Just like any average seventeen year old, Twig loves her family. She has a caring mother and a controlling father. Her brothers are sisters are committed to her family’s prosperity…
All one hundred and eighty three of them.
Twig lives in the Family, a collective society located in the rainforest of Costa Rica. The Family members coexist with the values of complete openness and honesty, and a shared fear of contagious infection in the outside world.
So when Adam, their Father, prophet, and savior, announces that Twig will be his new bride, she is overjoyed and honored. But when an injury forces her to leave the grounds, Twig finds that the world outside is not necessarily as toxic as she was made to believe. When she meets Leo, an American boy with a killer smile, she begins to question everything about her life within the Family, and the cult to which she belongs.
But when it comes to your Family, you don’t always get a choice.
I needed something different... A change of pace from my normal reading, and this one provided just that. Talk about a whole new book world. The Family crawled under my skin and burrowed deep within my soul. It uprooted thoughts and left my feelings uneasy.
The life of the collective is tragic and brutal. Basically everyone worships Adam, the leader and thinks they deserve punishment when they don't follow "the rules".They all believe that infection will consume them if they leave and are very content in confinement. All but the main character Twig that is... When she gets into an accident and is taken to a hospital all her views are altered. Nothing is as she expected. People explain how infection spreads and helps her to see that maybe everything she knows is based on lies. When she returns to the collective she struggles with the new found knowledge and starts to crave whats on the outside. Through brutal punishments and belittling, Twig tries to hold it together long enough to hopefully be freed. It's a long shot, but she doesn't give up through the final page.
I'm not even sure how the Author came up with such a gut wrenching, real feeling story. I felt like I was trapped in the jungle with Twig. Tears streamed down my face at one part and I had to stop reading to catch my breath at the end. It was all consuming. My heart ached for the lifestyle she lived. It made me appreciate my freedom and it opened my eyes to what may be living within our world. The writing was great and the story line was fast paced. I definitely recommend it to every reader with an open mind.
*A slight warning though....* You will want the next book- There is a slight cliffy.