lunes, 9 de octubre de 2017

The Cresswell Plot - Eliza Wass [Review]

Title: The Cresswell Plot
Author: Eliza Wass
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publishing date: June 7th 2016
Pages: 272

Hi, today I’m reviewing a book I read a while ago, The Creswell Plot by Eliza Wass, this book seems to have been published also under the name In the Dark, In the Woods with a different cover, but it’s the same book.

This book tells us the story of Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father.

Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at
Paperback cover.
school, they’re still the freaks they’ve always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice.

Castley’s world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. She discovers that his father might be lying to her family with his imposing religion, and that all her family might be at risk because her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father’s lies and come up with a plan to save her family from her father’s grasp.

The Cresswell Plot shows the reader an insight of what is like to live under a controlling father who is also a religious fanatic, not a very good combination. Due to this you cannot expect regular characters. The Creswell family is definitely odd and hard to relate to if you haven’t live in a situation like theirs, but still is easy to feel some empathy towards them. They all have strange fears and attitudes that their father has imposed on them.

For what I’ve read about the author, she lived in a similar situation in which her family was part of a religious sect and was very strict, she didn’t notice this behavior wasn’t normal until she was a teenager and decided to leave their living style. 

The main character is Castella, who longs the life of a regular high school girl, her siblings don’t have a major role in the story, just to be rebel with her or to tell her to stop disobeying their father. From the outside world, I totally despised the characters, everyone was extremely rude with the Cresswell kids for being odd, but they never tried to help them in any way when it’s pretty obvious there is something off in their house. They are malnourished, wear old clothes, skip school for days, also one of the kids, Jerusalem, the youngest, doesn’t even speak, not because she can’t, but because she doesn’t want to and none at school does something to investigate why.
Author, Eliza Wass.
The only likeable or decent character from school was George, Castella’s theater partner, they get really close but then the author decided to turn him into a douche too, this near the end of the book.

The book keeps a mysterious vibe all the time, and portrays the father as an almighty being that you don’t know when could appear out of nowhere or how bad can he react or act, is the type of person you must be careful with. He is a very interesting character, because it seems he started this odd religion/cult that only involves his family, wife and children, and he proclaims to be a messiah and that God speaks to him and he writes everything in a book which he imposes to his family to obey, it doesn’t matter if the words make zero sense. He is a negligent father, doesn’t work, only sells old stuff he repairs and his family is literally starving, he punishes everyone who distrust him or disobey him in very cruel ways, he is a completely crazy character you  don’t know what to expect from him.

The plot is not clear until nearly the end of the book, for most of it, it follows the everyday life of the Cresswell family, it’s until nearly the end that something shocking is reveled and it’s when Castella has to try her best to help her family to break free from their father.

The book is short but still engaging and interesting, something a bit different of usual YA books, mysterious, kind of stressful, and touches topics like bullying, domestic violence, religious fanaticism and incest, this because the father wants his children to marry between them, he already decided the couples. I would preferred a better development in characters or a bit of  more info about how their father got into that religion, or what happens with him in the end, but still is an enjoyable and mysterious read.

If you are in the mood for an unconventional YA story, with almost no romance but interesting setting and a different type of characters, you might want to read this one.

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