Saturday, September 11, 2010

Review: Losing Faith

Synopsis: A terrible secret. A terrible fate. When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie's world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don't know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but. As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith's final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger.

 My Review:  First and foremost before you read anything I have to say about this book, I just have to say you will love it.  I don't care if you only like paranormal YA or sci-fi or what have you.  You will love this book.  I don't see how you could not.  I didn't have high expectations for this book when I received it, but boy am I glad I signed up for this tour.  

Brie is the complete opposite of her older sister Faith.  Faith is religious, is totally devoted to God, and is certain of her beliefs.  Brie by contrast is more concerned with having a social life, being a good girlfriend, and keeping as far away from her family's religious fanaticism as possible.  When it is discovered that Faith fell off a cliff, Brie's family is wracked with grief.  Never having been particularly close to her sister in the past few years, Brie isn't certain how she is feeling.  She is wracked by guilt because she asked Faith to give her a ride the night she died.  She can't talk to her parents who are dealing with their grief in the worst way possible, by ignoring it or completely withdrawing within themselves.  She is a sudden pariah at school.  Her friends won't look her in the eye, and nasty rumors of her sister committing suicide spread throughout the school.  She doesn't know where to turn and instead of finding solace after her sisters death, she only has more and more questions.  

Losing Faith clearly had a lot to do with religion.  You would think this would bother me, because I'm not religious in the slightest, but I felt that the religious aspect of this novel was the most wonderful part of it.  Brie's family could be described as overly devoted, especially Faith, and at first it was a bit of a turn off for me.  However, as I continued to read it really hit me that it wasn't about religion.  It wasn't about devoting yourself to God, or going to every church service and youth group twice a week.  It was about belief.  Faith especially made an impression.  It wouldn't have mattered whether or not she was Buddhist or Pagan.  Her faith, her utter devotion to something she truly believed in that she would try to help others even at the cost of her life, is what was truly awe inspiring.  It really made an impression on me.  I felt really connected to Brie because of this fact.  Brie was a bit jealous in the fact that her sister could believe in something so whole heartedly.  I feel rather the same way.  I'm a very logical and scientific person in the way I view life.  I have no hope for eternal salvation or an afterlife and am just happy to have the time on this earth that I am allotted.  I guess I'm kind of jealous of Faith was well, because frankly faith is something I lack.  If you interpret this novel as I have, then it truly is an eye opener.  I've always been sure of my beliefs, but I can't help but feel that this novel will truly wake some people up.  Losing Faith also reveals the danger of belief as well.  Belief and faith are a powerful thing, but with the wrong person they can become tools of self destruction. I won't reveal exactly what this deals with, but keep this in mind.  The author is not bashing religion, she is simply stating that faith goes both ways.  

I really enjoyed Brie as an MC.  Actually I rather enjoyed most of the main characters.  I loved them all and found they were all admirable people.  In the book, Brie tells a lie to another character.  Rather than deceiving him further, she comes clean.  This is soooo hard to do.  I really appreciated the fact that she was honest, even though the truth could be ugly.  The friendship that bloomed between Brie and the most unlikely of people was also sweet.  She makes a true friend, one that will stick with her no matter what, and likes her because she is simply herself.  The same can be said with the bit of romance as well.  I have to give huge props to the author.  It was probably the best written, most believable progression of being attracted to someone to truly loving who they are I've ever read.  So many romances in YA fiction feel so contrived anymore.  The author truly did a remarkable job, and that is saying something, especially from me because I am the harshest critic of believable romance.  

Overall, I completely loved it. Losing Faith has made my list for most meaningful reads.  Probably even one of my favorite books this year.  It wasn't about the action, the romance, or a huge adventure.  It was simply the content and message, and that is the most meaningful aspect of any novel.  More YA novels need to be like Losing Faith. It was truly a wonderful read that I'm sure everyone will adore. 


Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

This sounds like an absolutely brilliant read. Great review :)