4 stars to this young adult novel about love, cults, and finding a voice. | BookishFirst

4 stars to this young adult novel about love, cults, and finding a voice.

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It is the day of matrimony in New Jerusalem and Miriam is ready to be Caleb's husband. Despite boys and girls being separated since children, Miriam is sure that Caleb will select her to be his wife. However, when Aaron, an outsider who wasn't born in New Jerusalem, selects Miriam, she is certain there has been a mistake. According to the leader of New Jerusalem, Daniel, dreams are a message from God and signify who should marry who. Miriam has had dreams of Caleb and Caleb has had dreams of Miriam, yet Daniel is insistent that the matrimony went to plan.

New Jerusalem is located in the desert in Nevada and for Miriam and the other teenagers, they know only of what happens inside the walls of their community. No one is allowed to venture out, unless they are banished which is the ultimate punishment. For the people living in New Jerusalem, Daniel promises salvation for when the end of days come in exchange for being faithful. Being faithful means listening to Daniel (who claims he is a prophet of God), constant praying, and women submitting to their husbands.

The book is told between the alternating perspectives of Miriam and Caleb as they live with the after effects of not being married to each other. While trying to discover what went wrong, both begin to realize there are secrets in their community and Daniel might not be the prophet they think he is.

It was very interesting to see how a cult would get established and how the people in the community would actually believe in someone like Daniel. The book had a good message about finding your voice, even when others try to silence it. It was young adult in that it followed two teenagers who are in young love and are forced apart, but the ideas in this book could resonate with adults as well.

*I won a copy of this novel through BookishFirst in exchange for an honest opinion.*