Title: The Right & The Real
Author: Joëlle Anthony
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: April 26, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Jamie should have known something was off about the church of the Right & the Real from the start, but she was too caught up in Josh, the eldest son of one of the church's disciples, and his all-American good looks. Josh, the most popular boy at school, was the first boy outside the drama geeks to give Jamie a second look. But when she began dating Josh, getting her dad involved in a cult and herself kicked out of the house was not part of the plan.Homeless and scared, Jamie's life has completely fallen apart. Finding her way back won't be easy, especially when her dad gets himself in serious trouble. Will Jamie be ready to rescue him, and maybe even forgiven?
Until I read The Right & The Real I hadn't really heard of Joëlle Anthony and her books so I really didn't know what to expect. The premise sounded interesting so I decided I would give the book a chance and read it. The next thing I knew, it was 2 AM and I was still awake and reading The Right & The Real.
Even though she knew from the start that something was off about the church of the Right & the Real, Jamie still went along with it because it meant that she could be with Josh. And Josh was the first boy who wasn't a drama geek to pay attention to Jamie. What Jamie didn't expect was for her dad to become so involved in the church and to kick her out because she wouldn't join him. Now Jamie is alone, without a home and scared to tell anyone about what it going on. But Jamie realizes she may be stronger than she originally thought and she has to do something to help her dad get out of the cult. With the help of some unlikely allies, Jamie has to find a way to rescue her dad. But even once she does that, it might be a lot harder to forgive him.
I didn't know what to expect before I read The Right & The Real, but I definitely did not expect to like the book as much as I did. While I often read books in one sitting, it's not that often that I stay up into the early hours of the morning to finish a book because I simply can't put it down. The story was very different from everything I had been reading at the time, and kept me captivated from start to finish. The Right & The Real also deals with a subject that isn't really seen in YA novels, so it was really interesting to read. Joëlle Anthony really brought to life some of the more disturbing aspects of cults and how they can really take over people's lives. But I liked how she also showed that often people don't even realize what is happening.
I really liked Jamie and I really felt her pain throughout the book. What made me really like Jamie was how strong she was, but didn't even know it. And more than anything I liked that she didn't try to make people feel sorry for her. Thought I did get annoyed with how long it took her to realize that she deserved better than Josh. Because in my opinion Josh was a jerk, he didn't mean to be but he still was. Trent on the other hand I liked a lot more and I could tell that he was a genuinely good guy. Though the character that surprised me the most was LaVon. He was so not what I expected him to be, but that turned out to be for the best.
I'm very happy to have given The Right & The Real by Joëlle Anthony a chance because it turned out to be the kind of book I will be recommending to people for a long time. It's different from a lot of other YA novels out there and that turned out to be a very good thing.