Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Losing Faith by Denise Jaden

Title: Losing Faith
Author: Denise Jaden
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Paperback, 377 pages
Date Published: September 7, 2010

Description (Taken from Goodreads):
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.
Brie is the not-so religious one in her very religious family. She’s the black sheep compared to her devoutly Christian sister Faith, but when Faith dies of an apparent suicide, Brie realizes that she’s no longer the black sheep, the bad child in her house; she’s the only child. With Faith’s death, Brie decides to unravel the mystery that was her sister and is determined to get to the bottom of her death.

Part grief-stricken story, part mystery, Losing Faith is all-engrossing. Denise Jaden writes so fluidly and with so much emotion that Faith becomes an enigma, a tangible person that is now lost to the world. Brie’s search for answers drives the story, while her slowly dissolving family creates this backdrop to the grief that Brie isn’t allowing herself to let out.

After Brie opens up to Tessa, the badass girl that people avoid, the Veronica Mars in her really takes hold. Brie and Tessa, along with Alis, the good-looking homeschooled guy who happened to show up at Faith’s funeral, investigate what happened to Faith and how Alis’ sister is involved.

Jaden takes this story laced with religious beliefs and, remarkably, doesn’t preach at all. Religion is absolutely essential to the plot, but Jaden never forces it upon the reader. It’s there, but not a controlling aspect. The characters control the story throughout. Jaden develops the three main characters so well and with such distinct personalities that it’s impossible to not be absorbed with them.

Losing Faith is a tour-de-force of emotion and surprisingly snarky humor. At times it’s a story engulfed in grief, but it’s always full of mystery and heart. Jaden has weaved a remarkably realistic story that is a stellar debut.

Opening line:
The statue has got to go. ~ pg. 1

Favorite line(s):
“I’m sorry,” I say when we bump into each other at the kitchen sink. And I am. Sorry they got stuck with me. I’m sure they’ve wondered about it too: Why couldn’t we have kept the good one? ~ pg. 107

And this one:

“Yes, I own a jacket, and I’ve also had a boyfriend, but neither have brought me any real comfort.” ~ pg. 306
More 4.5
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it. 

Find Denise Jaden online:
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Bere said...

Fantastic review, Nikki! This is the first review I've read on Losing Faith and you've encouraged me greatly to pick this on up. It sounds really great. Again, fantastic review. Thank you, Nikki! =)

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

It was so much more than I had expected, so I hope you have the chance to read it :D

danya said...

I enjoyed this one too! I was also relieved that it was not at all preachy, and the snarkiness of the humor surprised me as well :D Also I really appreciated how well she showed that people grieve in different ways.

Melanie said...

This book sounds fabulous! I'll definitely be picking this one up eventually. I love books where religion is an important part of the plot but not preachy. ONCE WAS LOST by Sara Zarr is one of my all-time favorite books because of that aspect.

As someone who's been homeschooled, it's always nice to see such a character in a book. And he's good-looking too? That's almost too good to be true!

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