By Lisa HeathfieldBlurb: All that Pearl knows can be encapsulated in one word: Seed. It is the isolated community that she was born into. It is the land that she sows and reaps. It is the center of her family and everything that means home. And it is all kept under the watchful eye of Papa S.
At fifteen years old, Pearl is finally old enough to be chosen as Papa S’s companion. She feels excitement... and surprising trepidation that she cannot explain. The arrival of a new family into the Seed community — particularly the teenage son, Ellis — only complicates the life and lifestyle that Pearl has depended upon as safe and constant.
Ellis is compelling, charming, and worldly, and he seems to have a lot of answers to questions Pearl has never thought to ask. But as Pearl digs to the roots of the truth, only she can decide what she will allow to come to the surface.
Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
My Rating: 5 stars
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I went into Seed mistakenly thinking this was a dystopian novel. Very quickly, I found that was not the case. This book takes place in modern times. Seed is more or less a cult. And I am so glad I didn't realize that when I got this off Netgalley, because there is no way I would have picked up this book if I knew the truth. I would have passed it off as something that wasn't really for me and not have read this gem of a story.
Seed is one of the scariest books I have read in a long time. Not because it tries to be creepy or anything; because everything that happened in this book isn't that far off from what sometimes happens in cults. People live like this. This isn't a fantasy "what if" world like dystopian would have been. This could happen. Some things that happen in this book have infamously happened before in places like Jonestown, and that is one hundred times scarier than any ghost or vampire book could ever be.
Pearl, the main character, has grown up in Seed. She knows no different. She does not believe it's possible for people to walk on the moon; she is convinced that she must put Papa S.'s drops in the honey they harvest so that bee's eggs do not hatch in her stomach; she believes almost anything that Papa S. tells their "family." I sometimes got angry at her because of this; how could she not see the truth when it was right there in front of her eyes? I had to remind myself that Pearl didn't know any better, and that in her shoes, I would probably be just as naive.
I loved Ellis because he was the voice of reason in this crazy community. He didn't buy anything of what Papa S. said, and he started to make Pearl wonder if her world was as right as she previously imagined. He wasn't a troubled bad boy like the author could have painted him; he's nice, he appreciates nature, and he's intelligent.
Some truly tragic things happen throughout the course of this book, all because of the evil leader of Seed, Papa S. I hated him. He's a scary, scary man, but his evilness is subtle; on the surface he seems nice and caring. This makes him even scarier, in my opinion.
The ending was heartbreaking. For some reason I did not cry, however. I just stared numbly at the final page. I think it was because I had gotten tipped off to the ending after reading someone else's review and had guessed what happened. Still, it was very sad, though there was also some good as well.
I definitely recommend Seed. Though at times I found it hard to read for emotional reasons, I loved it. It is a truly fantastic book.