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The Family

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Just like any average seventeen-year-old, Twig loves her family. She has a caring mother and a controlling father. Her brothers and sisters are committed to her family’s prosperity… All one hundred eighty-three of them. Twig lives in the Family, a collective society located in the rainforest of Costa Rica. Family members coexist with values of complete openness and honesty Just like any average seventeen-year-old, Twig loves her family. She has a caring mother and a controlling father. Her brothers and sisters are committed to her family’s prosperity… All one hundred eighty-three of them. Twig lives in the Family, a collective society located in the rainforest of Costa Rica. Family members coexist with values of complete openness and honesty, and they share a fear of contagious infection in the outside world. Adam—their Father, prophet, and savior—announces that Twig will be his new bride, and she is overjoyed and honored. But when an injury forces her to leave the Family compound, Twig finds that the world outside is not as toxic as she was made to believe. And then she meets Leo, an American boy with a killer smile, and begins to question everything about her life within the Family and the cult to which she belongs. But when it comes to Family, you don’t get a choice. Praise for The Family: “Fascinating and chilling, THE FAMILY takes you past the armed guards of a secluded compound where individualism is punished, technology is forbidden, and a charismatic leader plays God through terror and control. The novel’s relentless plot and vividly drawn characters will suck you in, but be warned: once you’re in the Family, it’s almost impossible to escape.” —Anna Schumacher, author of End Times “Eerie and suspenseful, Kennerson gives us a fascinating look into the psychology of cults and the meaning of Family.” —Bianca Turetsky, author of The Time-Traveling Fashionista


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Just like any average seventeen-year-old, Twig loves her family. She has a caring mother and a controlling father. Her brothers and sisters are committed to her family’s prosperity… All one hundred eighty-three of them. Twig lives in the Family, a collective society located in the rainforest of Costa Rica. Family members coexist with values of complete openness and honesty Just like any average seventeen-year-old, Twig loves her family. She has a caring mother and a controlling father. Her brothers and sisters are committed to her family’s prosperity… All one hundred eighty-three of them. Twig lives in the Family, a collective society located in the rainforest of Costa Rica. Family members coexist with values of complete openness and honesty, and they share a fear of contagious infection in the outside world. Adam—their Father, prophet, and savior—announces that Twig will be his new bride, and she is overjoyed and honored. But when an injury forces her to leave the Family compound, Twig finds that the world outside is not as toxic as she was made to believe. And then she meets Leo, an American boy with a killer smile, and begins to question everything about her life within the Family and the cult to which she belongs. But when it comes to Family, you don’t get a choice. Praise for The Family: “Fascinating and chilling, THE FAMILY takes you past the armed guards of a secluded compound where individualism is punished, technology is forbidden, and a charismatic leader plays God through terror and control. The novel’s relentless plot and vividly drawn characters will suck you in, but be warned: once you’re in the Family, it’s almost impossible to escape.” —Anna Schumacher, author of End Times “Eerie and suspenseful, Kennerson gives us a fascinating look into the psychology of cults and the meaning of Family.” —Bianca Turetsky, author of The Time-Traveling Fashionista

30 review for The Family

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    Dnf-d at 68%. So slow and things just got more and more implausible and coincidental. And Avery's back story/reasons for staying? Also started off fine but then quickly seemed to turn into whatever the author needed to make her plot happen regardless of how flimsy it was. So I skipped ahead to the last chapter and I was like "really? Nope not wasting any more time." Dnf-d at 68%. So slow and things just got more and more implausible and coincidental. And Avery's back story/reasons for staying? Also started off fine but then quickly seemed to turn into whatever the author needed to make her plot happen regardless of how flimsy it was. So I skipped ahead to the last chapter and I was like "really? Nope not wasting any more time."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ari Reavis

    2.5 Stars I had such high hopes (sigh), but alas..... This was a big letdown. I was so bored, it's not even funny. The Family were brainwashed and, ok I expect that, but do we really believe everyone on the outside has a contagious virus? Like they didn't get their food and necessities from this sick contagious world. Come on. Twig just wasn't interesting in any sense of the word. She was annoying more than anything. I kept having to read about her paintings and I'm thinking, 'Do I care?' 2.5 Stars I had such high hopes (sigh), but alas..... This was a big letdown. I was so bored, it's not even funny. The Family were brainwashed and, ok I expect that, but do we really believe everyone on the outside has a contagious virus? Like they didn't get their food and necessities from this sick contagious world. Come on. Twig just wasn't interesting in any sense of the word. She was annoying more than anything. I kept having to read about her paintings and I'm thinking, 'Do I care?' What really ruined this story was that it seemed so contradictory. Twig was watched constantly, but somehow managed to sneak in dates with Leo. The Family are worked hard from sun-up till sun-down, yet no one noticed when Twig snuck off to go to Gran's house to paint or whatever the hell took her all day. Really? And the ending... I flipped to the next page and saw some other crap and was like... It was abrupt and had me rolling my eyes.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kelsi Allen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Light spoilers perchance? I'm torn on this book! I absolutely loved it and haven't read a book so quickly as this in the past few months. I could NOT put it down. It was a refreshing take on a young adult novel, which is exactly what I needed to read. The only reason I'm torn is because I want to know more of what happens to Twig! If there is a sequel with her and Leo in the States, sign. me. up. I love the Cohens. Also, the ending. Abrupt and sudden. But I felt so relieved by the last line. I wa Light spoilers perchance? I'm torn on this book! I absolutely loved it and haven't read a book so quickly as this in the past few months. I could NOT put it down. It was a refreshing take on a young adult novel, which is exactly what I needed to read. The only reason I'm torn is because I want to know more of what happens to Twig! If there is a sequel with her and Leo in the States, sign. me. up. I love the Cohens. Also, the ending. Abrupt and sudden. But I felt so relieved by the last line. I wanted to shout for victory.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Crina (Reading Addict)

    Originally posted for the blog tour - http://readingadd.blogspot.ro/2015/11... Honestly, this is not the first book based on an idea like this that I have read, but everytime when I find one I'm intrigued. It's very interesting to see how each one is so alike to the other one and at the same time they are so different. And I keep reading them, because I'm curious and at the same time I get so mad. I get so mad, because when I think that there, somewhere in the world, this kind of groups exist I ju Originally posted for the blog tour - http://readingadd.blogspot.ro/2015/11... Honestly, this is not the first book based on an idea like this that I have read, but everytime when I find one I'm intrigued. It's very interesting to see how each one is so alike to the other one and at the same time they are so different. And I keep reading them, because I'm curious and at the same time I get so mad. I get so mad, because when I think that there, somewhere in the world, this kind of groups exist I just one to kill the leader. But also, it depends, because some people really want to live like this and they have no problem being isolated from the entire world and having all kind of weird rules and customs and whatever. But when I think that a child or a teenager is forced to live in a group like this just because the parent made a mistake.... my mind explodes and my inner serial killer becomes very awake and hungry! But, getting back to this book. I have to say that I enjoyed the story and the writing style was very beautiful and I flew through the novel in a matter of two hours. Everything is fast paced and full of suspense and action, and all kinds of twists and turns. You won't find a boring moment in this novel! Also, the characters are very well sketched and you can see them very clearly. Maybe that's way I wanted to kill Adam every second he appeared... Well. I won't talk much more, because spoilers, but you can read this if you want something different and kind of original, because maybe for me is not original anymore, because I read many more like this before. But if this one for you is a first with an idea like this, then try it. Because it's an interesting idea and subject and it opens your mind and eyes to some stuff that we don't pay attention too or because we are not there and we don't hear about this things we think that they don't exist anymore. But they do! So pick this one up guys and take deep breaths! Also, have a ton of water near you, because you will feel so thirsty... this book is so engrossing and engaging that you'll be there with the characters. And you don't want to miss your possibility to escape just because you can't drink water.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Black

    This was a captivating book. The world that Marissa Kennerson has created is so rich and developed, it felt as if I were reading a true account of someone's life. I immediately felt for Twig and her odd existence in this very disturbing "Family." It felt all too possible and was scary to think about the children who are raised in these communities. There's even a much larger and still functioning cult today called "The Family" (formerly Children of God) that I feel is even more sinister in desig This was a captivating book. The world that Marissa Kennerson has created is so rich and developed, it felt as if I were reading a true account of someone's life. I immediately felt for Twig and her odd existence in this very disturbing "Family." It felt all too possible and was scary to think about the children who are raised in these communities. There's even a much larger and still functioning cult today called "The Family" (formerly Children of God) that I feel is even more sinister in design. The poor children who honestly don't know any better. This book really shines a light on what it's like from one of those children's point of view. Twig is kept so innocent and misinformed in the beginning that it's an eye-opener on so many levels for her when she is injured and needs to visit the real world. I felt her pain when she finally realized just how much she had been lied to her whole life. The leader, Adam, was so believable in his manipulative cruelty. He brought to mind so many terrible people from history in the way that he totally deceived and programmed these people to have faith in nothing but him. The most difficult part of the book for me was finding ANY compassion for Twig's mother, Avery. Even after she finally admits her backstory to Twig later in the book, I still found myself shaking my head and wanting to scream at her for involving her innocent daughter in her own foolish decisions. I understand that the victims of these organizations are totally snowed over and have no idea what they are really getting into, but it just seemed so irresponsible to involve anyone but herself. Sadly, though, I'm sure this happens much too often. This book kept me biting my nails up until the very end. Definitely worth a read!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    So I was interested in this one because one problem I have with books about cults, dystopian societies, and other books along those lines is that it's REALLY hard to question the society you grew up in and the synopsis made it seem like maybe it would address that aspect in a way that worked for me. And I guess mostly it did? Twig DIDN'T really question until she had a reason to. She maybe should've held on to the beliefs she grew up in a little longer, but that's a minor complaint. It was pretty So I was interested in this one because one problem I have with books about cults, dystopian societies, and other books along those lines is that it's REALLY hard to question the society you grew up in and the synopsis made it seem like maybe it would address that aspect in a way that worked for me. And I guess mostly it did? Twig DIDN'T really question until she had a reason to. She maybe should've held on to the beliefs she grew up in a little longer, but that's a minor complaint. It was pretty horrific at times, but, really, three stars for the end being too abrupt. I finished this a couple of days ago and still feel like . . . so that was it?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Erin Lee

    Awesome read with twists I didn't see coming. Kennerson's character development is spot on and made me feel for Twig and the rest of the Family. I'd be all about five stars on this but thought the ending wasn't realistic. Still, a great read from beginning to end. Awesome read with twists I didn't see coming. Kennerson's character development is spot on and made me feel for Twig and the rest of the Family. I'd be all about five stars on this but thought the ending wasn't realistic. Still, a great read from beginning to end.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    I found this book on a Kindle deal for $1.99--pulled in by the cover (the paperback version I think) and the setting of a compound in Costa Rica with a collective family (cult) and the teenage girl who has spent her life there. It's a young adult book but has a fascinating story that immediately pulled me in and kept me reading--holding my breath through most of the book. I have long been fascinated by cults and insulated religious groups and Marissa Kennerson paints such a vivid and chilling pi I found this book on a Kindle deal for $1.99--pulled in by the cover (the paperback version I think) and the setting of a compound in Costa Rica with a collective family (cult) and the teenage girl who has spent her life there. It's a young adult book but has a fascinating story that immediately pulled me in and kept me reading--holding my breath through most of the book. I have long been fascinated by cults and insulated religious groups and Marissa Kennerson paints such a vivid and chilling picture of Twig's life within the confines of the "Family." You feel for her as her life begins to change both from the increased attention from the groups "father" who has picked her for his next wife and once she gets her first unexpected glimpse of life outside the collective--with her growing realization that what she has been told and believed all of her life may be lies. There is plenty of drama, romance, and action so the pages flew by and although I didn't completely like how abrupt the ending was (I wanted more info and resolution), I really enjoyed the book. I would happily read a sequel with more of Twig's story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah {Literary Meanderings}

    Disappointing. Not what I was hoping for. :/ Also, long-winded and boring.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Gunderman

    Check out this and other reviews on my blog, Here's to Happy Endings! I haven’t read a lot of books dealing with cults…the one or two that I have read haven’t really been up my alley and I just couldn’t bring myself to enjoy them, no matter how I tried. While I was worried this book would follow that same pattern, I wanted to give it a shot anyway, because it had such an interesting premise, and I was full of curiosity as to how the book would play out. From the first page of The Family, I knew I Check out this and other reviews on my blog, Here's to Happy Endings! I haven’t read a lot of books dealing with cults…the one or two that I have read haven’t really been up my alley and I just couldn’t bring myself to enjoy them, no matter how I tried. While I was worried this book would follow that same pattern, I wanted to give it a shot anyway, because it had such an interesting premise, and I was full of curiosity as to how the book would play out. From the first page of The Family, I knew I was going to enjoy it. The way the story was told was incredible, and it gave a really interesting look into what it is like to live in a cult like the one Twig lives in. The story starts off with Twig getting her friend Rose ready to get married. She is set to marry another from their cult – Thomas. Since their marriages are arranged, they never know who they’ll end up marrying, but Rose and Thomas are good together, so there aren’t any worries for her. It sets Twig to wondering what her own marriage will be like, and who she will marry. Then she finds out – she will be marrying Adam. Adam is their leader, their provider, and their “father.” He is also already married to Tina – and they have a daughter together (who is Twig’s age…talk about weird). Well, Adam has decided to make Twig his bride so he can have more children. Twig doesn’t really know how to feel…is she pleased about her upcoming marriage to him? Maybe just a bit – she know she should be excited and feel special, but as time goes by, she realizes that Adam may not be as protective and loving as she once thought. A fall from a horse while out riding lands Twig in the hospital, where she meets a boy her age named Leo. Leo is staying in Costa Rica (where their “Family” compound is also located, by the way), on a family vacation, and the two of them talk at the hospital. Since Twig has always been told that those who live outside the compound are “infected” and “diseased,” she isn’t sure how to react to being around so many people. Adam promises her that she is alright because of the healing rituals he had preformed previously, and she would not get infected by the outsiders. When she is checked out of the hospital against the will of the doctors and nurses, she begins to discover the differences between life in and out of the compound – and what Adam is really like, and it’s not the nice guy she had once thought. She starts going along with Thomas on the weekly trips to the town to get supplies, and she finds herself spending more and more time with Leo, and falling for him. But she still has to marry Adam, and there are so many mysteries going on in Twig’s life – and some of them will shock her quite a bit. This book had a bit of insta-love going on, and I found myself questioning how Leo and Twig had gotten along so well so quickly, but at the same time, it was Twig’s first relationship, and it was cute to see how it developed. It was eye-opening to see how the Family operated, and how things were run in the compound – it was kind of scary, actually. There wasn’t a boring moment in this book, and for that, I loved it. Every chapter was vital to the story, and it was interesting to see how Twig’s character developed once she started leaving the compound to go and help Thomas with the errands. She stood up for herself and questioned things that were happening…even if she risked getting punished (and the punishments that Adam gave out were pretty harsh). It was definitely different! Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Ward

    3.5 Stars 'The Family' is a fascinating young adult novel that takes a deeper look into cults and the lives that the people within them live. Our main character, Twig, was born and raised in The Family - it's the only thing she's ever known. She does everything she's supposed to in order to be a good member of The Family - even if she does have some doubtful and sinful thoughts at times, which she can only share with her best friend Ryan, because he shares her feelings. Twig is a realistic main c 3.5 Stars 'The Family' is a fascinating young adult novel that takes a deeper look into cults and the lives that the people within them live. Our main character, Twig, was born and raised in The Family - it's the only thing she's ever known. She does everything she's supposed to in order to be a good member of The Family - even if she does have some doubtful and sinful thoughts at times, which she can only share with her best friend Ryan, because he shares her feelings. Twig is a realistic main character for the book and was easy to identify with. Although she is in a cult, her life and problems are just like any normal teenager's. She's down to earth, a loving daughter, smart, curious, and determined. Twig doesn't just accept The Family's beliefs and teachings at face value - she often questions them and wonders about the world outside the compound walls. The story is told in the third person point of view, so it limits the connection between the reader and the main character (in my opinion). I'm always in favor of the first person POV because we get to see inside the narrator's mind - we get to know who they truly are, both the good and the bad. If this book had been told in the first person from Twig's point of view, I know I would have enjoyed it more and had a deeper connection to the characters and the story as a whole. I felt a bit detached from the story almost the entire time - there were no real emotions or ties to it - and this really effected my experience reading the novel. The book is well written and has a steady pace - I was able to finish it in a matter of hours. The plot is intriguing but not very original - there have been books on this subject recently and it reminded me of a couple in particular, and it felt like this story was just a reiteration of those novels and I didn't really get anything new from it, which I found a little boring and it definitely effected my reading experience. For those readers who haven't read any books on this subject/topic - you'll probably have a completely different opinion than I did. Don't get me wrong - this is a good book and I did enjoy reading it. My issues with the writing style and the strong comparison to another novel were wholly my own. Even though the story felt so familiar, I enjoyed reading about life inside the cult as well as watching Twig's character grow throughout the book. I definitely recommend it for fans of YA realistic fiction, especially those who enjoy contemporary novels and the concept of cults. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    I've recently become fascinated with the whole cult concept. I have only read one other series where a cult is involved in the story line. I chose this book as my official first cult based book because it seemed to have a tamer plot which is what I wanted. With that being said this book was very intriguing. It really drew me in right from the start and kept my attention throughout. I ended up reading the entire book in less than 24 hours! The story is based on a young girl named Twig who belongs I've recently become fascinated with the whole cult concept. I have only read one other series where a cult is involved in the story line. I chose this book as my official first cult based book because it seemed to have a tamer plot which is what I wanted. With that being said this book was very intriguing. It really drew me in right from the start and kept my attention throughout. I ended up reading the entire book in less than 24 hours! The story is based on a young girl named Twig who belongs to a small group of people who call themselves The Family. They live in a compound out in the middle of the forest in Costa Rica. After Twig is involved in an accident and has to venture outside the compound for the first time ever, she is thrust into a world she does not know. She was raised her entire life believing the outside world was plagued with sickness and evil. Being on the outside she slowly begins to question what she has been raised to think. The whole mentality of this group seems a bit twisted and appalling in my opinion. They are blindly following Adam, their leader, and treating him as a savior. I don't want to give much away about Adam but I will say he is one sinisterly psychotic individual. His ability to manipulate people is scary in and of itself. I enjoyed going through the journey with Twig as she goes from blindly following to becoming her own person. She is a very strong willed character who has the courage to look for the truth despite her very brain washed upbringing. There was couple of things that bugged me a bit in the story. I would have liked to have a bit more details with regards to a few things. And also there is a bit of insta love going on. But the one major thing that I am having mixed feelings about is the ending. It felt a bit rushed and slightly abrupt. I feel it most definitely needed an epilogue to wrap it up nicely. All that being said I would definitely recommend to anyone who is interested in the topic.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    Although The Family is based around a fascinating and rather extreme subject - a cult - it is a fairly middle of the road kind of a read. It's reasonably entertaining, but is prevented from being a four star read by the limited characterisation and excessive focus on romance. Twig could've been an interesting character - the soon-to-be child bride of the cult leader - but is never fully fleshed out. She is a vehicle for a message, not a living breathing human being. Her opinions on the society t Although The Family is based around a fascinating and rather extreme subject - a cult - it is a fairly middle of the road kind of a read. It's reasonably entertaining, but is prevented from being a four star read by the limited characterisation and excessive focus on romance. Twig could've been an interesting character - the soon-to-be child bride of the cult leader - but is never fully fleshed out. She is a vehicle for a message, not a living breathing human being. Her opinions on the society that she has lived in for 15 ish years do an about face overnight and she becomes the poster girl for "don't join a cult kids" groups everywhere. We never get any sense of who she is. It's all very pedestrian and the romance between Twig and Leo is a pointless tangent, thrown in as if having YA without romance is a crime, that just distracts from the core story. The ending, too is rather anticlimactic, finishing abruptly and unbelievably neatly. A sequel in the offings, perhaps? The Family is an enjoyable YA read, just don't expect anything too well developed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Perinovic

    I had the feeling I'd love this book from the second I heard about it (YA set in a cult? yes please, sign me up!) but I didn't know just how MUCH I'd love it. THE FAMILY was absolutely nothing like I expected. To be honest, I don't know what I was expecting. Something with a little more action, maybe? Something closer to a thriller, or a dystopian? This book wasn't either of those things. And that's 100% okay. In fact, I'm GLAD this book wasn't either of those things, because then it wouldn't be I had the feeling I'd love this book from the second I heard about it (YA set in a cult? yes please, sign me up!) but I didn't know just how MUCH I'd love it. THE FAMILY was absolutely nothing like I expected. To be honest, I don't know what I was expecting. Something with a little more action, maybe? Something closer to a thriller, or a dystopian? This book wasn't either of those things. And that's 100% okay. In fact, I'm GLAD this book wasn't either of those things, because then it wouldn't be the haunting, beautiful little book that I haven't been able to stop thinking about. I don't want to say too much, because I'm afraid of giving away the things that made this such a remarkable read. But know that this is a book you need to read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Full of Emotions that Carry You Through the Book Never having been in this situation, the author paints what I feel is a very realistic picture. The main character Twig experiences so many different emotions and experiences so many highs and lows, just as I'd imagine it would be in that situation. I found myself swept away on Twig's journey and was never quite sure what would happen next. For an author to continually surprise me is a wonderful thing and I highly recommend this book. Just make sur Full of Emotions that Carry You Through the Book Never having been in this situation, the author paints what I feel is a very realistic picture. The main character Twig experiences so many different emotions and experiences so many highs and lows, just as I'd imagine it would be in that situation. I found myself swept away on Twig's journey and was never quite sure what would happen next. For an author to continually surprise me is a wonderful thing and I highly recommend this book. Just make sure you have a few hours to spare as it is almost impossible to put down!

  16. 4 out of 5

    yassi

    "The Family" is a interesting novel about Twig who is raised in a cult called "The Family". In this cult everything is done for the collectiv and individualismn is something that is strongly forbidden. They are lead by a middleaged man called Adam - who is their father and godlike figure and sets the rules for The Family. I liked learning about the cult and the psychological point behind their live style. It was the most interesting part for me and I hoped from the beginning that there's a lot t "The Family" is a interesting novel about Twig who is raised in a cult called "The Family". In this cult everything is done for the collectiv and individualismn is something that is strongly forbidden. They are lead by a middleaged man called Adam - who is their father and godlike figure and sets the rules for The Family. I liked learning about the cult and the psychological point behind their live style. It was the most interesting part for me and I hoped from the beginning that there's a lot to read and learn about the cult - which there mainly was. When Twig is going to the normal world and meeting Leo - who fastly steals her heart ... I became a little bit less invested. Their romance was cute and slow-burning and I liked that Twig didn't knew what to belive, who to trust. It felt realistic because you don't throw away everything you have learned and believed for your whole life just because you meet a cute boy. Stuff like that needs time and leaves trauma. So I liked that this was handled realistically. Something that was a huge problem for me was the communication between Twig and Leo. I said that romance was cute but how they treated eachother was so out of character for 16/17-year olds. I cringed so often. And slowly the whole story became more and more unbelievable and ... not really logical anymore in a few parts. But overall I enjoyed this book and I would like to read similar books to this in the future!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Susan Bazzett-Griffith

    An entertaining, bizarre and short novel about a girl raised in a Jonestown-esque cult near thr jungles of Costa Rica, The Family was a one night read that kept me interested enough to stay up past bedtime to see how it finished. The writing isn't fantastic, and I found a couple of typos/grammatical errors, but I liked the idea of the book- learning about society from the viewpoint of a girl who'd been sequestered from it her entire life was cool, and the backstory of the cult's inception was en An entertaining, bizarre and short novel about a girl raised in a Jonestown-esque cult near thr jungles of Costa Rica, The Family was a one night read that kept me interested enough to stay up past bedtime to see how it finished. The writing isn't fantastic, and I found a couple of typos/grammatical errors, but I liked the idea of the book- learning about society from the viewpoint of a girl who'd been sequestered from it her entire life was cool, and the backstory of the cult's inception was entertaining, if having enough holes in it to make it not exactly plausible. Not great literature, but a good story. 3 stars.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alyscia

    I really enjoyed this book, I'm hella sad that it is no longer going to be a two book series and this is the only one. I really enjoyed this book, I'm hella sad that it is no longer going to be a two book series and this is the only one.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tayanna Nelson

    So much promise until the end happened hurriedly and without much detail. Hoping there's a sequel but not holding my breath. So much promise until the end happened hurriedly and without much detail. Hoping there's a sequel but not holding my breath.

  20. 4 out of 5

    T.A. Maclagan

    I knew this book had struck a chord with me when I found myself yelling "Nooooooooooo" while reading one particular scene. I won't spoil it for you but you'll know it when you read it! Why I thought The Family was a great read: 1. The author beautifully captured the Costa Rican setting. Back in my other life as a scientist, I spent a summer studying poison dart frogs in a Costa Rican rainforest and I was transported back to that vibrant yet uncomfortably humid place while reading The Family. 2. The I knew this book had struck a chord with me when I found myself yelling "Nooooooooooo" while reading one particular scene. I won't spoil it for you but you'll know it when you read it! Why I thought The Family was a great read: 1. The author beautifully captured the Costa Rican setting. Back in my other life as a scientist, I spent a summer studying poison dart frogs in a Costa Rican rainforest and I was transported back to that vibrant yet uncomfortably humid place while reading The Family. 2. The author did a great job creating a sense of eeriness without going too far. It's a delicate line because you don't want your descriptions to be too overt because you'll end up clubbing the reader over the head with your words. But if you're too subtle, the reading will miss it entirely. You want the eeriness to be brimming just under the surface so there's a good tension to the story. The author walked that line perfectly. 3. Cults are by their very nature, intriguing! Twig's internal battle over what she's always thought to be true and what she actually sees to be true was handled really well. You can feel the whiplash of her feelings as she struggles to come to terms with the new information presented to her. 4. I really enjoyed the evolution of Twig's relationship with her mother and thought the mother's depression was handled really well. 5. I also loved following Twig's evolution as an artist as the book progressed. I could really see her begin to blossom through her art. 6. Ah, the romance. Twig's relationship with Leo was really gentle and sweet. It was just what someone coming from such a sheltered upbringing would need.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Casey Peltier

    I don’t even know where to begin……… readers tend to say those words a lot when they come off of a really good read. The Family was so different, with a plot line that I can only call “crazy”. The concept behind the book kept me reading and not wanting to put it down. In a day and age where so many books seem to have the same story line going on, it is so refreshing to find something that stands out among a crowd. The “Cult” world that Marissa Kennerson created captivates and draws readers in- wit I don’t even know where to begin……… readers tend to say those words a lot when they come off of a really good read. The Family was so different, with a plot line that I can only call “crazy”. The concept behind the book kept me reading and not wanting to put it down. In a day and age where so many books seem to have the same story line going on, it is so refreshing to find something that stands out among a crowd. The “Cult” world that Marissa Kennerson created captivates and draws readers in- with myself being no exception. Twig’s life is so different from what any one of us live. To watch what her and the other members of “The Family” go through on a day to day basis was eye opening- especially to know that these things are very real in the world we live in today. Twig was kept so innocent to happenings in the real world and completely brain washed by their leader Adam. The author wrote in a way that you actually felt and experienced the changes that were taking place in Twig’s life. There were times where I truly understood how someone would not flee from a situation no matter how wrong or bad it was. I don’t want to say too much because I do not want to take away from the nail biting suspense that I experienced. My only issue was the abrupt way that it ended- does it take away from the whole experience of the book?- NO, however as an avid reader I definitely need more closure. Hopefully we can expect more from this author SOON……….

  22. 5 out of 5

    Casey Peltier

    I don’t even know where to begin……… readers tend to say those words a lot when they come off of a really good read. The Family was so different, with a plot line that I can only call “crazy”. The concept behind the book kept me reading and not wanting to put it down. In a day and age where so many books seem to have the same story line going on, it is so refreshing to find something that stands out among a crowd. The “Cult” world that Marissa Kennerson created captivates and draws readers in- wit I don’t even know where to begin……… readers tend to say those words a lot when they come off of a really good read. The Family was so different, with a plot line that I can only call “crazy”. The concept behind the book kept me reading and not wanting to put it down. In a day and age where so many books seem to have the same story line going on, it is so refreshing to find something that stands out among a crowd. The “Cult” world that Marissa Kennerson created captivates and draws readers in- with myself being no exception. Twig’s life is so different from what any one of us live. To watch what her and the other members of “The Family” go through on a day to day basis was eye opening- especially to know that these things are very real in the world we live in today. Twig was kept so innocent to happenings in the real world and completely brain washed by their leader Adam. The author wrote in a way that you actually felt and experienced the changes that were taking place in Twig’s life. There were times where I truly understood how someone would not flee from a situation no matter how wrong or bad it was. I don’t want to say too much because I do not want to take away from the nail biting suspense that I experienced. My only issue was the abrupt way that it ended- does it take away from the whole experience of the book?- NO, however as an avid reader I definitely need more closure. Hopefully we can expect more from this author SOON……….

  23. 5 out of 5

    Reading is my Escape

    Individualism: the very evil that infected the world outside the Family. - Chapter 7 He made up a disease so he could be the cure, our savior. So we would be completely dependent on him, and never leave him. - Chapter 16 The Family is a cult with one man in charge - Adam. The people on the compound have no contact with the outside world. Adam tells the members of the Family that the people outside are infected and if they have contact with anyone, they will be infected as well. That is only one of Individualism: the very evil that infected the world outside the Family. - Chapter 7 He made up a disease so he could be the cure, our savior. So we would be completely dependent on him, and never leave him. - Chapter 16 The Family is a cult with one man in charge - Adam. The people on the compound have no contact with the outside world. Adam tells the members of the Family that the people outside are infected and if they have contact with anyone, they will be infected as well. That is only one of the many lies Adam tells in order to control them. To an outsider, the lies are ridiculous and the rules & punishments are extreme. Twig is a teenager and has been living in the Family since she was a little girl and doesn't know any better... until she has an accident and must go to the hospital. There she meets a young man who changes her perspective and possibly her life. This was a quick read and not terrible, but the resolution was a bit too quick and simple. It was an interesting look inside a cult and I was rooting for Twig even as I wondered how her mother could possibly think it was ok to bring her there in the first place. Overall, interesting but unrealistic and not enough substance.

  24. 5 out of 5

    k.wing

    If I were a teenager, I think I would've loved this book. So it's hard to not give it 5-stars, as it's great for the age group it's written for. But part of me thinks that teenagers would be a bit too smart for this one. There was a lot of summary in this book and lots of telling and not showing. I would've liked to see more cult ritual played out, more structure to what the cult believed and explained on a deeper level. I can't decide if some simplistic sentences like "Twig was sad." "Twig was If I were a teenager, I think I would've loved this book. So it's hard to not give it 5-stars, as it's great for the age group it's written for. But part of me thinks that teenagers would be a bit too smart for this one. There was a lot of summary in this book and lots of telling and not showing. I would've liked to see more cult ritual played out, more structure to what the cult believed and explained on a deeper level. I can't decide if some simplistic sentences like "Twig was sad." "Twig was happy," showing up every ten pages or so were brilliant in showing Twig's innocence or made the book feel like it was a picture book made for 1st graders. Right on the line, there. But overall, not a bad first book for the author. I look forward to reading more from her and a more polished storytelling skill.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alexis Rodriguez

    This is a fast-paced, suspenseful, well-written novel. It'll appeal to a young-adult audience in the sense that it is fast-paced, but thematically, it's very mature. I especially liked the fact that even though the main character is isolated throughout her childhood, she's still a "normal" teenager, pulled in different directions, questioning everything, including her own judgement. The portrayal of her mom and the fact that the story deals realistically with mental illness was a welcome change This is a fast-paced, suspenseful, well-written novel. It'll appeal to a young-adult audience in the sense that it is fast-paced, but thematically, it's very mature. I especially liked the fact that even though the main character is isolated throughout her childhood, she's still a "normal" teenager, pulled in different directions, questioning everything, including her own judgement. The portrayal of her mom and the fact that the story deals realistically with mental illness was a welcome change from the ways these issues are sometimes glossed over in this genre. I hope the author is planning a sequel--I'd like to see how the next chapter of Twig's life unfolds.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I really enjoyed this YA book that takes on a pretty taboo topic but I think the author handled it well. The world she created along with the cast of characters was unique. It kept and held my attention throughout the whole story. I was anxious, suspicious, and hopeful while reading and couldn't wait to see how it all came to its conclusion. My only complaint is the ending was too abrupt and I really, really hope the author writes a sequel because Twig, her mother, and sweet Leo need to get thei I really enjoyed this YA book that takes on a pretty taboo topic but I think the author handled it well. The world she created along with the cast of characters was unique. It kept and held my attention throughout the whole story. I was anxious, suspicious, and hopeful while reading and couldn't wait to see how it all came to its conclusion. My only complaint is the ending was too abrupt and I really, really hope the author writes a sequel because Twig, her mother, and sweet Leo need to get their happy ending. 4 Stars!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Katrina

    Was looking for something different I wanted to read something a little different, and this book fit the bill. I don't think I have any complaints whatsoever about it. It was an interesting story and I felt like it was well written. It didn't come out and grab me, but the story gradually built up until I couldn't put it down. I don't want to give anything away, but I liked how it ended. It actually caught me off guard, but it made perfect sense. Was looking for something different I wanted to read something a little different, and this book fit the bill. I don't think I have any complaints whatsoever about it. It was an interesting story and I felt like it was well written. It didn't come out and grab me, but the story gradually built up until I couldn't put it down. I don't want to give anything away, but I liked how it ended. It actually caught me off guard, but it made perfect sense.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stacia

    3.5 stars-- The storyline and concept definitely held my interest. However there were some things about the story that didn't blend well with the whole "cult" plot and the ending was frustrating. After investing my time into a book, I hate when it ends suddenly with no epilogue or idea of what comes next! 3.5 stars-- The storyline and concept definitely held my interest. However there were some things about the story that didn't blend well with the whole "cult" plot and the ending was frustrating. After investing my time into a book, I hate when it ends suddenly with no epilogue or idea of what comes next!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Kennerson will draw you into the cult-world she has created in her debut novel, The Family. As a reader, you will enjoy the story's unfolding tale from Twig's life in the cult to her revelations about the real world. This page turner will keep you reading into the wee hours of the night. Kennerson will draw you into the cult-world she has created in her debut novel, The Family. As a reader, you will enjoy the story's unfolding tale from Twig's life in the cult to her revelations about the real world. This page turner will keep you reading into the wee hours of the night.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dom Burns

    OMG! This was an intense but brilliant read - I didn't want it to end! The ending was open ended and it almost felt like it was the beginning of another book for the main charachter Twig!! I just have so many questions! OMG! This was an intense but brilliant read - I didn't want it to end! The ending was open ended and it almost felt like it was the beginning of another book for the main charachter Twig!! I just have so many questions!

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