counter create hit The Cresswell Plot - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Cresswell Plot

Availability: Ready to download

The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark. Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods o The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark. Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. 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 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. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, 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. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.


Compare
Ads Banner

The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark. Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods o The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark. Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. 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 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. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, 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. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.

30 review for The Cresswell Plot

  1. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    This book is severely messed up and I LOVE IT. I don't even usulaly like cult books?!? But I seriously adore this one so much I will fling my library copy to the wind and I'll go buy myself one. (Excuse me I'm totally kidding. There will be no flinging books. I will gently return it and then run wildly to buy myself one. #sensible) Plus the book has like an entire CHECKLIST of things I adore. Which is very kind of it for thinking of me like this: • big family (aka 6 kids) ✓ • complicated sibling re This book is severely messed up and I LOVE IT. I don't even usulaly like cult books?!? But I seriously adore this one so much I will fling my library copy to the wind and I'll go buy myself one. (Excuse me I'm totally kidding. There will be no flinging books. I will gently return it and then run wildly to buy myself one. #sensible) Plus the book has like an entire CHECKLIST of things I adore. Which is very kind of it for thinking of me like this: • big family (aka 6 kids) ✓ • complicated sibling relationships ✓ • heartbreaking tragic boys ✓ • minimal romance (if you can even call it romance, because it wasn't really) ✓ • T.R.A.G.E.D.Y. ✓ • severely freaktastic moments when you're not sure if the kids are going to EXIST or be MURDERED ✓ • the best and most beautiful title in the world ✓ • aaaamazing names (Castley, Mortimer, Hannan, Caspar, Jerusalem and Delvive) ✓ • my heart kind of breaking ✓ • excellent writing ✓ • MY HEART KIND OF BREAKING ✓ Like I said, it's a bit of a cult story. Castley lives in a rundown house in the woods with her religious psycho father and her disabled/depressed mother, and her 5 siblings. Like they're all starved and abused and forced to listen to their dad's religious ravings. I thought the bok really captured the CONFUSION well. Like Castley is all "this is wrong" but at the same time "they are my family and I love them???" And like I so wanted her to GET OUT but at the same time I didn't want her to lose her precious siblings. But OH IT WAS SEVERELY TERRIFYING AT TIMES BECAUSE WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN??????? ARE THEY GOING TO BE OKAY?????? Stories about abused kids are heartbreaking. And family tho. I love family books. Even if the family is so severely messed up....but I mean, after this? Never accusing my family of being dysfunctional again. [cue nervous laughter] I thought all the kids were really complex too! Castley narrates and generally I love secondary characters more, but I DID so love Castley!! But Mortimer and Caspar were my second favourite darlings. They were the most developed out of the rest. Jerusalem didn't speak, Hannan was a jerk, and Del didn't really have a personality which is a shame. But MORT (!!) and CASPAR (!!) and CASTLEY (!!!) just stole my heart so bad I want to build a blanket for around them and feed them warm pretzels. Like I have a seriously hard time caring about characters. But these??? THESE DARLINGS ARE MY EVERYTHING. I need to own this book so I can hug it dammit. Although I admit the book is NOT all flails from me. I found the ending way too rushed. It built up and built up and I WAS LITERALLY abOUT TO SCREAM and then it fizzled big time. What's that puddle on the floor? Oh that's just me being crying piteously in disappointment. Basically: YES to this book. Despite the ending failings, I still absolutely loved it!! It was written so visually and gorgeously I just couldn't stop reading. Like I literally ate through it in a few hours and NOW I CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT IT. The characters were adorable tragic abused vegemite scrolls and the story was addictively worrisome and now, 'scuse me, I need to go beg the universe to give me a sequel. OR 9 SEQUELS. (Also, sidenote: the UK/AUS version is called "In The Dark, In The Woods" which is such an awfully bland name compared to THE CRESSWELL PLOT that I'm genuinely annoyed. Like seriously why didn't the publishers consult me???? I would've set them straight. NEVER title a book boringly when it can be titled THE GLORIOUS CRESSWELL PLOT.) (I'm irrationally in love with the title. Yes. How can you tell.)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

    1.5 stars. Wow. Give The Cresswell Plot a slow clap for picturing such a fanatic, disturbing and abusive family without never creating ANY emotion in me. As far as my 1 star ratings are concerned, I usually follow two patterns : 1) The book makes me rage so much that I would love burning it, but it would be evil (I may be a Slytherin and an INTJ, even I have standards, you know). 2) The book is just so fucking bad that I, a) want to forget that I even considered it, let alone read it ; b) regula 1.5 stars. Wow. Give The Cresswell Plot a slow clap for picturing such a fanatic, disturbing and abusive family without never creating ANY emotion in me. As far as my 1 star ratings are concerned, I usually follow two patterns : 1) The book makes me rage so much that I would love burning it, but it would be evil (I may be a Slytherin and an INTJ, even I have standards, you know). 2) The book is just so fucking bad that I, a) want to forget that I even considered it, let alone read it ; b) regularly burst of laughing at the most inappropriate moments ; c) desperately shake my head in a "DID YOU SEE THIS?" fashion (alas, my dog didn't). Congrats, The Cresswell Plot! You proudly belong to #2, and here's why : 1) There's something to say about a narrative voice so flat and dispassionate that the most horrific events don't make the reader blink an eye (think abuse, incest, crazy speech about God, JUST NAME IT). That something is : this is what happens when you can't connect with the characters, when the plot what plot?! doesn't make any sense and when the writing is nothing else than generic and devoid of any depth. This book should earn a medal - it would go like this : Yikes. 2) Somewhere along the way, The Cresswell Plot forgot that a mystery needed tension to have a fucking point. You know when everything is so confusing that you keep turning the pages, eager to know what will happen, to understand, finally? Do you see? Do you know what I mean??? Well, it wasn't like that, but on the contrary the book and me went through many discussions like this - Book : So our father want to marry us to each other Me : whatevs Book : And now there is this intriguing and questioning THING that happened SOMEDAY with SOMEONE and wouldn't you want to know? Me : whatever you sayyyyy Book : I get the feeling that we don't understand each other Me : ... Book : i am dark though am i not (yeah, it kinda became a troll at some point) Me : ... Book : But aren't you intrigued just say it Me : yeah, sure (now the head shaking I was talking about earlier) (please someone help me) 3) While we're at it, can we focus one second on the fact that it got harder and harder for me to suspend my disbelief? So you have a family who's living in the woods, surviving by selling junk on markets, and thinking that Heaven is that little place just for Them (because they're the only ones really pure). I mean, okay. It's hard for me to believe in this but ALRIGHT. I'm sure there are crazy people like this everywhere. But see, the children go to high school. One of them never talks and it doesn't seem to bother anyone. Because the girl PAINTS. "They loved that she never spoke; people thought that was really fabulous. "How wonderful," they would say, "that she can speak so beautifully through her paintings." YOU DON'T SAY. Hey, honestly, if one of my pupils stopped talking at age 6 and draw fucking Monet, I would still be concerned by her absolute lack of TALKING. What's this school really?! Shouldn't be, say, social workers? Especially when every one of the kids show proofs of abuse (bruises, burns) and are starving? When it's common knowledge that their father lock them in a hole in the woods when they "sinned"? NOBODY CARES? REALLY? 4) I dare you to connect to the characters. No, seriously. I DARE YOU. Since they're exclusively built on telling and never, ever on showing, the only thing I can say is that the main character, Castella, does like rambling (and calling her boyfriend by his complete name. In. Her. Head. All. The. Time. Who does that?!) and for the other ones... ... ................................................... They are not there. They're cardboard people. They don't make any sense. THEY CAN'T KEEP A PERSONALITY FOR MORE THAN 10 PAGES. They are all over the place. It's exhausting. I don't care about any of them, and I SHOULD. Given what they go through, I should feel horrified and depressed and upset and fucking mad. Above that, the fact that all of them trust their father *cough* are brainwashed *cough* makes for the most uncomfortable thoughts. If at first I accepted it, thinking that it would be handled later in the book, I can't dismiss my discomfort now. If there's something that maddens me, it's when abuse isn't called for what it is but only brushed off, and in the end, it's how I feel in The Cresswell Plot. The way Castella and her siblings condemn it - only in the very end, and pretty quickly - is not enough. You don't go and tackle that kind of hard issues without really dealing with them. 5) The last paragraph was so lame, okay? "Some people might look pretty or talk prettily, but it's the things they do that tell you if they're worthy of your time. It's the things they do that tell you if they deserve your faith." Amen, I guess? Such a disappointment, really. Do not recommend. *arc kindly provided by Disney-Hyperion through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* For more of my reviews, please visit:

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    You might wonder why I keep reading young adult books even though... Because sometimes they are really, really good. This one wasn't. It should have been though because the synopsis sounds right up my alley. A close knit family lives off in the woods in a shack. You have six kids, Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, Jerusalem and Castella. They live with their 'prophet' father and mother (who can't walk because umm I think daddy pushed her down the stairs) They know that they are different f You might wonder why I keep reading young adult books even though... Because sometimes they are really, really good. This one wasn't. It should have been though because the synopsis sounds right up my alley. A close knit family lives off in the woods in a shack. You have six kids, Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, Jerusalem and Castella. They live with their 'prophet' father and mother (who can't walk because umm I think daddy pushed her down the stairs) They know that they are different from the town folk. Daddy gets his thoughts directly from God and they know that only the way they live is going to get them into heaven. So how do they live? They aren't allowed to socialize with the heathen town folk, wear homemade dresses and when they get to heaven their family is sooo special that they are going to marry each other because of the perfectness. Castley starts to realize that something isn't right with her family. She starts to question. Then Daddy decides God has told him it's time the family went to Heaven. It sounds good. It just didn't hold up. Throw in a weird story line with a local boy named George who did a one ninety at one point in the story and I was scratching my head. It's never told why Daddy thinks he is the voice of God or nuthin. It wasn't the worst book ever but I won't remember it tomorrow. Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Elizabeth

    (Source: I was able to view a digital galley of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Hachette Children's Group and NetGalley.) “Keep your eyes fixed firmly on heaven. That is where we belong.” This was quite an odd story about a group of siblings ruled by their father and his strong beliefs. I felt quite sorry for Castella in this story because all she really wanted was to be a normal girl, and not to be held to all these strange rules by her father. She did make some (Source: I was able to view a digital galley of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Hachette Children's Group and NetGalley.) “Keep your eyes fixed firmly on heaven. That is where we belong.” This was quite an odd story about a group of siblings ruled by their father and his strong beliefs. I felt quite sorry for Castella in this story because all she really wanted was to be a normal girl, and not to be held to all these strange rules by her father. She did make some less than intelligent decisions at times, but I think this was mainly due to her strange upbringing. The storyline in this was about Castella’s life, and her siblings lives, and the strange way they lived. I found it quite odd the way Castella was supposed to marry her own brother when she was older, and how they were supposed to live a set way, and I really did wonder whether her father was suffering from a mental illness based on the way he treated his family. The ending to this was quite weird, but wasn’t without some big revelations. 6 out of 10

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I don't know how I feel about The Cresswell Plot. I assumed that I would know if I liked this book or not by time I finished reading it but I still don't know. The Cresswell Plot is about Castella Cresswell, her five siblings and her very very mentally ill parents. Her father believes he receives messages from God that include such craziness as the belief that once they die they will all marry each other in heaven...Oh and apparently they're the only ones going to heaven. This family gave me Dug I don't know how I feel about The Cresswell Plot. I assumed that I would know if I liked this book or not by time I finished reading it but I still don't know. The Cresswell Plot is about Castella Cresswell, her five siblings and her very very mentally ill parents. Her father believes he receives messages from God that include such craziness as the belief that once they die they will all marry each other in heaven...Oh and apparently they're the only ones going to heaven. This family gave me Duggar vibes and severely creeped me out. I felt as I was reading it like nothing was happening but I also couldn't stop reading it. I'm very confused. Can a book be boring and compulsively readable at the same time? I decided to give The Cresswell Plot 3 stars because 4 stars was too many but 2 stars seemed too harsh. I don't rule out waking up tomorrow and completely changing the rating and review. It could happen. No rec because I'm baffled.

  6. 5 out of 5

    emily

    full review is now on my blog, BlueEyedBiblio!! full review is now on my blog, BlueEyedBiblio!!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kristina Horner

    I somewhat enjoyed this book actually, despite its many pitfalls, because most of my issues with it came right at the end. The first 3/4 of the book feels like it promises a lot of things, and compelled me to read on... but then... The ending was extremely abrupt and I don't really understand what happened with George Gray -- and I think at some point I think this book forgot it was supposed to be a ~MyStEry~ because there were things I was very interested to find out that were... never resolved. I somewhat enjoyed this book actually, despite its many pitfalls, because most of my issues with it came right at the end. The first 3/4 of the book feels like it promises a lot of things, and compelled me to read on... but then... The ending was extremely abrupt and I don't really understand what happened with George Gray -- and I think at some point I think this book forgot it was supposed to be a ~MyStEry~ because there were things I was very interested to find out that were... never resolved. I still was interested in Castella's inner/personal journey and her relationship with her siblings. I was really rooting for this book the entire time I read it. It's a unique look at a strange form of child abuse with decent characters and lots of inner turmoil, but it fell short in a lot of places, especially right at the end. I was on the edge of my seat for a good portion of it, but then when it didn't deliver, the ending wasn't nearly as satisfying as I hoped.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kerri

    I didn't really write reviews at the time I read this book, but it's been almost two years since then, and I just wanted to take a moment to note that this book still pops into my head quite frequently. It was dark and strange and, while not perfect, was really compelling and has stuck with me, which I always think is a good thing. I must make it a priority this year to read her other book as there was something about the writing that really clicked with me. I am going to raise my rating from f I didn't really write reviews at the time I read this book, but it's been almost two years since then, and I just wanted to take a moment to note that this book still pops into my head quite frequently. It was dark and strange and, while not perfect, was really compelling and has stuck with me, which I always think is a good thing. I must make it a priority this year to read her other book as there was something about the writing that really clicked with me. I am going to raise my rating from four stars to five, as I'd debated between the two at the time of reading, and given how long it's stuck with me, I think it's earned it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Castley and her family are outcasts in their small town due to their weird ways. When their abusive father decides for them to go back to heaven, Castley refuses and rebels. Can she save her family from being buried alive? Read and find out for yourself. This was a pretty good and sad read. I enjoyed this book about learning to live your own life away from family. Definitely look for this book wherever books are sold.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Flynn

    Wow. What a haunting, suspenseful, fascinating read. The writing is both lyrical and sparse, and was able to fully transport me in the Cresswell world, where main character Castella and her five siblings live under the oppressive reign of their father and his suffocating religious beliefs. Castley is torn between the rules she has grown up with and the only home she has ever know, and the thrilling, illicit possibility of another life, a normal one. As she starts rebelling in small ways and expl Wow. What a haunting, suspenseful, fascinating read. The writing is both lyrical and sparse, and was able to fully transport me in the Cresswell world, where main character Castella and her five siblings live under the oppressive reign of their father and his suffocating religious beliefs. Castley is torn between the rules she has grown up with and the only home she has ever know, and the thrilling, illicit possibility of another life, a normal one. As she starts rebelling in small ways and exploring what life could be like as a regular teenager, her father makes a stunning proclamation-- it's time for the Cresswells to leave Earth and live in Heaven. But Castley isn't ready to go, and she has to figure out how far she will go to make her siblings see the possibilities her eyes have been opened to. I think what I loved best about this book was how deeply I was in Castley's head and able to feel the pain of her internal dilemma. Since her upbringing was so unconventional, it would have been easy to feel disconnected from her, but thanks to Eliza Wass's evocative language and talent for showing emotions, I was pulled right in to Castley's struggle. I also admire how fully fleshed-out the other characters are, including Castley's siblings. Eliza Wass proves that you don't have to say a lot to bring a character to life, and that having the right words is so much more important than having too many words. This is a story both terrifying and visceral, realistic and ethereal. It's vivid and jarring and incredibly thought-provoking. It's a story about family and the ties that bind, and how far you can pull those ties before they snap. It's a story about saving yourself, and the monsters you need to save yourself from- and how different they are than what you were made to believe. It's about believing in yourself above all else, and that's a theme any reader will be able to relate to.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kai Van

    I whipped through this book. I had no intention of reading it right away when I bought it, but after casually reading the first paragraph, I was hooked. The writing is just so good. It flows. It catches you & doesn't let go. I HAD to finish it immediately once I started. I felt so much for the Cresswell kids. Seriously, it felt like my heart & chest were on fire for most of the book. It's not as violent as I assumed it would be, as it IS about these children & how their father manipulates, abuses, I whipped through this book. I had no intention of reading it right away when I bought it, but after casually reading the first paragraph, I was hooked. The writing is just so good. It flows. It catches you & doesn't let go. I HAD to finish it immediately once I started. I felt so much for the Cresswell kids. Seriously, it felt like my heart & chest were on fire for most of the book. It's not as violent as I assumed it would be, as it IS about these children & how their father manipulates, abuses, & forces them into his absurd personal religious beliefs. There are definitely a few violent moments, just less than I assumed there would be going in. The only thing I'm knocking 1 star off for is the end. Though I felt it definitely ended well, I mostly just wish there was more of a follow-up with what happens after & a couple questions I wish I could have more detailed/definitive answers for. But even without those, this book was amazing. It definitely had me at the edge of my seat & frantic for the whole thing. If the subject matter isn't something that would bother you too much, I gotta recommend you pick this one up & give it a go. I loved it & can't wait to see what other stories Eliza Wass has up her sleeve!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tammie

    The Cresswell Plot is one dark and creepy book. I can honestly say that this is one of the most disturbing books involving family dynamics since I read The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell. A relatively short book, it's a quick and interesting read. The story revolves around the Cresswell family, a family of eight that is run by a super strict and religious father. The father has absolutely no redeeming qualities and runs his household based on fear and intimidation. The story is ultimately abou The Cresswell Plot is one dark and creepy book. I can honestly say that this is one of the most disturbing books involving family dynamics since I read The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell. A relatively short book, it's a quick and interesting read. The story revolves around the Cresswell family, a family of eight that is run by a super strict and religious father. The father has absolutely no redeeming qualities and runs his household based on fear and intimidation. The story is ultimately about the struggles of the six Cresswell children as they start doubting their father's belief system and start testing his super strict rules. The ending was somewhat abrupt for me and though the ending could have been better, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    bec ɤ

    This was really gripping but I just wanted more. Review to come.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brittany S.

    Initial Impressions 3/1/16: 3.25 - 3.75 stars | Because of a little bit of disappointment in the conclusion, rounding down to three on Goodreads That really wasn't quite what I expected at all. It was definitely interested but it was all quite horrifying to witness what this Cresswell family went through and why. I'm still not totally sure I understand their father's motives, which is a bit sad. I was hoping for the conclusion to really dig into some more answers and more things about the past bu Initial Impressions 3/1/16: 3.25 - 3.75 stars | Because of a little bit of disappointment in the conclusion, rounding down to three on Goodreads That really wasn't quite what I expected at all. It was definitely interested but it was all quite horrifying to witness what this Cresswell family went through and why. I'm still not totally sure I understand their father's motives, which is a bit sad. I was hoping for the conclusion to really dig into some more answers and more things about the past but it really didn't. I think my own expectations let me down a bit because I thought it would be a bit more "thriller" than it was. It was definitely fast-paced and nerve-wracking but I thought there would be more time spent away from the family. Some nice little twists here and there. Ultimately, I think I just wished for more and a better wrap-up. I think there could have been a few more paragraphs to explain things a little better and really tie up the ending nicely. Review as originally posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide 5/11/16: I was really excited to start THE CRESSWELL PLOT and actually dug into it as soon as I got the approval from Disney-Hyperion on Netgalley! The book sounded extremely interesting and quite thrilling so I was incredibly curious to see how things played out. Once I started, I realized either the synopsis changed since the book was first announced or I was just totally off-based with my expectations because THE CRESSWELL PLOT really wasn’t what I had expected. The book was definitely hard to walk away from. I was sucked into the Cresswell’s world and intrigued with Castley’s role in it. The Cresswells are an ultra-religious family but they basically have their own religion. They follow the rules of the Bible but their father also has written his own Bible of sorts so there’s this weird, blurry line of how much Father Cresswell believes his word is God and how much he believes he’s pulled from scripture. It was actually quite horrifying to read how terribly this family was controlled and made to fear the outside world. Honestly, the controlling and abusive aspects made this book really hard to read and yet I also couldn’t pull myself away. I got incredibly concerned for Crestley and her siblings so I didn’t want to leave the story without knowing what happened to them, but I was constantly cringing at how her father treated them and the brainwashing that was involved to make the kids think that everything he was doing was God’s plan. I’m not sure how to classify the book — realistic fiction, thriller, a mix, or neither — but I had set out with the mindset that it was going to be a bit more of a thriller so I had hoped for more there. Since it was so hard to read about the family life, I had been hoping to spend more time with Crestley or the other siblings outside of their property and exploring more of what “normal” life would be like. The ending also happened a bit abruptly for my taste. There was a solid conclusion with a little bit of a lingering question but it all sort of happened so quickly that I was hoping for more of a transition. I feel like the book could have benefited from a few more paragraphs or even a short chapter to tie everything up and explain what happened after the fast-paced sequence of events that led to the conclusion. I also would have really loved to know more about the father and exactly why and how he became the way he did. There wasn’t really much backstory or reasoning behind how he chose to raise his family so I would have really liked to see more explanation. Overall, THE CRESSWELL PLOT was a book I couldn’t tear myself away from and yet I had a hard time reading it. The concept drew me in and I didn’t want to put the book down so it made for a super quick read and it was also something that made met think about lifestyles other than my own. Again, I think my expectations of what the book was somehow got thrown really off-base and I’m not sure if I would have picked the book up so soon if ever knowing that this was the actual plot. That being said, it was also interesting to read and I always like pushing the boundaries of what I might normally pick up so I’m glad I did read it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This review was done by KissinBlueKaren The Cresswell Plot is about a “cult-like” family known for their religious beliefs and the way they live. Castella Cresswell is the main character. She has recently been sent to a public school after DCF got involved. If only they had stay involved. The Cresswells are living in their ramshackle home, without power or running water, and that home is lorded over by her father. He expects obedience and offers strict punishment to those who don’t follow rul This review was done by KissinBlueKaren The Cresswell Plot is about a “cult-like” family known for their religious beliefs and the way they live. Castella Cresswell is the main character. She has recently been sent to a public school after DCF got involved. If only they had stay involved. The Cresswells are living in their ramshackle home, without power or running water, and that home is lorded over by her father. He expects obedience and offers strict punishment to those who don’t follow rules. Some of their beliefs go beyond the mentality that they will be the only ones saved. These beliefs include incest to protect the bloodline, and now a return to their heavenly home. Castella wants out of her father’s home, but she needs to figure out how to get her siblings out as well. I am not sure how to even start this review. My first thought at this family was horror. People live like this, even today! Mom is mostly absent from their lives and their father is horrible. This is religion gone so wrong. Can you imagine living without power and water? That’s barbaric. As Castella describes her brother/intended I was dumbfounded. Her father not only suggested incest between his three female and three male children, he demanded it. The kids all struggled with reconciling God with their lives. Okay, although this story was weird, I was strangely fascinated by it. Castella’s response to her situation is believable and heartbreaking. Castella sees her brothers getting punished and sent to a cave, and this action catapults her questioning everything about their lives. Since their mother is mostly silent and their father is off the deep end, the children are left to figure things out for themselves. Castella gets a little help working things out because she makes a friend at school. His view of her helps her to understand that things are really wrong at home. I was sated with this friendship, even though it ended sort of in a hurry. Although the context was somewhat unsettling, I found this book mostly entertaining. I don’t feel like I wasted my time reading this, it was just a really different type of read then I am used to. I had more than a few questions after I read this book, loads of things were left unanswered. I doubt this book will appeal to a lot of YA readers, it is really out there. The climax of this story was a bit disappointing, but I liked where Castella ended up.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    3.5/5 stars The Cresswell Plot is a standalone YA contemporary book. I've seen it listed as a mystery or thriller. But to me it doesn't really fit in either of those categories. The narrator is 17 year old Castella/Castley Cresswell (girl). She has five siblings Hannan (boy), Caspar (boy), Mortimer (boy), Delvive (girl), and Jerusalem/Baby J (girl). At first I could not tell which ones were boys and which ones were girls (since most of the names were so unusual). They are very poor and live in the 3.5/5 stars The Cresswell Plot is a standalone YA contemporary book. I've seen it listed as a mystery or thriller. But to me it doesn't really fit in either of those categories. The narrator is 17 year old Castella/Castley Cresswell (girl). She has five siblings Hannan (boy), Caspar (boy), Mortimer (boy), Delvive (girl), and Jerusalem/Baby J (girl). At first I could not tell which ones were boys and which ones were girls (since most of the names were so unusual). They are very poor and live in the woods. These kids are made fun of by the other kids. Their father is super strict, religious and very mean. His beliefs are very odd and creepy. This book made me extremely uncomfortable at times. This book was so different. I liked Castley and especially enjoyed her in her drama class. But the philosophy the father had was just really bizarre and creepy. And the punishments were horrifying. The book really is different. The characters and their lives are like nothing I have read or experienced. But there are definitely some very disturbing things in this story. There were definitely a bunch of things towards the end that did not really make sense to me, especially re: Castley's friend George. There was an unexpected reveal that I really did enjoy. A lot of stuff at the end happened very fast. But I did enjoy the six months later part. Overall, I really am not sure what to make of this book. It was really not what I was expecting. It was unusual and different. And I definitely commend the author for writing something that I have not seen before. Thanks to netgalley and Disney-Hyperion for allowing me to read this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Linda Bargas

    Just.... WOW. Ever wonder what makes someone stay? This is a grippingly simple glimpse into those minds. (Of *course* there are ridiculous parts, but the readability of it didn't have me question too deeply.)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Aj Sterkel

    Likes: A story about weirdos in the woods? You know I’m always here for that. So, this little book is fantastically messed up. The narrator and her five strangely named siblings live with their parents in the woods. The government has recently started forcing the Cresswell siblings to attend school, which has opened a new world to them. The siblings’ reactions to life outside the woods are realistically mixed. They want to be “normal” kids, but they don’t want to disappoint their fanatically Chri Likes: A story about weirdos in the woods? You know I’m always here for that. So, this little book is fantastically messed up. The narrator and her five strangely named siblings live with their parents in the woods. The government has recently started forcing the Cresswell siblings to attend school, which has opened a new world to them. The siblings’ reactions to life outside the woods are realistically mixed. They want to be “normal” kids, but they don’t want to disappoint their fanatically Christian parents. The harder they try to fit in at school, the crazier their father becomes. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but the end of the story is nuts. It gets violent and intense. I love that the teen characters speak like teens. They swear, make crude sexual comments, and are constantly insulting each other. Basically, they behave like (almost) everyone I knew as a teen. Since the kids are so realistic, they’re easy to love. I wanted Castley to leave her abusive father, but I didn’t want her to lose her siblings. I was scared for the kids at the end. I didn’t want them to get hurt, and I didn’t see how all of them could get out of the woods alive. I was definitely invested in the characters. “Keep your eyes fixed firmly on heaven. That is where we belong.” – The Cresswell Plot Dislikes: Either I’ve read too many cult books, or the foreshadowing is too heavy. I predicted (most of) the ending. I knew who was going to save the kids. Since I knew what was going to happen, I got frustrated that the plot was taking so long to get there. There’s a ton of slow buildup, and then everything is over in a rush. The pacing is all over the place. I think the book needed to be longer. (Or maybe spend less time focusing on Castley’s angsty waffling.) There are a lot of characters. A few of them are well-developed, but the rest are just . . . there. I wanted to know what was happening in their lives. The Bottom Line: Not my favorite fictional cult book. (That honor still goes to The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood.) Overall, I liked it. I got frustrated with the pacing, but the characters kept my attention. Do you like reviews, giveaways, and bookish nonsense? I have a blog for that.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Saruuh Kelsey

    There are no words for this book. It far surpasses any language. I'm not even going to attempt a full review of this book because it has left me emotional and practically speechless. Here are the points I wrote down: - Atmospheric, real-world thriller (no fantasy or magic) - Unsettling, upsetting, chilling - Makes you doubt what's real, who's good or bad, if God exists in the way we know it today (as faith) or as something more (as magic) - Realistic, easy-to-like MC. I honestly cannot say the right There are no words for this book. It far surpasses any language. I'm not even going to attempt a full review of this book because it has left me emotional and practically speechless. Here are the points I wrote down: - Atmospheric, real-world thriller (no fantasy or magic) - Unsettling, upsetting, chilling - Makes you doubt what's real, who's good or bad, if God exists in the way we know it today (as faith) or as something more (as magic) - Realistic, easy-to-like MC. I honestly cannot say the right words to describe her. Amazing doesn't cover it, brave is nowhere near powerful enough. Maybe I should just say powerful - Castella is powerful in her own right. - A Brilliant cast of characters. I appreciated all the siblings but I ADORED Caspar. I'd go to the ends of the earth to protect him. - Cult-like family that is honest-to-gods terrifying. I don't mean scary or creepy or eerie. I mean TERRIFYING. Do not read this and expect an easy read. It will disturb you. It will push you out of your comfort zone. It will captivate you too. - A haunting insight into the horrors of humanity - Just wonderful, resonating, and emotional. It's written with such care and compassion that you can't help but be swept away. - I will read anything Eliza Wass writes. She could write about a secret rebellion (ugh) in a virtual reality game (ughhhhhh) with a super cliche story, and I would still devour it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was very intrigued by the premise of the book; however, the promise that I found in the summary and the gorgeous cover didn't deliver as much as I wanted it to. The pacing of the book was a little off; Castella, our heroine, spends most of the book feeling one way and then suddenly seems to snap and feel completely different about her entire life. Her family does the same thing: she seems to have allies in her brothe I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was very intrigued by the premise of the book; however, the promise that I found in the summary and the gorgeous cover didn't deliver as much as I wanted it to. The pacing of the book was a little off; Castella, our heroine, spends most of the book feeling one way and then suddenly seems to snap and feel completely different about her entire life. Her family does the same thing: she seems to have allies in her brothers and then, all of a sudden, they hate her and think she's the devil. Oh, wait, never mind. She's actually their savior. The amount of changes the characters go through in the course of this (sort of short) novel left my head spinning. Don't get me started on Castella's "love interest" and how he changes. It felt, at times, like I was reading a novel version of Katy Perry's song "Hot N Cold." However, the size of the novel meant that I was able to get through it relatively quickly and it kept my attention. Though I did find myself confused at points, the novel was definitely readable, if not entirely enjoyable. The author did do a semi-decent job at getting into the heads of high school students. And, yes, I did find myself hoping that Castella would save herself and her family from her creepy Father.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Angela (PerpetualPages)

    Pretty sure this is the strangest/creepiest book I have ever read. And I don't mean creepy in a "monster under the bed" kind of way. But creepy in a "there are seriously people in the world who think this way?" and "wow this people are brainwashed" kind of way. There were a couple of times I literally got shivers while reading this. I'm not sure this is a book for everyone, but if you like weird/creepy books, you might enjoy it. I'll have a better review soon, but for now I just need to process.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Compulsively readable. Like, I picked it up while my class was reading, and then the bell rang, and I was all, "Oh, I guess I decided we were reading all period today." But the ending was rushed, disjointed, and unsatisfying. 3.5 stars, rounded up.

  23. 5 out of 5

    mad mags

    What did I just read? (Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for child abuse and domestic violence.) ‘You will hide your true self. You will bury what you fear, in a locked chest in the cave of your heart, where you will keep the bones of the person you could have been.’ “It’s funny, isn’t it?” he said, chest contracting as he caught his breath. “How beautiful the world becomes when you think you might have to leave it?” So here's the thing: What did I just read? (Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for child abuse and domestic violence.) ‘You will hide your true self. You will bury what you fear, in a locked chest in the cave of your heart, where you will keep the bones of the person you could have been.’ “It’s funny, isn’t it?” he said, chest contracting as he caught his breath. “How beautiful the world becomes when you think you might have to leave it?” So here's the thing: I had high hopes for The Cresswell Plot. I love a deranged cult story as much as the next looky loo; and between its suggestive title, eloquent synopsis, and oh-so-creepy cover art, The Cresswell Plot looked quite promising. And while Father's "religion" is indeed the stuff of nightmares, the rest of the story fell short of my expectations. My biggest issue was with the characters. With the exception of Father - who is reliably cruel and demented - I had trouble pinning the characters down. Cas, Caspar, Morty - they're all over the place. Their beliefs, allegiances, reasoning, thought processes - I never felt like I got a good handle on them at all. One minute they'd be rebelling, testing the rules by joining the school play, dressing in "normal" clothing, or lusting after classmates; the next, they're snitching on their siblings and setting fire to their potential allies' houses. Each move was a complete surprise to me, and not in a good way; there just didn't seem to be any consistency to their behavior. To be fair, this could be the whole point: e.g., this is what growing up in such a dysfunctional home does to a person. But if this is the case, it could have been handled with more nuance and clarity. It's not even wholly accurate to say that there isn't any character development here. (Although I would have liked to have learned more about Hannan, Jerusalem, Michael, and Momma.) Rather, it feels like many of the protagonists were cobbled together, Frankenstein style, from mismatched bits and pieces of other people. Abstract individuals, painted by Picasso. Not surprisingly, the plot was also a bit of a mess. The ending felt rushed, and then resolved itself a little too neatly. There were multiple threads - some of them quite promising - that were left dangling. For example, Father's origin story: we see in Castley's illicit photograph that Gabriel was once a happy, popular, regular teenager. I suspect that the original Caspar's death might have been the crucial event that forever altered the course of the Cresswells' lives. Perhaps Father killed Caspar in a fit of rage, or maybe it was an accident; either way, Father needed to construct a world-view that explained his propensity for violence away, and/or gave meaning to Caspar's tragic death. Equally traumatized, Momma went along - until her fall down the stairs, at least, when escape became physically impossible for her. That would be a rather interesting backstory, don't you think? Unfortunately, it's only ever hinted at - and vaguely, at that. We never learn the cause of the estrangement between Gabriel and Michael, nor does Wass explore the relationship between Michael and his sister-in-law. Also, the incest thing. One of Father's teachings is that the siblings will all pair up - enter a celestial (and presumably chaste) marriage in heaven. To this end, he's already arranged their marriages: Castley + Caspar; Delvive + Hannan (they're not just siblings, but 2/3 of triplets); and Jerusalem + Mortimer. Of course, this is bound to fuck with their heads - especially as they enter puberty and start experiencing "carnal urges" (ew!). And we definitely see this with Cas who, by story's end, has made out with Caspar. And then ... nothing. Thread, dropped. Like, you can't just go back to normal after something like that. But maybe your father trying to kill you just takes precedence? idk. It just seems like kissing your brother deserves more than a passing mention, you know? So that brings us to the one part of the story that I did enjoy: Father's crazy cultish religion. There are some really creeptastic elements here, even if I never felt like they were utilized to their greatest potential. Every night, the Cresswell family gathers for Bible study; in addition to the Bible, they also read from Father's own hand-crafted book of revelations (narcissistic much?). (Here I'm picturing the Unibomber's diary, perhaps with some of the more horrifying flourishes found in Murray Goldberg's scrapbook.) Father doesn't "believe" in plumbing; rather, leaky and corroded pipes are a test from God. Radio, TV, and cell phone transmissions are too easily hijacked by the devil, and are thus banned from the Cresswell home (though not until Father ripped the stereo from the truck in a fit of violence; convenient, that). Likewise, modern medicine is the stuff of Satan. This includes bone setting and casts, both of which Momma is denied (or denies herself) after she falls (is pushed?) down the stairs, breaking a leg. It "healed" into a permanent bent position, leaving mom disabled and dependent on Father. When the Cresswell kids break Father's bizarre and arbitrary rules (e.g., why on earth is Hannan allowed to participate in a secular pastime like HS football?), they're locked in "God's grave," a small, cave-like sewer in the woods. Sometimes for days on end, without food, water, or adequate clothing. But they're not alone (muahahahaha!). If I seem flippant about child abuse, it's only because Father's behavior is so exaggerated and over the top, like cartoon violence. In the real world, I've no idea how this kind of abuse would persist, undetected - especially after Morty's broken collarbone attracted both attention and intervention (albeit limited). The kids are dirty, starving, and often show up to school with bruises, burns, and other obvious signs of abuse. Yet the only person who seems concerned for their welfare is Michael. And it's not like they live in a cloistered community where the local government officials adhere to the same fundamentalist beliefs as Father (e.g., polygamist Mormons in Utah). Nope, the Cresswells are a sea of weird in a secular society. I can't imagine any of the adults in charge covering for Father. The Cresswell Plot is an example of good idea/poor execution. It's weird; the synopsis is accurate, but also not. (Like, what even is the titular plot here? The characters don't act, they react. Forget about plotting!) While it does approximate the story, it's also a lot neater and more cogent than the actual book. I feel like maybe this is what Wass was shooting for, but fell just short. 2.5 stars, rounded down to 2 where necessary. http://www.easyvegan.info/2016/06/06/...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Mathis

    The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark.  Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. 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 The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark.  Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. 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 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. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, 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. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation. - - - - - Rating: 5/5 Penguins Quick Reasons: OHMAHGOSH, ohmahgosh, this book is insanely intense; I took a huge step out of my comfort zone for this read—and am so glad I did!; lots of plot twists and moments that caught me off-guard; lots of pretty, “makes you think” moments; the prose is beautiful and well-done; the characters are vibrant and unique; the plot is action-packed and full of mystery from the beginning; THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD! Huge thanks go out to Eliza Wass, Disney-Hyperion Publishing, and Netgalley for access to the eARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way altered my opinions or review of this book. “You will hide your true self. You will bury what you fear, in a locked chest in the cave of your heart, where you will keep the bones of the person you could have been.” I have to start this review by stating the (maybe) obvious: I took a large step out of my comfort zone for this book, and I am so so glad that I did! The writing, first and foremost, is absolutely gorgeous. Poetic, with moments of wise insight scattered throughout—moments that reach into a reader's heart and tug at the most secret, deepest parts of them, the parts they don't even realize they have. More than that, though, is how beautifully Eliza Wass layered the pieces of this story. The plot is action-packed from the get-go, building on the drama and the mystery until readers feel like they're bound to either blow up the book or blow up themselves. The frustration—to KNOW, to understand, to see behind the veil—is very real for this read. Sometimes love was a spell people put you under to keep you from seeing who they really were. This is a much more mature read than I was expecting, going in. I'm not sure why exactly, but I was under the impression, at the beginning of this journey, that Castley was MUCH younger than she actually is. It wasn't until she explicitly stated her age that I realized this book was determined to surprise me—in more than one way! I think the biggest reason behind this, though, is the way she acts and thinks during the first few pages. She comes off much more innocent, much more “pure,” than an almost-17 year old. Of course, I'm sure part of this is her father—and the way they've all been raised. The ending sort of caught me by surprise. I felt as if I blinked and missed out on the “closure.” It leaves off on sort of a weird note, too—brought back full-circle, but sort of rushed through. I expected the characters to have scars, to be stiff and awkward, to not be healed. After the trauma of... well, their entire lives, I expected the ending to be harsher. Instead, it felt formal and disconnected—as if the author wasn't quite sure, herself, what the future held for the characters, and therefore chose to skip over any trauma they might otherwise show. It was weird, and is the only part of this read that sits wrong with me. I guess I was expecting more pain from them, in the end, and was disappointed not to get it. Which sounds a bit off-kilter and insane of me, thinking about it now. On that note, however, I have some warnings for potential future readers: there IS abuse. There is bullying (though not much?), there is violence, there is murder. There is a lot of religion at play throughout, both actual and personal; there is talk of dying or committing suicide to “get to God.” If any of this is a trigger for you, please be careful if you decide to go into this book. My eyes traveled over the woods as if they were new to me. White trunks, twisted like bones, and leaves that curled into fists. And the watchful eye of the drowning moon hovered overhead. Why did the world choose that moment to look more beautiful than it ever had? Regardless, this is a breath-taking, life-changing, thought-altering read. The world will be just a bit more shady, just a smidge more dangerous, from here out for me. I definitely recommend this to those interested in obsessive religions, dark contemporary novels, and flawed characters who find their spunk—and themselves—during the journey. I can't wait to see what the future will bring from Eliza Wass. She just leaped to the top of my “to watch out for” list!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jena

    First, I loved this book! 4.5/5 glowing stars! Readers should know going in that there are some issues that could be uncomfortable for them. This is a book about extreme religious beliefs, bordering on cult-like behavior. I honestly don’t know the rules to define a cult, so while this family doesn’t recruit new members, they have some fairly insane beliefs. There are incest issues, although nothing graphic, the idea of siblings being paired to be married in the afterlife may creep some readers ou First, I loved this book! 4.5/5 glowing stars! Readers should know going in that there are some issues that could be uncomfortable for them. This is a book about extreme religious beliefs, bordering on cult-like behavior. I honestly don’t know the rules to define a cult, so while this family doesn’t recruit new members, they have some fairly insane beliefs. There are incest issues, although nothing graphic, the idea of siblings being paired to be married in the afterlife may creep some readers out. And there is lots of physical abuse. Again, it isn’t graphic, but it isn’t pleasant either. “Because I didn’t feel abused. Only I didn’t know. I didn’t know what abuse felt like because I didn’t know whether I was experiencing it or not.” That said, the intensity of this book is necessary and forms a very well rounded story. Growing up with Castley’s father wouldn’t be a walk in the park. And you won’t have stable, rational children. The representation of the fear combined with the doubt in each of the Cresswell children felt very accurate. It is the fear that keeps them in line, even when they want to push back. Fear coupled with doubt is any abusers greatest weapons. And Wass writes this internal and external war vividly. It is physical warfare, yes, but it is also a twisted psychological war as well. In the beginning, it is Mortimer who is the rebellious one. Always pushing, always causing trouble. Castley is only starting to wonder if the things she is told are true. She is only beginning to test her own boundaries. These small rebellions felt normal. What teenager didn’t push boundaries with their parents? The difference is the fear of the consequences. Their consequences were much harsher and potentially more dangerous. “She looked like my soul, battered and twisted, afraid to move. And I felt terror grip me, in tight hot fingers around my throat.” Castley is fantastic! I adored her. Her growth throughout this novel felt so real to me. And she was very relatable. She makes some incredibly insightful observations about people and human nature. It is this sharpness that makes her strong. It also makes it understandable that Castley would be the one who sees through the litany of lies and veiled threats her and her siblings have been indoctrinated with for their entire lives. “One person tells a story about themselves and then the other person does the same thing, and neither of them realizes they’re not even talking to each other. They’re just talking to themselves out loud.” The suspense was brilliantly written. By the end, I was clutching my dogs and climbing the walls, nearly breathless, as I honestly had no idea which direction Wass would take the ending. It could have gone in so many directions, it was difficult to even try and predict how it would all play out. I would have liked a little more detail, as some plot points were vague, but maybe that’s just because I was really emotionally invested by the end. I wanted to know every minor detail. If you’re looking for creepy YA suspense, look no further! This book is full of cultish creepiness, adolescent angst and some serious terror for good measure. I will for sure be placing her next book on my wishlist and waiting for it’s release! Thank you Rockstar Book Tours for including me on this tour! I had a blast! Go to my blog for a chance to win a copy of this book!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katy (Katyslibrary)

    3.25/5 stars. I don't have many words for this book other than strange and different. It becomes clear right away that this book is about a very strict, cult like, religious family. I was immediately intrigued because I sometimes hear about strict religious people who really have gone too far in what they are practicing, but I haven't read many books where that topic is the main focus. I was appalled and slightly disturbed at the things that happened with this family and what they practiced. How 3.25/5 stars. I don't have many words for this book other than strange and different. It becomes clear right away that this book is about a very strict, cult like, religious family. I was immediately intrigued because I sometimes hear about strict religious people who really have gone too far in what they are practicing, but I haven't read many books where that topic is the main focus. I was appalled and slightly disturbed at the things that happened with this family and what they practiced. However, it did make you understand that this was a situation to get out of and it was believable that this probably does happen to others in real life. I enjoyed the growth of the main character as she navigated what was real and what had been taught to her by her father, but I lacked a connection or any vast amount of emotions to any of the characters . I also found the ending abrupt and a little disappointing. There were still many questions left unanswered which is slightly annoying since this is a standalone book. I wouldn't consider this a mystery or thriller at all, but it has its moments where I was left wondering just how will the characters make it out of their fathers religious life, and will they even want too? Finding out what happens to them ultimately is what kept me going, but I do wish there had been more answers and more emotional connections to the characters. I thought that the way the female lead, Castley, was feeling through out the book was pretty believable for what she was going through. I could understand when she would question what her father had taught her against what others said and what her head was telling her. Its hard to know what is right, what is god, what is just life, when you have been brainwashed your whole life by the person you're supposed to look up too. As much as I hated Castley's father, I found myself really wanting to know more about him. Through out the book there were hints at his past but what really upset me is that we never learned why or how he became this crazy preacher practicing a very strict religion. I was also annoyed by what happened with George Gray. I won't mention any spoilers but I felt how he was written through out the whole book did not add up to how he acted at the end and it could have been written a little better. Especially since I liked George. The characters in this book really lacked any emotional connection, I didn't put the book down after I was finished and linger on any one character like I normally do. The idea and the story for this book is really great I just wish maybe it had been a little longer and more detailed and involved to make connections and to really invest the reader in the story even more. Aside from its set backs though, this book was different than many of the books I've read lately. That's one thing I really did like about this book, I felt like I wasn't reading the exact same story again. I thought this was a good book, not really good or great, but good. It was different and kept me intrigued. It also left me with unanswered questions and no real connections, but I can't say I didn't enjoy the book overall.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    3.5 Stars The Cresswell Plot is one dark, creepy little brew! And truth be told…I’m not entirely certain how I feel about it, so I’m just going to pour out some of my “WHOA!”s and “Hell, no!”s on the page and see what happens. :) Our story revolves around the Cresswells, a strict religious family raised in an overbearing, abusive house. From hair styles to relationships to technology. Everything is controlled and watched. Plain clothes, group prayers, scriptures and extreme punishments are all a 3.5 Stars The Cresswell Plot is one dark, creepy little brew! And truth be told…I’m not entirely certain how I feel about it, so I’m just going to pour out some of my “WHOA!”s and “Hell, no!”s on the page and see what happens. :) Our story revolves around the Cresswells, a strict religious family raised in an overbearing, abusive house. From hair styles to relationships to technology. Everything is controlled and watched. Plain clothes, group prayers, scriptures and extreme punishments are all a part of the Cresswell family life. Their father runs the show with fear and one scary, scary doctrine. “In the past, God has always provided for us—down to the letter, exactly what we needed, God has given us. And now, he isn’t. What do you think that means?” The Cresswell children—Castley, Hannan, Casper, Mortimer, Del, and Baby J—see and accept their father’s teachings as the way of God. They live and believe it. Or do they? You just never know what they really think or what they could do or what they could let happen. The second half of the book is PACKED with tension! I found myself talking out loud several times—“NO! He wouldn’t.” or “What the hell!?” What these kids went through is horrifying and shocking! Faith is a terrifying thing sometimes. If your father tells you something is true and you’re raised to believe and live a certain way---it’s just not an easy thing to change or deny or shake off with certainty. Doubt always seems to creep in. Are you sure he’s wrong? The motives and beliefs in this book are foggy from beginning to end. And that’s what creeped me out. Still does! I’m still not sure who did what and what they all believed. Some of that uncertainty helped fuel the suspense, but by the end I needed something more. This book is definitely not one to read and forget—the creeps are still running up and down my spine along with a bit of left over “eww”. I don’t want to spoil the suspense by saying too much. If ever there was a—“You have to read it to believe it" book—this is it! You’ve got to read this. Now I realize my words don’t glow with praise and love, but this story is not an easy one to talk about. It’s a quick, fast paced read. One I raced through actually. I needed to know what was going to happen next! And the writing had me under its spell. The words held a dark, menacing, beauty to them that left me in awe several times…. ”As I walked, darkness peeled deeper and deeper over my head, tucking shadows into the cracks in the sky.” I’m not going to recommend this book to everyone, but I have a few readers in my world to pass this along to. A strong, scary read. If you do read this, I would love to hear feedback! **Quotes taken from ARC**

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Kieffer

    Spoiler-free review: 4.5 / 5 stars Ooh, guys. I loved this book. It was super dark, creepy, and featured a cult, which–strange to say–is right up my alley. It was pretty short though, so I feel like commenting on pretty much anything about it would qualify as a spoiler. But I will address the biggest critique I've seen in reviews: The emotional connection. So a lot of people have said that they've been freaked out about the lack of emotion they felt in the narrative. After all, there's a lot of ab Spoiler-free review: 4.5 / 5 stars Ooh, guys. I loved this book. It was super dark, creepy, and featured a cult, which–strange to say–is right up my alley. It was pretty short though, so I feel like commenting on pretty much anything about it would qualify as a spoiler. But I will address the biggest critique I've seen in reviews: The emotional connection. So a lot of people have said that they've been freaked out about the lack of emotion they felt in the narrative. After all, there's a lot of abuse and creepy sh*t going on. Shouldn't Castley be much more unhinged? But here's the thing: when life gives you crap, you either fight back or you shut down. And we see both of those things from Castley in this book. Castley doesn't get to be emotional for a long time. Not if she wants to stay safe. Not if she wants to live. So of course her narrative is going to seem emotionally stunted. It's SUPPOSED to freak you out that she's so apathetic about all of the crap going on in her life. That's the whole point! Another common critique I've seen about this book is the fact that the townspeople and teachers should've been waaay more concerned about the Cresswell family. That the obvious signs of trouble should have been reported or addressed–but they weren't, so therefore the suspension of disbelief needed to enjoy this book was steep. But here's a sad fact about life: people ignore the things that make them uncomfortable ALL THE TIME, especially abuse. People always *think* they'd speak up in these types of situations, but they rarely do. How many times have you ignored a child being forcefully wrangled by a parent in public? How many times have you looked past the homeless beggar on the street? It's not unthinkable that the Cresswell's were never investigated (which they actually were once, by the way) because people just don't want to get involved in something so messy and potentially dangerous. I've seen it happen myself. I've probably done it myself, too. But anywho. Now I'm just ranting. Sorry! A quick disclaimer: it's perfectly fine if you don't enjoy this book, but I just wanted to address those critiques because I think they are unfounded. This book was not perfect and I definitely wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but it was powerful. Powerful for the right people. Powerful for those who've ever felt trapped by their upbringings. Powerful for people who are ready to find themselves in this world. If that's you, or has ever been you, I'd definitely recommend this checking this out.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Luupi "The Reading Queen"

    Well, I'm going to start this review by talking about the things I liked because they are the minority. First, I liked the evolution of the main character, Castella, throughout the book. It was enjoyable to see how she slowly changed her mind about certain things, it felt real from my point of view. However, I didn't get why she was so obsessed with sex, like that was the only thing she was thinking about for at least five chapters. If I was in her shoes, sex would be the last thing I would think Well, I'm going to start this review by talking about the things I liked because they are the minority. First, I liked the evolution of the main character, Castella, throughout the book. It was enjoyable to see how she slowly changed her mind about certain things, it felt real from my point of view. However, I didn't get why she was so obsessed with sex, like that was the only thing she was thinking about for at least five chapters. If I was in her shoes, sex would be the last thing I would think about. Another thing that I liked was the ending because it was such a mystery how things would turn out and also there was a possibility that no one would end up alive after that, I felt a rush of adrenaline throughout all that chapter, it was incredible. However, the last three pages were such a let down. After that intensity and intrigue, the way things got fixed was so easy and unrealistic. It disappointed me a lot. Now, taking about things I didn't like, the characters didn't make sense. I think their only purpose was to keep the plot going because their personalities would change so much that now after reading this books I'm not able to tell you each characters flaws or positive aspects :/ One example is Mortimer, since the first moment he was introduce as the rebel in the family but sometimes he would be a saint too, depending on how the story was going and I didn't like that. Overall, The Cresswell Plot was a little bit interesting but the actual ending and how the characters lacked personality were disappointed to me. Moreover, it ended with a kind of cliffhanger but I don't think there are going to be more books so I guess I'll have to continue being intrigued. (I wouldn't read other books even if there were ones, tbh)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    Raise your hand if you read a ton of VC Andrews in middle and high school? Don't even play - I saw all y'all reading those mass market paperbacks from the library under the covers at night! It's been a while since I read that level of crazy, so it only makes sense that I couldn't stop reading the insanity that is The Cresswell Plot. Before we get too far, remember, this is the book that bloggers got buried in a box of dirt. Ok, we've established that this book is going to be a little out there. C Raise your hand if you read a ton of VC Andrews in middle and high school? Don't even play - I saw all y'all reading those mass market paperbacks from the library under the covers at night! It's been a while since I read that level of crazy, so it only makes sense that I couldn't stop reading the insanity that is The Cresswell Plot. Before we get too far, remember, this is the book that bloggers got buried in a box of dirt. Ok, we've established that this book is going to be a little out there. Cults. Sibling marriage (or the mandate of such). Mysterious death of a brother who has been reincarnated. This book has everything! I didn't know what abuse felt like because I didn't know whether I was experiencing it or not. Castella and her siblings are living within the cult confines of a religious-extremist family where her overbearing father has written his own version of the Bible and they spend most of their time reading it. The kids only go to school because at some point Child Protective Services got involved and mandated it - Father doesn't believe they need to be educated and besides, the only pure people are the ones within their family. Hence the mandate of marriage within. Luckily the kids don't buy this 100% and start to rebel. The questioning only leads to further clamping down and time spend in God's Chamber, a hole in the ground where you fast of human interaction as well as food while you pay penance. It only goes downhill from there, as you can imagine. At times it's hard to read because you don't want to believe that there are families and children still living this life, being indoctrinated about their sin and needing to be sheltered lest they become less pure. That's what makes your skin crawl as you read it. This stuff actually happens daily here, where you can see it! You can watch it on TV. Gross. But real. And terrifying.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.