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Keep Sweet

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,030 Ratings  ·  151 Reviews
Alva Jane has never questioned her parents, never questioned her faith, never questioned her future. She is content with the strict rules that define her life in Pineridge, the walled community where she lives with her father, his seven wives, and her twenty-eight siblings. This is the only world Alva has ever known, and she has never thought to challenge it.

But everythin
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 8th 2011 by Simon Pulse (first published February 24th 2010)
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Jan 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm beginning to feel like stories of young women in oppressive FLDS sects are getting rather repetitive - that the publishers keep putting them out there just so there'll be a new one every year (and every publisher has one), but they're really all telling the same story.

The last two YA stories in this vein I read were Sister Wife and The Chosen One. Those two had a lot of uncanny similarities - Keep Sweet changes up some of the details, but the broad strokes of the story are exactly the same -
Apr 04, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book hauntingly accurate. The author has done her research and has told a tale of a fictional young woman with a story very similar to many others who have told their story of FLDS women in the culture.

I was a little disappointed with some of the improbable scenarios as I think she may have gotten the LDS church confused with FLDS church which are very, very different. The FLDS don't actively proselyte. The FLDS do not attend BYU because it is difficult to get admitted and they woul
Dec 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction
Keep Sweet is a story about a young girl born into a fundamentalist Mormon polygamist cult, rife with domestic abuse, rape, and child abuse. It was stomach-churning to read parts of this book that showcase the way that women are treated, and even worse to read how the women buy into it and think that they literally have no other option but to live this way (either for salvation or because they are forced to stay).

This wasn't the best book I've ever read, but I couldn't put it down. I read it al
Books like this are tough to rate. The first reason is that the terrible world this story takes place in is a fictionalized version of the real thing. The other reason is that the FLDS and Mormons in general are something most people don't genuinely know about beyond jokes, rumours, and what we see on reality shows like Sister Wives, which makes it difficult to read something like this without becoming wildly enraged and hating everybody in Utah. This leads me to believe that it may also be chal ...more
May 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Title: Keep Sweet

Author: Michele Dominguez Greene

Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster)

Is it just me, or are former television stars really enjoying the YA book world? We have Lauren Conrad (who I still need to try out) and her L.A.Candy novels, Carolyn Henessey from That 70's Show with her Pandora series for Middle Grade students, and in the future, Hilary Duff with Elixir. Naturally, picking up this book came with slight fears of bad writing and a cliched storyline. No offense to these
Jenni Frencham
For some reason, it seems that fringe societies are the popular topic this year. From memoirs retelling stories of life in a strict religious group or escape from such a group to young adult fiction depicting the same, everyone is interested in these groups. This book was just one of about half a dozen such books on the "new young adult fiction" shelf at the library. I chose this book because it discusses the FLDS, a group about which I have read recently.

Alva is a daughter of her father's favor
Having read Sister Wife by Shelley Hrdlitschka and The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams, I was definitely interested in reading another YA novel about polygamous societies. Keep Sweet is just as good as both of these books.

Keep Sweet is about a girl named Alva, living in the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints community of Pineridge. She never questions her faith, or the fact that her dad has seven wives. She is a perfectly respectable young woman, but all that changes when she is caught giving h
Kourtni R.
For a more in-depth review, head over to my blog at

This book is incredibly heartbreaking and emotional. There are scenes that are very difficult to read. Trigger warning: this book depicts scenes where a 14 year old girl is abused and raped and another scene where an adult woman is abused.

This book follows Alva Jane, who is a member of the FLDS - the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints - which is a real group (religion/cult). This made this book even more heartbreaking
I'm glad I read this hugely spaced apart from The Chosen One because there are a lot of (unintentional, I'm sure) overlaps. Ultimately they cover a lot of the same ground, and while I think The Chosen One is the superior book - and the one to read if you only want to read one book about a girl in a Polygamist Mormon sect, if your choices are limited that way - there is some ground covered in Keep Sweet I appreciated.

Really loved the Mrs. Norton storyline, and appreciated that Dominguez Greene le
Alva Jane, 14, lives inside the gated community of Pinecrest, a FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints) stronghold. She lives with her mother, Maureen and father Eldon Ray, and all the sister wives of Eldon. As she approaches her inevitable marriage to a member of the community, she sees her world crumble and fall apart with the decree that she will not be marrying her childhood friend, Joseph John. Instead she will marry Wade, a wicked, abusive man nearly 35 years her senior.

She starts to ques
Greta is Erikasbuddy
Keep Sweet.... it's what every girl is taught who is raised in the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints community. No impure thoughts, do as you are told, give into the hand of man to quench his desires.

Kids... I was raised in a different way... but that shouldn't persuade my review.

This book gives you a glimpse into the life of a 14 year old FLDS girl who lives on a compound in Utah with her father and his seven sister-wives and his 20-something children. Most girls her age are already married off
Oct 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
This is a pretty quick read, but one that is hard to read in some parts. Although this book is fiction, the sad thing is that the events are really going on for the people who live in these places and this is not fiction for them. It was really hard to read Alva's beating and even more so her wedding night. It is so hard to believe that people actually live that way and think it's okay to have those kind of rules and that multiple wives and children will secure their place in heaven. The idea of ...more
Jan 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this young adult novel about life in a polygamist cult to be an incredibly compelling read. Alva Jane is the oldest daughter of a favored wife, and has enjoyed her childhood on the compound, oblivious to the darker tones that underpin her life. She is looking foward to marrying a young man in her community until one innocent stolen kiss shatters all their dreams. Married off to a violent abusive older husband, Alva Jane is forced to take a new look at her life and the lives of those arou ...more
Dec 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unlike other recent YA fiction releases about polygamy, this book went all the way. It wasn't just set in a mysterious polygamous religious community, it was set in the FLDS church. It also went all the way in terms of marrying the main character off and making her escape quite difficult (though it seemed to me that that fizzled a little in the end, but maybe in a realistic way). Quite good, and very well done. I would have liked to see more questioning of Alva Jane's faith--coming to terms with ...more
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my gosh!! How does this book only have 565 reviews?!? This book is all kinds of awesome!!
The main character is very sheltered and we get to explore with her the realization that her way of life is a lie. It's so heartbreakingly good.
I loved alva for her strength and perseverance! Whenever she got knocked down she plotted more, she hit harder and she got back up. She didn't wallow in self pity. She just wanted to right the wrongs against her. This young woman is a true literary heroine! No M
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who doesn't understand that this horror is going on in America
This book was phenomenal, wonderful writing, a strong, realistic character that you love and root for. Highly recommended!! But I don't even have words... I feel so sick. THIS FLDS SHIT IS ACTUALLY GOING ON. IN AMERICA. LITTLE GIRLS ARE BEING FORCIBLY MARRIED OFF AND RAPED!!!! AND NO ONE DOES SHIT ABOUT IT!! THIS MAY BE A WORK OF FICTION BUT IT'S BASED ON A DISGUSTING TRUTH.
Sabrina Rutter
Jan 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction, favorites
What an incredible story! This book should be made into a movie! The author put together a fictional FLDS group, and using actual events she has heard about created this amazing story! If this is a topic of interest to you then you don't want to pass this book by.
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Something startling and suprising.
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Social content - high school
May 26, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not the best of this kind of book I've read.
Miss Bookiverse
Nov 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want to read another The Chosen One
Alva Jane wächst in einer Gemeinschaft namens Pinerdige in der Wüste Utahs auf. Die Bewohner haben sich der Fundamentalistischen Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzten Tage verschrieben und führen ein streng geregeltes Leben. Alva Jane lebt mit ihrem Vater, dessen 7 Frauen und ihren insgesamt 28 Geschwistern zusammen. Polygamie ist in ihrem Dorf eine Pflicht, da sonst weder Mann noch Frauen die Chance auf den Eintritt in das Heilige Reich haben. Sobald Mädchen ihre erste Periode beko
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 stars for Keep Sweet

Thoughts and Plots

Alva Jane is a faithful follower of the brotherhood. She never questioned her path as she grew up under her father's rule along with his seven wives and twenty eight other children. She is one of the daughters of his fourth wife, who has given him twelve of his twenty nine children, making her a favored wife. She is happy with her life in the walled community of Pineridge.

But in a moment of happiness, Alva breaks the rules,(view spoiler)
Jan 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an amazing book! It was adventure filled and was a book i could not put down. I found this book to be very interesting because of how different things used to be compared to how they are now. This book was very interesting because Alva Jane is 14 years old and already has a husband who is old, her father also has 7 wives one of which is Alva's age. This is interesting because Alva did not get to chose her husband, the boy she was going to marry was banned from seeing her after her ...more
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This book was well written. I would highly recommend it. I couldn't believe how brain washed some of these poor children were with that horrible religion. Many countries today still have young forced marriages. It's just horrible. I love the way the book turned out. Wish there was more to the ending and such but it was still great. The main character really learned a lot facing these horrible things in her life. It's a very good book and a quick read.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Difficult topic to read about but insightful and raw.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by John Jacobson aka "R.J. Jacobs" for

Alva Jane has grown up and forever known the world of Pineridge, a FLDS community in the borders of Utah. The Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints have treated her well, and through all that she's known, they've been right. Holy. And what's more, she's caught the eye of the sweetest boy in the community - Joseph John. When she realizes he shares these unguarded feelings for her as well, her life just seems to be happier and happier. Aft
Miranda Lynn
3.5 stars

I really enjoyed Keep Sweet. It's the first novel that I've read about the FLDS, but it's a topic that I've always been interested in. I liked getting to experience this environment through Alva's perspective, because we clearly got to see what it would be like to be a child in that community, but then eventually also what it would be like to be a wife.

Alva's character was relatable, believable, and her character did develop throughout the novel. I liked that there was a clear differen
Polygamy and child abuse in the First Latter Day Saints church sects are issues that I consider to be very important not just in general to me personally. I am very passionate about it. In freshmen year speech class, we all had to give an informative speech on an issue we were passionate about, and while other girls picked bullying and nutrition, I picked polygamy. Half the girls in my class didn't know what that meant, and the other half knew what it was but knew nothing about the issue. To me ...more
Sam Thoms
This book follows a girl named Alva Jane who is apart of the FLDS which is a Fundamentalist Branch of the Mormon Church. This community practices polygamy. I have been interested in this topic for awhile but it was still tough to read from the voice of someone in the community. This is a fictional story but as far as I can tell it's realistic to events that really happen in the community.

This story itself was pretty good, but it wasn't exceptional. I learned a lot about the FLDS community and t
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“It was easy to believe when everything was good. But when bad things happened, doubt sowed its seed in fertile soil and burrowed deep. It was my duty to root it out.” 3 likes
“In my new, crisp undergarment, I felt safe, knowing I was protected from bullets, fire, knives, and all manner of evil-and more importantly, from Satan, the destroyer.” 0 likes
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