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Those Who Prey

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  1,722 ratings  ·  401 reviews
Sadie meets The Girls in this riveting debut psychological thriller about a lonely college freshman seduced into joining a cult—and her desperate attempt to escape before it's too late.

College life isn’t what Emily expected.

She expected to spend freshman year strolling through the ivy-covered campus with new friends, finally feeling like she belonged. Instead, she walks t
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published November 10th 2020 by Atheneum, Simon & Schuster
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Tina Idk I guess? iv never read it though so I don't really know.…moreIdk I guess? iv never read it though so I don't really know.(less)
Savannah Lancaster Yes, I would believe so it’s kinda more depends on what your parents want you to read.

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Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,722 ratings  ·  401 reviews

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Feb 20, 2021 rated it liked it
I usually stay away from YA thrillers, but I can’t ever say no to a little cult content. Those Who Prey follows Emily, a lonely and isolated college freshman, who slowly is dragged into a religious club on her campus called The Kingdom.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and thought it was a strong debut! The gradual build as Emily falls prey to the cult was well written, featuring many of the common tactics used by high intensity groups to manipulate their members. Additionally, this story really look
Chelsea Humphrey
Nov 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object." -Albert Camus

The second I stumbled across the synopsis of this book I knew that I had to read it. As a child of the 90's who grew up in the "Bible Belt" of the US (for my international friends, this would be the southeast), I have witnessed and experienced the kind of pressures that this books delves into, and while the story is fictional, the research and experience that went into explor
Mar 10, 2021 rated it liked it
I’ve never seen her eyes so vacant,
    almost hollow as if something
     had blown the light out of them.

3.5/5 :)

*feels controversial*


༻ creative and unique plot

༻ some interesting characters with different backgrounds. (Kara being my favorite)

༻ good amount of details when describing the cult and its events

༻ loved the sections of the interview inserted between chapters which keeps readers intrigued (and possibly confused… but in a good way)

“It’s amazing how much some peopl
spring ~♡
Jun 13, 2020 marked it as to-read
The cover is enough to seduce me into reading this book
May 24, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2020-releases
The only reason this took me so long is because I read a PDF and that was just really hard for me, but I think in hardcopy I would’ve devoured this as quickly as humanly possible. It’s bananas and haunting and there are just new questions every five seconds, but the best part is how it really feels like a memoir, like this is a real person telling her story, and you see how it could happen to anyone. Definitely recommend to my fellow fans of (literal) cult fiction!
Eva Gibson
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, roaring-20s
This is a book for someone looking for a story beyond the usual fare--something more than a safe, contemporary romance, or emotional coming-of-age. Something different than the latest other world fantasy, or cursed princess saga, or whatnot. This is a book that explores the allure and dangers of group fanaticism in a way I have not often seen outside of nonfiction--in fact, I don't know if I've ever read a YA book that deals with this particular topic in this way.

To say this book spoke to me on
Dec 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, lgbtq
Don’t get caught up on the Sadie comparisons. They are a LIE. I was CHEATED.

Our main girl Emily is a lonely during her first year at university until she stumbles into a cute boy and his friends one day in a coffee shop. Thinking her problem has been solved she joins their bible study group but things quickly deteriorate as the church which seemed so welcoming becomes anything but.

This was a solid 4 star until 70% through when the plot just seemed to drop out of thin air and disappear. I’m stil
Erin Craig
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
THOSE WHO PREY is a chilling debut that takes an uncomfortably thorough look at just how easily one could fall victim to a fanatical group. Moffett's thoughtful prose made me ache for Emily and her friends. I found myself cringing as the the swirling and destructive whirlpool pulled them into deeper waters, but could not stop turning the pages. I devoured this book. ...more
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How far would you go to avoid being alone?

In the case of our protagonist Emily, pretty dang far..

Emily is a somewhat naive student feeling isolated from other people on campus, with unresolved feelings surrounding her mother’s death. When she meets the mysterious Joshua, she is immediately sucked into his thrall and into the world of the religious group he belongs to, The Kingdom. As the control over her life tightens, she starts losing herself in her newfound purpose, skipping classes and gener
Mar 12, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2021
For a story about a lonely college freshman getting sucked into a cult, this was a pretty dull book overall. The synopsis doesn’t really explain what type of cult it is, so in my mind before reading I was expecting it to be some sort of Manson family type deal. What it actually ended up being was bible studies, talking about sins, and heaven and hell… which I don’t find to be super interesting.

I think the story did a good job of showing how these cults target people and how quickly someone can
Shannon Takaoka
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, roaring20sdebut
Set in the 1990s, this YA thriller follows the story of Emily, a shy college freshman whose first year at Boston University ends up being vastly different than the idealized version of university life that she imagined. Paired up with a hard-partying roommate, in a city that’s cold and unwelcoming compared to the small ocean-side town she grew up in, Emily is lonely, and struggling to find her place. Until she meets handsome and charming Josh, also from the South, and he introduces her to his gr ...more
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

Wow guys, true embarrassing story, I was today years old when I realized what a clever play on words the title is. Because this book is about people who prey but under the guise of people who pray. Clever! (Not me, I am clearly zero percent clever.)  I have always been incredibly fascinated with cults, and even more so with the psychology of them. Those Who Prey delves deep into how a pe
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-s-books
a cult? err...fuck, i'm out. ...more
steph ★⋆. ࿐࿔
This was equal parts fascinating because of the psychology into how cults operate and how they draw you in before you realize it's too late to escape their vice-like grip and boring because of the lack of depth in the characters and overall writing style. More thoughts to come. ...more
Jun 18, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2020-releases
pretty cover pretty cover
chloe yeung ♡
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this got me so hooked!
The Library Ladies
Nov 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, thriller
(originally reviewed at thelibraryladies.com )

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this novel!

Back when I was at the University of Minnesota for my undergrad, between classes I’d spend time in the student union, usually getting a bagel for lunch in the food area where a number of student groups had set up tables trying to find new members. The table that always made me uncomfortable was a far right Evangelical Christian group whose name I can’t remember, as they always had
Julie (Struck by Stories)
What I Liked:

This is college YA done right. It’s really quite sad that in this year of 2020, we still are experiencing a shortage of crossover YA books. 18-21 should, by all intents and purposes, still be considered young adult, because you’re not fully adulting yet. Those Who Prey had a typical-YA thriller feel to it, while also being set during freshman year, which I appreciated so darn much.
The religious cult luring is scarily convincing. Sometimes, I have a difficult time putting myself in t
☆ Anushka ☆ (on semi hiatus)

I can't say no to books that have such a brilliant synopsis. Who can? After taking almost a month to finish this, I can say that I'm not disappointed.

Those Who Prey explores the fact how cult groups twist religious doctrines to manipulate people who seem out of place, or people who are too vulnerable, and seek acceptance from people who "get them". The story has been brilliantly put together to execute a series of events that show to what lengths do such groups go to fulfill their motives
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5 Stars. Rounding up.

This was a fascinating read. I’ve read and watched many things on cults and parts of this book felt very true to what I’ve learned. How so often they prey on the lonely and isolated and those looking for validation and comfort. How they pull your secrets from you only to hold them over you later to keep you from leaving.

This is very much a character study and so the pacing is slow at first but that didn’t bother me. I was glued to my iPad, anxious to unravel Emily
Liz Lawson
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate enough to read THE REMNANT early, and I am here to tell you all that you NEED to pick up this book, come 2020. THE REMNANT takes place in the mid-90s, and follows Emily, a freshman in college in Boston, who gets tangled up with a cult. (YES -- A CULT!! I told you that you NEED to pick up this book!!) She joins them in a mission to Italy (YES -- ITALY!! A large part of the book takes place in Europe!) which turns deadly (meaning: MURDER!!).

I dont want to say much more - because, s
Laura Namey
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-stars
A chilling, thoughtful debut that dutifully explores the inch-by-inch process by which belonging bleeds into manipulation. I've never read a book quite like this. It's unique in its genre, but also so relatable. This happens, sadly, every day, and I loved how the cult recovery was detailed by Moffett. I was so invested in watching Emily change from a girl fixated on mastering this force-fed route to salvation, only to learn that she really must save herself.
Beautiful prose, captivating character
This book wasn't bad. At all. It just had so much wasted potential.

It would have been better if it took place over years instead of months. There could have been so much more manipulation that was less obvious to the reader. There could have been more at stake. Perhaps if the main character, Emily, was a lot more unreliable. Idk it just could have been better.
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
A super unique book. It was very dark, but well done. I think this book deserves more praise than it’s getting. For anyone who wants an intense read, check this one out.
Anuradha Rajurkar
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an early draft of THOSE WHO PREY, and am so honored to have been given the privilege of reading this shocking, unconventional, evocative thriller. I loved THOSE WHO PREY. Moffett’s writing is so evocative, and Emily is such a relatable, unforgettable protagonist. Emily’s loneliness as a college freshman reminded me of my own early college days--college campuses are tough places for shy kids-- and Moffett detailed this beautifully. I admire how she tackled the topic of joining a campus ...more
Mar 20, 2021 rated it liked it
hmm...where to begin.

this book had the potential to be good. really, it did. and it was pretty good, except for the fact that I was more than halfway through the book and I still knew what was going to happen.

that didn’t make too much sense - let me try to explain. you know how when you open a book, the inside cover gives you a vague description of the plot? I was over 50% done with this book and I was still reading about things the inside cover said would happen.

I still feel like I didn’t expla
4.5 stars

After reading the iffy reviews I was sure I'd be disappointed, but WOW. This was absolutely exceptional. I can't write a review right now, particularly because I need to collect my thoughts, but I absolutely need this author to write more books as soon as possible. This was SO GOOD and I recommend it to anyone intrigued by the premise.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Lonely college freshman Emily meets a group of friends, not realizing The Kingdom is a religious cult.

When I was a freshman in college, a guy I knew invited me to his church. I wasn’t interested in the church, but lonely so I went along. The service was like nothing I’d ever seen with people talking in tongues and falling on the ground like they were having seizures. I had a hard time not laughing. Afterwards a few college kids and I went for pizza. The guy kept bugging me to come back to his ch
Paula M
“After you leave it, it feels like you’re lost, like someone led you into the depths of a labyrinth without a map, and then abandoned you to find your way out.”

What a rollercoaster ride! Reading Those Who Prey was such an emotional circus. The statement "I didn't know what I signed up for" is an understatement.

It's important point out that this book is set in the 90's. Those Who Prey is the story of Emily. Emily a college student, she found herself isolated and having difficulty connecting o
☼ Sarah ☼
Those Who Prey was a quick, chilling exploration of how an everyday person could come to find themselves mired in a cult. It's very easy to read such narratives and think, "that would never happen to me", but Moffett transports us into the mind of university freshman Emily, lonely and lost several thousand miles from home, and allows us to bear witness to her subtle indoctrination in The Kingdom, a fundamentalist Christian cult based around a twisted interpretation of religious doctrine.

On camp
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JENNIFER MOFFETT grew up in Arkansas, where she spent her childhood playing in creeks and climbing trees while dreaming up stories about faraway places. A college study abroad program sparked her lifelong passion for travel. After working in children’s television in New York City, she received an MA in Creative Writing and wrote book reviews for regional publications. Her short stories and poems h ...more

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“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” –VOLTAIRE” 0 likes
“I don’t have an answer,”says Emily. “They made me feel like I belonged, like my existence truly mattered. They made me feel loved. And for most of us, that’s enough.” 0 likes
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