Customer Reviews for

Keep Sweet

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted June 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by John Jacobson aka "R.J. Jacobs" for TeensReadToo.com

    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. After all, Joseph John has had dreams about being together. If he goes to the prophet, he can eventually have her as his wife. His first wife.

    But when a new couple moves in to Pineridge, and the wife is less than thrilled to adjust to everything, things get worse. Suddenly, Alva Jane finds herself in a world of increasing clarity. Her father has his eyes on a loose girl of sixteen - and her mother, already fighting with seven other wives for her spot as top affection holder, isn't too pleased. And the brother of the prophet discovers his wife trying to escape - leading Alva Jane and her half-sister to witness her being punished in the name of the Lord. Things only get worse. And when Alva Jane finds herself in a sect scarier than ever before, the motto 'Keep sweet' doesn't seem so innocent anymore. And neither do the people.

    Books involving polygamist religions and these types of troubled faiths are always hard to judge. On one hand, these stories are interesting to me, because they handle the importance of questioning and open faith, the importance of fair treatment, and many branches of psychological issues. Plus, more often than not, these cults and religions often have dire consequences involving the children at the heart of the community. While I find these to be positives to the plot, it may very well make other people feel uncomfortable. Rape, abuse, abandonment, and brain washing are all big parts of this novel. But if the reader can suck in their fears and questions, they are bound to find a book that is both compelling and an important look into the cult ideals we hear about, but never truly see first-hand.

    Alva Jane is a protagonist who's hard to pin down. Greene's writing isn't bad, though it suffers from sometimes telling more than showing. However, the first-person narrative of Alva Jane is never really awkward, and the characters manage to come off the page pretty well, though some of the wives tend to blend together. Not that juggling so many secondary characters is easy by any means. The important characters are done well, though they manage sprinklings of depth that could have been expanded upon. What's most important is that through all of Alva Jane's hardships, the reader feels immense disappointment if she fails; triumph if she succeeds. More than once I found myself wondering how I came to care so much about her escaping her life - because you really don't see the growing affection with the character so easily.

    While Greene showed a lot of strong points, her book could have been longer. The story was plotted well and it never had a dull moment, but she could have expanded more on her other characters and been better off later on for it. Also, sometimes it got slow if there were many paragraphs between dialogue and action. Usually the pace wasn't bad, but the times were noticeable when it was.

    This is not a book for everyone....

    Read the full review at www.teensreadtoo.com

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2011

    !!!!?

    wonderful

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 18, 2012

    Great Book

    Extremely good book to read. One that is hard to put down once you get started however once finished it leaves you with a lot of questions and wonderment. Sure wish this book would become a series that will answer what the book left behind.

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  • Posted August 5, 2012

    This story really has a lot of depth and complexity. It paints

    This story really has a lot of depth and complexity. It paints a vivid picture of a girl living within the confines of an FLDS community and leaves you in suspense for most of the book. The characters have a lot of depth which helps you understand the FLDS. In one light I really loved the ending, but I wished it would've gone a little further in depth.

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    Posted October 23, 2011

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    Posted April 4, 2011

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    Posted December 7, 2012

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    Posted January 27, 2011

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    Posted March 5, 2011

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