I have read fascinating autobiographical stories of the hardship of growing up in poverty with wacked-out parents or in the heavily oppressive FLDS church; so I thought this book would be an equally guilty pleasure. But this story is simply a stale day-to-day listing of the BORING tasks Jenna had to complete as she went through cadette and Sea Org training. I kept waiting for something exciting to happen--as I FORCED myself to continue.
Also, I could not relate with or even despise any of the characters. That's one of the best parts about reding/listening to a book. One WANTS to root for a protagonist and hate an antagonist. But there is too little character development for this to happen.
In the other macabre autobiographies I have read, I could learn to understand how and why the authors' parents acted as they did, for example, the parent drank away the food money because he was so physically and mentally addicted to alcohol; or the FLDS mother stayed with her physically abusive, polygamous husband and made her twelve-year-old daughters marry 65 year old men because she herself had been brainwashed as a child by fear and she had no knowledge of any other way of life, but all I could think of when listening to this story, besides how boring her life was, was that Jenna's parents were complete idiots. It's one thing for a child to be brainwashed into following her parents' beliefs, but it's another thing for parents to abandon their children in order to be overworked for little pay and only the promise to help better the universe--at the price of personal and familial happiness. At least the Mormons believe they will be the god (or wife-goddess) of their own planet if they work hard in this life. What a goal for which to strive! But what does a Scientologist get? Just a new body after death with no promise of being elevated into a superior being, like the Hindus believe. What's the point?--especially for them as they do not believe in God, Heaven, or hell.
I'm stretching here, but essentially a sin for a Sea Org member-in-training is misunderstanding a word--and their restitution is to look up misunderstood words in the dictionary. And Jenna "spices" up her story with repeated accounts of putting off her chores to look up definitions. I mean come on! How much more boring can you get?
I tried skipping some chapters hoping to get to some juicy action--but just more boring tedium....
Action, suspense, colored accounts that make the reader feel her pain--SOMETHING, ANYTHING, besides accounts of white glove-cleaning and dictionary memorization.
Ms. Rustin did an amazing job TRYING to bring life to this BORING story.
I would have cut 2/3 of the book and asked Jenna to add some interest rising action and climaxes. I also would have advised her to learn the art of character development.
Save your credit.
Not a Scientologist or know much about it. I think a lot of the true story was not told here, did lots of name dropping. Will not buy another book by her.
Based on some of the other reviews I decided to take a chance on this book. Unfortunately, I am not on the same wavelength as many who raved about this book and found it very bland and uninteresting. Don't recommend.
No. It was plenty to read once. I do not need to listen again.
There were many. The part where they described the huge size of church they had to get in Australia for less than 100 members.
She was consistent.
Her initial relationship with her uncle. Her first love who she lost.
This was a great insight into Scientology. A "religion" that should be run out of America. Mainly for what they do to children. This book reveals that treatment. It gives you a look into what is happening in that cult.
Who knows what goes on? I sure don't. But it was an interesting listen if you've ever wondered about Scientology. Of course, this is just one person's perspective.
Probably no. It was good - real good. But I don't need to hear about the disturbed, sad and abused people of the Church.
It was good. She sounded as if it was Jenna talking, easy to make a connection.
A big reaction. I did not know much about he church before the book. Since the book I have done quite about of surfing regarding Scientology and the members who have left and people who are into the religion..
It has served as a good teaching tool when talking with my children and explaining to them the dangers of some people and there ideas and how easy it is to become stuck.and controlled.
This is the second book I have read about Scientology recently, and hearing the perspective of someone who was inside for most of her young life is quite riveting. The fact that she is the niece of the leader of the church and had a lot of interaction with him makes the account even more interesting. Highly recommended!
I've never read the print version.
Obviously, the main character Jenna.
No i haven't.
Regardless of this book being about Scientology or anything else, it's very interesting and sad to see how different other peoples lives can be. Especially when they are children and their parents do not know about their childrens daily lives.
Avid general reader with a fondness for British and Irish Writers and world history.
As with some of the insider descriptions of Scientology, this gives a perspective from a child's and young adult's view. It is quite revealing and, if the routines are still the same, reveals an organization which should be removed from tax relief granted 'religious' exemption and charged with child abuse (good luck with that). I continue to be amazed that people are still 'gulled' into paying many thousands of dollars to be misled and abused - the money going into into the coffers of what has the appearance of being more of a criminal investment and real estate scheme with the inducement of some kind of immortality.
The narration was a bit disappointing. It would have been much more interesting from a 'mature' voice with a less 'cheerful' tone. I can understand the decision to use a young voice in this but think it was the wrong one.