Deceived: Lured from the Truth by Melody Carlson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love how this series doesn't need to be read in order. A good thing since my library only owns the final 2 books for some reason. Totally weird.
While I wouldn't say Deceived is as good as Melody Carlson's final book in this series, it still packs quite the punch. Life is unpredictable and nothing is more unpredictable than those raging teenage hormones. Rachel is unsettled. Her parents have just divorced and her mom wants to start dating again. Their church split just like her parents did. Now she's at a summer resort working in an ice cream shop, trying to advance her dreams of owning her own restaurant.
Naturally, she meets a boy. This boy is from Australia with that absolutely to-die-for accent, and Rachel falls head over heels in a matter of days. When Josiah invites her out to visit his church, Rachel is impressed with the teaching and the conservative values of the congregation. It's only when she loses her job and decides to stay with the congregation, who amazingly all live on the pastor's property, that Rachel realizes she may have just gotten herself involved with a cult.
Melody Carlson's Secrets series strives to teach its readers to think for themselves and not be caught off-guard or unawares by the enemy. In Enticed, the heroine gets caught up in a human trafficking ring because she trusted the wrong people. In Deceived, the heroine makes a similar mistake compounded with the fact that she's a weak Christian who lacks knowledge of the Scripture and so is easily lead astray.
I admit that this story is a little harder to swallow than Enticed. No teen girl I know would think wearing long "granny" dresses and living on a ranch with 100 other people is normal for a church congregation. So the concept is a little far-fetched, but hey, I'm assuming this type of deceit happens because the last time I checked, America is still rife with cults. Deceived, despite lacking the emotional wallop of Enticed, still manages to instruct young women, and any reader really, in the way they should go, looking to God's teaching first and foremost and not being lead astray by false prophets.
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