Sunday, 12 April 2015

Seed by Lisa Heathfield

Seed (2015) (Electric Monkey, Egmont) (publishing 16/04/2015)
Lisa Heathfield
Grade: A+
Genre: young adult
Source: own
Seed: (1) Seed
General RBC 2015: Free Square 

Seed loves her. Seed will never let her go ...

All Pearl knows is life at Seed. At Seed, they’re all children of Mother Nature who will love and protect them so long as they remain true to each other and live pure lives. In contrast, life on the Outside is dangerous, evil and poisonous. Their tiny community reap and sow the land under the guidance of their charismatic leader, Papa S. At fifteen years old, Pearl will soon become Papa S’s Companion, a role she simultaneously looks forward to, yet fills her with unease. When a new family from the Outside joins their way of life at Seed, this is just the start of a massive upheaval affecting every aspect of their lives. Ellis forces Pearl to question everything she has ever been told about the Outside world, and he challenges some of the very beliefs that they hold dearest at Seed. As some shocking truths are discovered, it's time for Pearl to re-evaluate everything she believes in ...   

I powered through this in about 2 hours over an evening and morning commute. This was as unputdownable as We Were Liars, if not a step up. There aren’t enough words to describe how stunning Lisa Heathfield’s debut is; all I know is that I just couldn’t stop. If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box young adult novel, then get your hands on Seed. If I haven’t convinced you to read this by the end of this review, then you should still pick it up just to experience the utter joy that comes with seeing, touching and reading a book with such a breath-taking cover – you’ve never seen so much beautiful, multi-coloured, light-catching foiling. It’ll take your breath away.

There are some stunningly backwards and WTF views and scenes in this book. In the opening chapter, 15-year-old Pearl gets her period for the first time and she thinks that she’s dying. Then she’s put in a hole in the ground to spend the night so that her body can be made ready for bearing children further down the line in her future. It’s mind-boggling how little they know about things that we take for granted as general knowledge, just because we’re exposed to so much advertising, news, culture, politics etc in everyday life. Even so, it’s impossible to get angry with Pearl as with every page, you’re forced to remember that this is all she has ever known. Not that I speak from personal experience, but Lisa Heathfield does a fabulous job in capturing the insularity of cult life.

I’m desperately excited to see where Lisa Heathfield will take Pearl next. Seed ends on a massive cliffhanger and there’s meant to be a second book in the series in 2016. Seed was absolutely stunning: the character development was brilliant, making me love some characters, while simultaneously hating others; there were some super haunting and sinister scenes that will send a shiver up your spine and; possibly most importantly, this was something different. I’ve seen my fair share of crime shows where people infiltrate cults to uncover some sort of criminal activity, but it’s a completely different experience when you’re reading the words. Lisa Heathfield does a spectacular job and I can imagine that I’ll be re-reading this several more times before Seed #2 is out.

Image courtesy of Book Depository

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