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The Family Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
First off, the story and world is so incredibly inconsistent it made it almost impossible for me to get into the story. There are so many instances of it, that I don't want to sit and just list out all the issues I had with the consistency, but I think the one stand-out example for me was that the heroine in one scene she gets to paint for the first time ever and instantly knows how to use all the different art mediums and tools. For example, she grabs a palette knife and knows not only what it is, but how to use it. Not only is it ridiculous that someone who has only ever used leaves and clay to paint with knows that, but then the next chapter she has to be taught how to use money when she goes out of the compound for a supply run. She knows about palette knives and not money? Really? That is just one of many, many examples of times when I found myself thinking, "that makes no sense!"
But I digress...
Second, the heroine's emotional journey just didn't feel realistic or consistent to me. She's painted as a character who has never done anything wrong and never gotten punished for breaking any of the stringent rules of the Family. She admits that she's never questioned the Family, never wanted to leave, never had any doubts whatsoever. She's the perfect little cult member. Then an outsider/stranger tells her that the Family has been lying to her and she instantly believes it. I just can't believe that. While there's some vacillating while she's torn about what to believe, it just wasn't believable enough for someone who has been brainwashed for years and years. It didn't seem inconsistent with her character or the situation. Not that she wouldn't ever question, but to take the word of a stranger over the people she supposedly loves and trusts implicitly seemed hard to swallow.
Third, the characters are very weak. I never felt any emotional attachment or investment in any of them. I finally gave up on the book when in the middle of a tense moment I realized I didn't really care if the heroine got caught or not. The author kept trying to make me feel something for the characters by having things go wrong in the story and putting the characters in danger of punishment, rather than upping the emotional connection between the reader and the characters by making the characters endearing or lovable. This is really a story that should be more of a character study or character driven story, but it doesn't have any of the character depth to do that.
Finally, the plot itself just had too many weird coincidences to be believable. Not to mention the love at first sight junk that is thrown in. I could go on and on, but it just comes down to the fact that there wasn't anything I did like about it and I just couldn't force myself to finish it.