Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 
Number of Pages: 320
Type: Paperback  

Reviewed by Rachel, age 16
The Hallowed Ones first drew me in because the main character is Amish and the outside world is being destroyed by something dark and evil. I liked that mix. I liked it way more than I thought I would! This book draws you in and does not release you until the end, where you're still waiting on the sequel! The characters are solid and, as the reader, you're totally immersed in the Amish lifestyle. The cultural aspects were interesting to me, and definitely played an even more interesting part when it came to magic and disaster. And let me tell you, Laura Bickle does disaster well. Towards the end of book, on a certain scene, (and you will know the exact one I'm talking about when you read it--yikes!) my jaw unhinged as I read it; it was just so real and so harsh--so raw. There was no holding back! In the oddest way, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not only was the culture and disaster beautifully depicted, but one of the things that held me through the book was the mystery. I'd almost want to call it a thriller! In one of the very last scenes I was just like YES, YES!!! that's why, wow, I should've thought of that! But of course, Bickle did a great job of making the answers to everything hard to guess. And if you know me, you know that I now have to mention the romance. Yes, there is one! There are two! And you'll love and hate them! (I'll leave it at that.) Katie, the main character, made this book even better because although she is innocent and compliant in many ways, she does what a lot of us young people do: she questions things. She steers from the Amish society when she realizes what the Elders are doing is wrong, and she risks everything to do what she knows in right. I was with her every step of the way, agreeing on almost all grounds. To say the least, I really liked her! She deserves everything she gets, and she knows that, so she takes the punishment by the horns and has peace with herself knowing that what she's done is the right thing. In my opinion, her relationship to her God becomes stronger, even though she feels as though it's slipping through her fingers. There's definitely a transformation that happens with her, without changing the parts of her character that I liked. But most importantly, definitely something to admire in her. 
So basically, if you want a scary, romantic, fresh, and thoroughly unique story, then this is the book for you. Take my advice and pre-order your copy now! I will warn you that the first two chapters are a little dense with information, and a little boring, but after that I promise it is smooth sailing! You'll be cruising through it faster than you can turn the pages! 

**We have a giveaway coming up and I might add this book and some of its swag to the mix, so stay tuned if you're interested!**

This book hits shelves September 25th of 2012! 

Happy reading!
Rachel, age 16

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