Thank you so much to Turn the Page Tours for the opportunity to be on this blog tour! I remember seeing the cover for the first time and reading the premise… I was hooked immediately. I knew I had to read it.
Title: Those Who Prey
Author: Jennifer Moffett
Publisher: Atheneum, Simon and Schuster
Release Date: November 10, 2020
Genres: YA Historical, Mystery, Thriller, Cults
I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Sadie meets The Girls in this riveting debut psychological thriller about a lonely college freshman seduced into joining a cult—and her desperate attempt to escape before it’s too late.
College life isn’t what Emily expected.
She expected to spend freshman year strolling through the ivy-covered campus with new friends, finally feeling like she belonged. Instead, she walks the campus alone, still not having found her place or her people so far away from home.
But then the Kingdom finds her.
The Kingdom, an exclusive on-campus group, offers everything Emily expected of college and more: acceptance, friends, a potential boyfriend, and a chance to spend the summer in Italy on a mission trip. But the trip is not what she thought it would be. Emily and the others are stripped of their passports and money. They’re cut off from their families back home. The Kingdom’s practices become increasingly manipulative and dangerous.
And someone ends up dead.
At times unsettling and always riveting, Those Who Prey looks at the allure of cult life, while questioning just how far we’re willing to go to find where we belong.
Buy it here
This is a slow burn psychological thriller that really takes a hard look at how a young adult could join a cult. Emily was excited to go to Boston for college, away from her always-working dad and busy body stepmom and stepsister. She hopes she’ll make friends and have fun. But after a full semester, she hasn’t found any of that. Instead, she feels estranged from everyone and overwhelmingly lonely. But one day, she meets a really cute boy who seems genuinely interested in her, and he invites her into his circle of friends. For once, she feels included and seen. With their help, she enters the Kingdom, where she feels needed and wanted. The author does an incredible job of showing, through Emily, how someone could fall into this situation. It seems really interesting and uplifting at first, but then the manipulation and high-pressure tactics begin… and then they go to Italy.
I was expecting this to be more fast-paced and heart pounding, but that is not this book. Instead, the dread and fear creeps up on you in a way that makes the first part of the book feel languid and dreamy… and then you’re awake in a horrible nightmare. Yet the book never felt slow. I did not want to stop reading, and it was a quick read. The writing is gorgeous, with such beautiful passages of description and introspection. There are short sections that interrupt Emily’s POV with interview excerpts from other characters of the book that gives clues to what happens in the end. I loved these, and I honestly wish there had been more. The ending was excellent as well, with an interesting twist as well as showing how a victim of a cult can recover and move on.
This is a fantastic debut! I’d recommend it for fans of Sadie and other similar thrillers. I can’t wait to see what Jennifer Moffett comes up with next!
JENNIFER MOFFETT grew up in Arkansas, where she spent her childhood playing in creeks and climbing trees while dreaming up stories about faraway places. A college study abroad program sparked her lifelong passion for travel. After working in children’s television in New York City, she received an MA in Creative Writing and wrote book reviews for regional publications. Her short stories and poems have appeared in various literary journals, including New Orleans Review and descant. She teaches creative writing on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where she enjoys kayaking, gardening, reading outdoors, and planning trips to new places (preferably with great local yarn shops and bookstores).
Her debut YA thriller, THOSE WHO PREY (Atheneum, Simon & Schuster), is about a shy college freshman who is seduced into joining a campus cult, leading her on a deadly mission trip to Italy.
Up for grabs, we have ONE digital copy (via NetGalley) and ONE physical copy of Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett. This giveaway will run from November 3rd to November 12th at 11:59 PM CST. Physical copy is only available to win by a US resident. Digital Copy will be available only to INTL. Enter via the rafflecopter link here!