consideration - there is nothing vilifying about region itself, it is more a commentary on some more extreme beliefs and how they can effect individuals, families, and communities.

Rachel is such a deep and complicated character, and I found it so easy to feel sympathy for her. I felt dread when she did, love
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-english
"What is it I plan to do with my one wild and precious life? "

I devoured this book! This was not my usual read but it stuck with me in ways I didn't think were possible.

I'm an atheist, still I liked the way the author didn't shame on religion and religious people. What the book criticizes is bigotry and oppression and the way religion, if manipulted in the wrong ways, brainwashes both adult and younger people.
I loved Rachel so much, she was such a relatable character. She's part of a Calvary Ch
Ashley DiNorcia
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've been looking forward to this book for so long and it was definitely worth the wait.
Will write more tomorrow.
Jennifer Mathieu is a YA author to watch. The Truth About Alice was similarly short in length, yet both books pack such a punch you're left in a daze of "how did I not read this before?".

What might my future husband think about the fact that I've read A Wrinkle in Time three times in the past few months and that I taught myself algebra? My future husband. I've been hearing about him since I was nine or ten, a shadowy figure God will deliver to me one day. He'll want a woman who submits to his
Rachel Walker grew up in a Duggar-like family and decides she's ready to leave. So she does. This is the story of her making the choice and the consequences thereafter.

It's respectful of the religious movement while also respectful of Rachel needing to claim her own life for herself.

This ticked all my boxes, was well-written, well-paced, and totally fills the Duggar hole in my heart. Religious cult books are my jam, but it's even more so when both the person fleeing and the belief system itsel
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it
read a book in a day AND worked 8 hours at work? i am a superhero

full review to come.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, read-2015
I don’t know how to convince you to read Devoted, but I think you should. It’s not the sort of thing I usually pick up – I do read broadly, but my favorite books are more likely to be sci-fi or fantasy than contemporaries – but I’m glad that I did, in this case.

Devoted hasn’t seemed to receive much attention so far and I’m not sure why? Because this book is an excellent, though very quiet, character study. And in addition to this, it’s beautifully written and it engages with many issues that are
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. A teen girl's life in and awakening about her Quiverfull-esque religious community is depicted beautifully and without sensationalism. Writing respectfully (yet compellingly!) about a closed world whose inner workings both repel and fascinate must've been a seriously delicate operation, and Mathieu nails it. ...more
Nasty Lady MJ
Also see the review and others on my blog.

I think we should address the elephant in the room-The Duggars.

Even though this book tells the story who believes in a similar version of Christianity than them I’m not going to try not to limit my references to those morons throughout this review (it will probably inevitably happen though and probably a lot given the circumstances since I will be talking about the quiverfull movement).

Coming into this reading experience, my only knowledge of them was of
SO good! I thought Rachel was very likable and I loved watching her develop as her own person throughout the story. Her friendship with Lauren was so sweet and I liked that the author chose to depict both Lauren’s and Rachel’s reactions to their upbringing as reasonable. And it was great that we got to see Rachel interact with non-extreme conservative “Christians” at Mark’s family’s church. The quiverfull movement is NOT the way Christianity is supposed to be-Rachel’s belief system is much more ...more
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, arc
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! my copy was an ARC I got from the publisher for review.

Much to the misfortune of readers everywhere who are likely finding this novel in the midst of the Duggar sexual abuse revelations, Devoted was written and came out before any of that came to light. The thought of how many ways Jennifer Mathieu could have taken apart how these kinds of things are covered up in fundamentalist Christian and/or Quiverfull communities make me swoon a little. Alas, what’s
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
This book was amazing. I am always so fascinated by a religious cult situation, and while the Walker family may not be in a cult in the typical sense of the word, they are clearly not in a healthy situation. The girls are treated as second class citizens, only existing to do stuff for the men and make babies. Rachel doesn’t even have much of an education, just enough so that she can teach her younger siblings. All the people in the church are kept as sheltered as possible from the outside world, ...more
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Huge thank you to Raincoast Canada for this ARC!

I fell deeply in love with Jennifer Mathieu's first novel The Truth About Alice last year and remembered being completely enamoured by her writing. There's a raw and rich quality to her work, and she leaves the reader with so much to think about both as the story progresses and when it ends. Colour me excited when Devoted showed up in the mail, because I admit, books on religion are something that always make me a touch nervous.

Devoted is written w
Trigger warnings: misogyny, gaslighting, mentions of domestic violence, miscarriage, psychological abuse, terrible parenting.

This book is incredibly compelling and also utterly rage-inducing. Rachel has grown up in a household and in a church where a woman's place is in the home, surrounded by as many children as possible, doing everything that her husband tells her to do and never questioning anything. The religion depicted in the story is toxic and manipulative, a version of Christianity wher
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was excited to read Devoted as I adored Moxie, also by Jennifer Mathieu, it was such an empowering feminist novel set in modern day America. However Devoted turned out to be rather disappointing.
I found the first 150 pages incredibly uncomfortable, I discussed the issues I had with a few friends and they agreed that they found the same topics difficult to read. Rachel's family were very toxic, they considered themselves true Christians but they were manipulative and controlling. She was raised
Rin W. Vitale
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
Audrey Laurey
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Devoted is the story of Rachel, a 17yo girl growing up in the Quiverfull Movement who is maturing to an age where she should be prepared to be the perfect "helpmeet". Something Quiverfull women are primed for since the day of their conception (i.e. Devout unquestioning wife, mother to as many children as her womb can produce, homeschool teacher, et al).

If you are like me, you can't stop reading about the Quiverfull Movement, or the Duggar's. The brainwashing, the victims of sexual abuse taking
Erin Lynn
Another powerful book from Mathieu, but in a more serene way than her debut, The Truth About Alice. It's only been a few short months since I've read Mathieu's stunning debut, The Truth About Alice, but I can tell you that the synopsis for this book, Devoted, is what really pushed me to read Alice. I don't know why - because I'm not a fan of books about religion - I had to read this book, but I did. I am one hundred percent glad that I read it because it's eye-opening and beautifully troubling. ...more
Mississippi Library Commission
First, let us just say that Jennifer Mathieu is on our watch list. First with The Truth About Alice, and now with Devoted, she has created powerful books about teens with which they can identify. Devoted is Rachel's journey from downtrodden, dutiful daughter to a self-confident girl who takes pride in her talents and abilities. It was a beautiful story and an eye opener to the fundamentalist Quiverfull Movement. (view spoiler) ...more
I love books about cults and this was right up my street. Rachel lives with her family and has unknowingly grown up as part of an extreme religious cult. Watching her life change before her eyes as she realises there is more to the world was beautiful. I adore every complex part of her and her captivating story.

full review to come
Brittany S.
A special thanks to Mary Van Akin from Macmillan for giving me a little push to read this book!
Initial Impressions 5/1/15: Wow, this book was so interesting! With the religious topic and themes, I just wasn't sure I was going to enjoy this one (usually that's something I actively avoid) but since the main character Rachel is the one in her family who is starting to "stray" from the rules of religion (or at least her religious community's beliefs), it was very easy to connect with Rachel and it
Originally posted at The Regal Critiques

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

I've had my fair share of disappointments involving books with religious main characters, so to say that I was scared to pick up Devoted would be an understatement. As an atheist, I usually find it hard to form a connection with religious characters, but NOT in Devoted. This book outlived all my expectations and it had EVERYTHING I want in a Contemporary novel. Like...

Kate (Reading Through Infinity)
Jennifer Mathieu knocks it out the ball park again with another feminist triumph. This is about a young girl, Rachel, who grows up as part of a born again Christian sect, but begins to question the oppressive elements of her religion. The narrative is emotional, insightful, and sensitive in its discussion of radical religion. Rachel, as a main character, is easy to warm to and sympathise with. She's gentle and kind, but has formidable inner courage that I really liked. After having been told wha ...more
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it

Devoted is a quiet, moving, and eye-opening book by the author of the spectacular novel The Truth About Alice. It really was unlike anything I expected, and I think the summary gives you the wrong idea. I thought this was going to be a Christian-hating book about a girl who turns her back on her faith, and for that reason I wasn't interested in reading it, but I'm so glad I gave it a try because it completely took me by surprise.

I'm not sure if Jennifer Mathieu is a Christian or not, but I lo
Apr 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition


Thank you to Hachette Australia for providing me with an unsolicited ARC to review. All thoughts are my own.

Trigger Warnings: Emotional and physical abuse, miscarriage, depression and anxiety.

Well where do I start… This book took a long time for me to read – why you ask? Religion.
Religion is something that I struggle with personally and Devoted focuses on it throughout the whole novel. Throughout the first half of Devoted religion is wielded as a scare tactic, it is used t
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
5 of 5 A++++

At age seventeen, Rachel Walker begins to question the strict rules of her fundamentalist puritanical church, where fear and shame are preached from the pulpit and at home. She's homeschooled, prevented from reading books other than textbooks and the bible. When rumors that a troubled girl named Lauren is back in town, Rachel sneaks onto the computer and finds Lauren's blog about running away and leaving the church she calls a cult. For the first time, Rachel imagines a life where sh
Stefani Sloma
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
You can read this review and more on my blog, Caught Read Handed.

I’ve been trying to put into words WHY I loved this book so much for over a week now. It’s difficult to write a review for a book that you just loved so much, but I’m going to try.

Devoted, Jennifer Mathieu’s second book, is completely and utterly fascinating. It’s about Rachel, a girl who’s grown up in an uber-religious household (she’s a member of the Quiverfull movement). She’s homeschooled and as the oldest currently living in t
The people who highly recommended this book did not lie one bit.

Rachel has grown up in the Quiverfull movement with her belief in God leading her entire life and her future set in stone: she is to be a good wife and a great mom. Probably as soon as she turns 18. As she cares for all of her siblings and even helps homeschool them, her mind is starting to wander about what if. She loves to read; she wonders about community college. But there is no one in her family that she can talk to about these
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I'm a high school English teacher, writer, wife, and mom who writes books for and about young adults. My novels are MOXIE, THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, DEVOTED, AFTERWARD, and THE LIARS OF MARIPOSA ISLAND.

My fourth novel MOXIE is a film on Netflix, directed by Amy Poehler!

My sixth novel, BAD GIRLS NEVER SAY DIE, will be out in October 2021. It's a gender-flipped, feminist reimagining of one of my favor

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