August 08, 2019

#BookReview for The Virtue of Sin by Shannon Schuren

Synopsis: A novel about speaking out, standing up, and breaking free.

Miriam lives in New Jerusalem, a haven in the desert far away from the sins and depravity of the outside world. Within the gates of New Jerusalem, and under the eye of its founder and leader, Daniel, Miriam knows she is safe. Cared for. Even if she’s forced, as a girl, to quiet her tongue when she has thoughts she wants to share, Miriam knows that New Jerusalem is a far better life than any alternative. So when God calls for a Matrimony, she’s thrilled; she knows that Caleb, the boy she loves, will choose her to be his wife and they can finally start their life together. 

But when the ceremony goes wrong and Miriam winds up with someone else, she can no longer keep quiet. For the first time, Miriam begins to question not only the rules that Daniel has set in place, but also what it is she believes in, and where she truly belongs. 

Alongside unexpected allies, Miriam fights to learn–and challenge–the truth behind the only way of life she’s ever known, even if it means straying from the path of Righteousness.

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About the Author:  Shannon Schuren ( works as a children's librarian at a public library and writes from a cozy she-shed in her backyard. Her short stories have appeared in various journals such as Toasted Cheese Literary JournalBig Pulp, and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Shannon lives in Sheboygan Falls, WI, with her husband and three children. Follow her on Twitter @shannonschuren.

Rating: 🌟
My Review: I was so excited when this book showed up but sadly it just wasn't what I thought it was going to be. At first I thought it was going to be this amazing dystopian or fantasy. But what I found was one set in our world about a cult that well to tell you the truth was pretty lack luster.  This one started off wowing me but quickly turned to something that was bogged down with religion, lyrical writing, and characters that I just didn't really care about. 

Parts of the story were well paced but for the most part it was very slow.  I think this one could have easily been 200+ pages shorter which would have sped up the story and taken out a lot of the slow boring parts that we really didn't need at all.  I also thought that it was really weird that right after the main character gets married off that they didn't consummate their marriage.  In every other cult title both adult and young adult the story goes from marriage to sex then life.  This is a way to make solidify the dominance over the women.  So it was a little weird that that aspect was left out.  

The ending to this one left me with a bad taste in my mouth as it just didn't give me enough.  I wished that the author would have skipped ahead a few months or even a year.  It would have given the story that extra that it needed to really tie up the end. 

Go Into This One Knowing: Realistic Fiction, More Contemporary, Cult, VERY Religious, Forced Marriage, Mentions of Rape, Unfulfilling Ending

"Shannon Schuren weaves a complex tale of love, faith, and lies in her thought-provoking debut The Virtue of Sin. As important as it is entertaining, this is a must-read for anyone who knows that independent thought trumps fitting in. One of my favorite reads of the year." --Christina Dalcher, bestselling author of VOX

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 Disclaimer: "All opinions are 100% honest and my own."  Thanks to Goodreads and Amazon for the book cover, about the book, and author information. Buying via these links allows my site to get a % of the sale at no cost to you. 

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