A review by polkadotgirl
Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett


4/5 started:

Those Who Prey started off as a slightly stereotypical exploration of a cult and how Emily, a freshman student in college, is misled into joining it through different manipulation techniques, and the emotional abuse she suffers the deeper in it that she gets. I didn't mind that the story read off as a fictional pamphlet for cult behaviors in the first 100 pages because I understood that it was "simplifying" a very complex process in order to make it better understood by the YA audience it's trying to reach.

Fortunately, the story finds its own voice from the second act onwards, when the main mystery of the plot is introduced and when we have Emily completely committed to the cult and its members.

I really liked Emily as a main character and how her inner monologue was so helpful in understanding the point she was at during every bit of the story. It was easy to never resent her decisions because her confusion, and her pain, and her need to belong was well established from the beginning of the book. When her thoughts began to turn questioning and even resentful you understood why that was happened and how her journey was beginning to come to unravel as she realized things that she had been blind to before.

My favorite part of the book was the last act, because I believe this is where we get to see Emily flourish as a main character, and we witness the growth she had throughout her whole experience, with her insecurities and doubts still present because she's human, after all. I also appreciated the slightly unresolved ending to the book, both plot wise and in Emily's emotional journey. I know it may not be the preferred ending for a lot of people, as it does not answer every question that the book introduces during the story, but it made the story feel more realistic and complete -what an irony- for me.

It was a pleasant surprise to find that the book includes mixed media aspects to it, like interviews and excepts from an article, but I would say that if someone were to pick it up for that sole aspect they could be disappointed, as it is a very small part of the book.