Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
Simon Pulse, 2010
This was one of my favorite reads of the year, which re-emphasized why I adore Simon Pulse books (a YA imprint of Simon & Schuster). I have yet to read anything published by them that I don't absolutely love.
Losing Faith covers some heavy issues, not the least of which is the mysterious death of the main character's sister, Faith. As the story moves along, Brie copes with this loss, deals with her parents' depression, faces her own disinterest in all things Biblical, and works to unravel the events that led to her sister's death. Many claimed it was a suicide. A martyrdom, even. But even though Brie admits she and Faith weren't as close as they once were, she cannot believe Faith would ever take her own life.
Brie would have gotten nowhere in her "investigation" without the help of Tessa, a girl from school who is the last person she would have considered saying two words to, let alone becoming friends with. Tessa is the typical bad girl character, dressed all in black, but Brie soon discovers that they have a lot in common.
I'm not sure why this book hasn't received more attention. If you're shying away from it because of the religious themes, you're severely missing out. It is presented in a way that, in my opinion, does not feel preachy or shoved down your throat. The story reads like an intense mystery/thriller/suspense novel. You won't be disappointed.
Cover Art: 3 stars (beautiful, but could have had more intrigue)
Title: 5 stars (I love titles with double meanings)
Writing: 4 stars (good but some parts felt a bit dry, unstylistic)
Story: 5 stars (full of twists and intense emotion)
Characters: 5 stars (realistic and vivid)
Ending: 4 stars (satisfying but somewhat predictable)
Overall Rating: 5 stars