Seed by Lisa Heathfield

Seed loves you. Seed will never let youseed go.

Fifteen-year-old Pearl has lived her whole life protected within the small community at Seed, where they worship Nature and idolise their leader, Papa S. When some outsiders arrive, everything changes. Pearl experiences feelings that she never knew existed and begins to realise that there is darkness at the heart of Seed. A darkness from which she must escape, before it’s too late.


Amelie – Year 9 – Roedean School

22nd November 2016 at 1:36 pm

I actually found this book’s concept so disturbing, yet so gripping- I could not put it down! The whole plot gave a really accurate depiction of some of the darker ideas and happenings of cults – there was the leader, Papa S who was definitely one of the most disturbing figures of the whole book. But what made it such a good read was the way these people, part of the community called Seed, had not a single clue of the wrongness and complete inappropriate behaviour that went on in their way of life. Pearls narrative voice was innocent and observant, and I really enjoyed her as a character. It is such an interesting story, set in one of my favourite genres – dystopia.

Yet, some of the things that this cult did were simply amazing things I wish the westernized world did not ruin for people. Pearl, the main character, has not a clue of the bigger picture her world inevitably is, and that, essentially could be viewed as both a blessing and curse. The continuous theme of nature and giving, was twisted into something so blatantly bad, yet the way some of these people justified it both fascinated and horrified me. It turns out in the end, she comes to grips with reality, due to an outsider, Elliot, teaching her about the forbidden wider world. Without ruining anything, I have to say it was a thrilling read, and I am definitely on the lookout for the next book of the series.

Maia – Year 9 – Roedean School

22nd November 2016 at 1:36 pm

Seed was one of my favourites out of all the books as it was both thrilling, and sinister. This book was about a small cult in the middle of the forest who worshipped nature with the guidance of, for lack of better word, dodgy Papa S. The story follows fifteen year old Pearl and her journey to becoming a woman in the cult and understanding how the place she thought was a sanctuary was actually a sexist, misogynistic community.
This was a gripping tale and I found myself holding my breath multiple times.

Tabitha – Year 9 – Roedean School

22nd November 2016 at 1:36 pm

Seed is one of my favourites out of all the books on the shortlist. It is about a cult who worships Mother Nature under the control of creepy Papa S. The main character is Pearl, a fifteen year old girl who, with the help of an outsider, finds that what she thought was a safe home is actually a brainwashed and dangerous society. I loved Seed because there was never a dull moment. Each chapter was action packed and there were always questions to be answered. This was an incredible book. I just wish there was more! Rating: 8/10

Islay – Year 9 – Roedean School

22nd November 2016 at 1:36 pm

This book is one of the only ones of its kind that I have read and is very involving, talking about a group of people who are isolated from modern society and brainwashed into blindly believing things, and how that has an effect on their day to day lives.

Seed is about a girl called Pearl living in a cult that worships nature. She never has any reason to doubt her beliefs until suddenly a boy, Ellis, his mother and sister are accepted into Seed from the outside world and Pearl discovers that the world is a lot more strange and complicated than she believed. Just when she starts to doubt her glorified leader Papa S, she and Ellis discover a dark heart to Seed….

This is a good book, giving people a new outlook on how people can live when they are made to believe things that aren’t true but they can’t say so, and how fiercely they can believe it. I like this book but feel it could have more detail towards the end as it closely resembles the real life Jonestown massacre and it would be nice if the author put her own stamp on it.

Maria – Year 9 – Mayfield School

22nd November 2016 at 1:36 pm

Seed is a very cleverly written book, the writer definitely did a good job making the twistedness of the book subtle. I really understood Pearl and the confusion she was feeling, and from reading between the lines I noticed how Lisa Heathfield very subtly addresses many problems that affect women in the world today.


Aoibh – Year 9 – Mayfield School

22nd November 2016 at 1:36 pm

I found ‘Seed’ by Holly Bourne a really thought provoking read, I could not put it down. I really liked how the first scene we see of Pearl’s life is dark and shows us how different her lifestyle as a teenage girl compares to what girls on the ‘outside’ experience, and how it really made me think about what it must be like to grow up in such an isolated way. Pearl’s story subtly became more and more corrupt as the pages turned, and the way that the author tactfully displayed Pearl’s ignorance to basic facts added to the general sense that she had been deprived of her human rights. I overall really enjoyed Seed and I would recommend it. 8/10

Cate Lin Loo – Year 9 – Brighton College

22nd November 2016 at 1:35 pm

The book is about a group of people who believe strongly in ‘Mother Nature’. However, not everything is always at peace: some realise the ultimate truth, being suspicious while terribly afraid. The story is very gripping, with a chilling plot. It is full of exciting drama, and the characters are very real, mundane and natural. It has a mostly consistent pace, slow at times, super-fast too! The moral of the story is probably to trust your heart and your loved ones closest to you who really know you, not just anyone. I would recommend the book.

Ellie – Year 9 – Brighton College

22nd November 2016 at 1:35 pm

“Trust us”

This is a thrilling story that explores life in a cult. It is original in the sense that it doesn’t follow the usual storyline/themes of other young adult books.

The story is told from the perspective of a fifteen-year-old girl named Pearl. As she grows into a woman she starts to question things about the society she lives in and uncovers some scary truths.

This intense read leaves you with questions and is gripping throughout the book. However, I did find one of the characters Ellis a bit unrealistic at times – I don’t think a boy of his age would go along with his mother’s dream without questioning or hesitating more. Other than this though I thought it was an interesting look at how to manipulate the brain and how cults brainwash people.

Indya-Jayne – Year 9 – Ratton School

22nd November 2016 at 1:35 pm

Seed is a fictitious story based on the life of a group of people in a nature-worshipping cult led by ‘Papa S’. It explores the idea of how our modern ways are thought to have corrupted and poisoned us. Papa S teaches his disciples about the beauties of nature and how mankind’s reliance on technology is unnecessary and sinful. However, throughout the book secrets are uncovered about Papa S and the disturbing way in which he has held the people in the cult.

Pearl has lived in the cult for her entire life and loves and adores all of the people within it but when a new family enters their intimate family circle, a string of secrets and conspiracies begin to unravel. The book starts as Pearl ‘becomes a woman’ and is introduced to the world of womanhood and some of the disturbing expectations she is given in that role. Soon the new family arrives and sheds light on the true intentions of Papa S which urges them to take drastic action.

I would recommend this book to people who enjoy suspense and thriller novels. I extremely enjoyed reading this book but I am critical of the ending. I give this book 4.5 stars!

Ellie – Year 9 – Benenden

22nd November 2016 at 1:35 pm

I thought the plot of Seed was original, as I’ve never read a book like it. I really liked the short epilogue at the end of each chapter, from the other point of view, as it gave you the chance to see Seed from a different prospective. I also liked the way Lisa Heathfield subtly incorporated the twistedness of Seed throughout the book. However, I felt like after a gradual build up the ending was a bit too abrupt. Altogether I found the book stood out from the others I’ve read recently due to its distinct plot and themes, and am waiting for the sequel.

Mallory – Year 9 – Benenden

22nd November 2016 at 1:35 pm

Seed was a slow-paced novel, and despite the generic thought that comes with that, “It will be boring”, it is very logical. Without build up, readers wouldn’t be able to witness the growth and strengthening of Pearl’s relationships with Papa S, the cult leader, Kate, another girl born into the cult or Ellis, an outsider. However, I don’t think the novel fulfilled its potential with an ending that was drastically cut short, if this was revised it could be more satisfying for readers and make them want to read the sequel. I have already recommended it many times and it has been extremely popular as there few YA novels about topics like this.

Katie – Year 9 – Brighton & Hove High School

22nd November 2016 at 1:35 pm

I wasn’t completely sure about Seed. The plot was the complete opposite of everything I usually read, and I don’t think I’d read a similar book again. However, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and I found that I actually rather enjoyed it overall.

The action did feel too slow for me and it just seemed like there wasn’t much going on, so I would have personally paced the book a bit faster in some scenes and moved things along more. It also didn’t feel like there was much at stake until quite far into the novel.

However, there was lots of time for character developments, so I kept reading because I genuinely wanted to know what would happen to Pearl. I also liked how it ended, tying enough loose holes in the plot to make it a good ending but leaving out enough to write a sequel, which I’m definitely going to consider reading.

Khadijah – Year 9 – Ratton School

22nd November 2016 at 1:35 pm

This story is about Pearl, a fifteen-year girl who has lived in Seed her entire life. Where they worship nature and their leader Papa S.

However, when a boy named Ellis comes from the outside world, Pearl experiences feelings she never felt before. She also discovers a darkness in Seed, which she must escape before it is too late.

This is a really good book, it shows people being controlled without knowing until other people come and help them realise it and help them find freedom and true happiness

I rate this book 7/10

Leah – Year 9 – Ratton School

22nd November 2016 at 1:34 pm

By Lisa Heathfield, Seed is an original modern account on cult life. It tells a fictitious account of a girl called Pearl struggling with the troubles of becoming a woman. Especially when a mysterious new family comes to Seed, her loving feelings turn to something more. The only problem is he is the only one that sees the true horror of the lovely Pupa S. Seed was opening and surreal with a big twist in the end. My only wish is that no one had died.

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