The Virtue of Sin by Shannon Schuren

The Virtue of Sin

A novel about speaking out, standing up, and breaking free.Miriam lives in New Jerusalem, a haven in the desert far away from the sins and depravity of the outside world. Within the gates of New Jerusalem, and under the eye of its founder and leader, Daniel, Miriam knows she is safe. Cared for. Even if she’s forced, as a girl, to quiet her tongue when she has thoughts she wants to share, Miriam knows that New Jerusalem is a far better life than...

Details The Virtue of Sin

TitleThe Virtue of Sin
Release DateJun 25th, 2019
PublisherPhilomel Books
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary

Reviews The Virtue of Sin

  • Amanda
    4 stars to this young adult novel about love, cults, and finding a voice.It is the day of matrimony in New Jerusalem and Miriam is ready to be Caleb's husband. Despite boys and girls being separated since children, Miriam is sure that Caleb will select her to be his wife. However, when Aaron, an outsider who wasn't born in New Jerusalem, selects Miriam, she is certain there has been a mistake. According to the leader of New Jerusalem, Daniel, dre...
  • Christina Dalcher
    Oh, yeah. Give me a book about a cult and I will devour it in no time, which is pretty much the way I read Shuren's fabulous YA story about love, growing up, independent thinking, and breaking free of dogma. Reminds me of a wonderful quote from Richard Dawkins: "There is no such thing as a Christian child; only a child of Christian parents."This is an important story for so many reasons, but Dawkins sums it up best. Oh, the things we do to our ch...
  • Lisa Mandina
    I'm always intrigued by any story about a cult, don't know why, it's just something that grabs me. And this book did just that from the time I read the sneak peek, and then once I actually had the book in my hands and started reading, it was so hard to put down. This one was even better than others, because while I thought I knew what was going to happen, the author threw in several twists and turns that I did not see coming. My guesses as I went...
  • Tomes And Textiles
    A feminist examination of religion and cults, in particular. I loved the dismantling of the use of bible verses in defense of patriarchal behavior. I also loved the discovering of the belief of oneself and coming into your own. Very few YA books about cults and this one is highly recommended.Full review can be found on TOMES AND TEXTILES INSTAGRAM.
  • Ariana
    Originally posted on: The Quirky Book Nerd*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*There are so many aspects of this story that appealed to both the book nerd and psychology nerd in me and I was completely absorbed from the start. This is the story of two teenagers who have spent their entire lives in a cult and how they deal with their newfound clarity about their situation as they are thrown into adult...
  • Nèngath
    I love stories about cults, small villages and isolated communities. There is something about small groups and concentrated violence that I find particularly interesting and even fascinating. I have read plenty of them, so I tend to be very critical. Thankfully this one is very good, the author adopts her own unique approach to the cult trope, the story is richly original and imaginative. Only the end is rushed and disappointing.The story takes p...
  • meg chia
    Three-word description : voice, religion, freedomMy rating : 4.5 / 5 starsAh this book! This one is a book I've picked up solely because of the intriguing synopsis that speaks out to me so much. I have been meaning to read a book that deals with similar topics like this, and I must say this book is amazing!The plot starts off with Miriam, who had these dreams of the man she'd marry. She grew up living under the dictation of Daniel, the supposedly...
  • Sarai Davila
    This book. I am 100% here for books that involve women in oppressive, cult-like situations. I find that every time I read a book in which religion is used as a means of suppressing women and their natural strength, I grow a deeper insight into why women stay in these situations, as well as a larger desire to find a way to help. Although "The Virtue of Sin" is not expressly tied to one particular religion, it has the echoes and traits of a few dif...
  • Sarah
    This young adult novel, written in the voice of several of the characters, is a fascinating look at the life of the individuals living in "New Jerusalem." A walled off community in the desert, led by Daniel, the founder of New Jerusalem. Miriam has lived in New Jerusalem all her life, she has been taught of the sin and dangers in the world outside the walls of her walled in home. She is safe in New Jerusalem, as long as she knows her place, belie...
  • Ciera
    Within the gates of New Jerusalem, Miriam, 16, lives under the eye of the community’s founder, Daniel. Miriam knows that she is cared for, even though she is forced to quiet her tongue, and is never given the ability to think for herself. When God calls for a marriage ceremony called a Matrimony, Miriam is certain that the boy she loves, Caleb, will select her to be his wife. When the ceremony goes wrong and Miriam ends up with someone else, Mi...
  • Maison
    I was very pleased to be able read an ARC of this book! The synopsis caught my attention right away. This novel is based in the heart of a religious community (a cult). First off, The way the characters progressed throughout the story is impressive. The pacing was exceptional, it really highlighted the idea that the community has brainwashed the people within it. There's one character, Aaron, who knows more about the 'Outside' world than everyone...
  • Michelle
    I was so excited about this book. I loved the First Impression and needed to know what happens to the characters. Miriam has been raised in New Jerusalem, a community started by the prophet Daniel and the elders, including her parents. The second generation has been called to matrimony and each male will call the name of the woman God chose for him. Miriam is not nervous as she know Caleb will say her name. Her best friend Rachel is excited but 1...
  • Danielle Hammelef
    I loved this book from the very start and really can't find anything I didn't like. Here's what made this a highly rated book for me:1) The writing--the metaphors alone are genius and signs of a talented artist2) The characters--these people popped off the pages, especially Miriam and Aaron, my favorites3) The cult society felt spot on4) The family and friendship5) Learning what it means to speak for yourself and finding your own voice6) The susp...
  • Energy
    I thought at first from the blurb that this would be Dystopian, but it's about a cult, the lengths a person in power will go to keep their followers in line and the sheer delusion of those trapped on the inside. New Jerusalem sits out in the desert in California, set apart from the rest of the world, the inhabitants live a very secluded lifestyle. No reading, no tv, no music, no singing, women are kept repressed, encouraged not to speak, the focu...
  • Viktoriya
    Thank you to Bookishfirst for giving me a copy of this ARC. Novel is set in present time somewhere in the desert between California and Nevada, in a secluded settlement called New Jerusalem. Daniel, a self-proclaimed leader and a prophet, declared that God communicates directly through him and his visions. Through the decades of preaching, he was able to gather around a set of very devoted followers who never question anything he says or does. Ev...
  • Leah
    I think that as a culture we have an obsession with the things that are strange, abnormal...the things that are almost unbelievable. And I think that cults fall easily into this category. So when I was randomly selected to receive a free copy of Shannon Schuren's The Virtue of Sin, I was super excited to get my hands on it! This novel really explores the ideas of indoctrination, truth, belief, faith, and the importance of having a voice.Miriam wa...
  • Kayla
    *Disclaimer* I received an early copy from Bookish First and PhilomelBooks in exchange for an honest reviewI want to start off by saying I absolutely adored this book it was incredible and had a profound message. It is a mixture of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village and a remote desert community ruled by patriarchal views.The novel centers around Miriam a young woman who lives in New Jerusalem an isolated community run by a charismatic leader nam...
  • Nicole
    FIRST OFF THANK YOU BOOKISHFIRST.COM for sending me an ARC to read and review this amazing book before it was released! My mind is blown and my heart is broken!!! So many people don't realize the effects of cults or the influence the "leader" has on these people. I'm hoping this book was based on fiction but the reality of it is that this actually occurs in our society and people who finally see the truth struggle to adjust. Everyone needs to rea...
  • Aryn
    The Virtue of Sin is an entry into the coming-of-age in a cult/religious extremist group genre of YA fiction, a genre I find morbidly fascinating. With the steady publication of these types of stories, I’m not alone in that fascination. In this case, Miriam is a sixteen year old girl in the second generation of the Children of Daniel. In their closed community of New Jerusalem, God has instructed Daniel, the charismatic prophet who leads the co...
  • heather - NightlyReading
    I received this book from a Bookish First giveaway. Once I read the first few chapters, I couldn't wait to see if I would actually win it for I wanted so much more! When it arrived in my mailbox, I did an internal dance of excitement and started it straight away.This world is extremely frustrating for a woman and it reminded me a little of the Handmaid's Tale. Women are meant to do chores and literally not speak. Daniel is the leader of their gro...
  • gwendalyn _books_
    The Virtue of Sin Shannon Schuren ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Thank You BOOKISHFIRST.COM for sending me an early ARC to read and review this book, all my opinions are my own. Miriam lives in New Jerusalem, a haven in the desert far away from the sins and depravity of the outside world. Within the gates of New Jerusalem, and under the eye of its founder and leader, Daniel, Miriam knows she is safe. Cared for. Even if she’s forced, as a girl, to quiet her tongu...
  • Linda Naquin
    First off, I drove past Zzyzx my whole life anytime my family drove to Las Vegas, and I always wondered about the place. Then I Googled it as an adult and read about the health spa con. Reading a book that builds a secondary con on top of this site? Pure. Genius.I loved this book. I like to think of it as a YA Handmaid's Tale crossed with Matched and a dash of Speak. The story is about a young girl living as a second generation in an established ...
  • Hannah
    Thanks to Bookish First and Penguin Teen for the ARC of this book! The best way that I can describe this book is a mash-up of Jonestown and Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix. It has all of the urgency of Haddix's book and the same feel of isolation combined with the charismatic and dangerous leader of the real-life Jonestown. New Jerusalem is an oasis in the middle of the desert (although we don't find out WHICH desert until much la...
  • Mara
    Miriam was born and raised in New Jerusalem; her parents were among the first faithful. She accepts her world at face value (strict male/female separation before marriage, weird rules of socializing after marriage, interpretation of dreams, etc.) but when the ordained Matrimony doesn't go like it's supposed to, she starts asking questions. Interestingly, she's willing to accept the unexpected results, except that so many people, from charismatic ...
  • Staci Campbell
    A Virtue of Sin by Shannon Schuer4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐A compelling novel about speaking out, standing up, and breaking free -- perfect for fans of The Handmaid's Tale. Miriam lives in New Jerusalem, a haven in the desert far away from the sins and depravity of the outside world. Within the gates of New Jerusalem, and under the eye of its founder and leader, Daniel, Miriam knows she is safe. Cared for. Even if she's forced, as a girl, to quiet her tong...
  • CR
    I was so excited when this book showed up but sadly it just wasn't what I thought it was going to be. At first I thought it was going to be this amazing dystopian or fantasy. But what I found was one set in our world about a cult that well to tell you the truth was pretty lack luster. This one started off wowing me but quickly turned to something that was bogged down with religion, lyrical writing, and characters that I just didn't really care ab...
  • Moondust Moth
    I thought this was going to have dystopian aspects, but it's just about a cult. This was an okay, if rather bland, story about the abuse of religion. I say bland because it was just so...normal. I suppose that's why it feels so insidious, because once you start peeling back layer after layer you may find that the problems are more severe than they first appear. What's sad is, this has happened and still happens to so many people in the real.This ...
  • Chelsea DeVries
    The cover alone led me to take interest in this book almost instantly because of the spiritual connotation of butterflies. Growth, Renewal, Hope and even in some contexts it can mean an awakening of some type.    From the very first page, I instantly related to Miriam despite that the book is told through two first person perspectives. Growing up Catholic and following the rituals made me question a lot of things about God and his mercy even as...
  • Melissa
    As soon as I read the promotional blurb about The Virtue of Sin, I knew I had to read this book! I've been a fan of YA fiction for a while now and the thought of a book that centered around a teen girl named Miriam who has grown up in and is still enmeshed in a cult was too exciting to resist.I enjoyed this book a good deal. Schuren (the author) does a good job of introducing the characters and the environment of living in this particular religio...